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The Odyssey

The Odyssey

by

Homer

 Table of Contents

The Odyssey Character Quotes

Odysseus Quotes

Odysseus is brave, strong, handsome, wily, loyal, pious—and did we mention handsome? He's basically begging for a "hey girl" meme. ("Hey girl. I may have spent seven years with a goddess, but you...

Telemachos Quotes

Shmoop has a secret. Odysseus may be the Odyssey's hero, but we actually think Telemachos is more interesting. Sure, Odyssey is the strongest, bravest, smartest, kindest, most pious hero alive toda...

Penelope Quotes

The other Greek wives must have hated Penelope. She's like an ancient Greek Martha Stewart, without the pesky insider trading scandal: the perfect hostess, a faithful wife, a loving mother, and rea...

Athene Quotes

Zeus's daughter Athene may be the patroness of warfare but she's also the goddess of wisdom, so it's no surprise that she likes a hero with some brains in him—namely Odysseus. And having Athene o...

Eumaios Quotes

Eumaios is Ithakan swineherd who takes Odysseus in when he returns home in the guise of a beggar, and he shows us that it's not just kings who can be hospitable—even swineherds know how to treat...

Eurylochos Quotes

Sometimes spelled Eurylochus. One of the Ithakans traveling with Odysseus on the way back from Troy. He is a cautious man, refusing to enter Circe’s hall even when accompanied by armed men. H...

Nestor Quotes

Telemachos meets this guy, the King of Pylos, while he's searching for news of his father. Nestor provides another great example of good Greek hospitality, plying the Ithakan Prince with gifts...

Amphinomos Quotes

Sometimes spelled Amphinomus. The good suitor, relatively speaking: his "heart saddened within him, shaking his head, for in his spirit he saw the evil" (18.153-54). Penelope seems to recognize...

Eurymachos Quotes

Sometimes spelled Eurymachus. One of the not-so-nice suitors. He even plots to kill Telemachos and then deceives Penelope about it.

Agamemnon Quotes

Agamemnon is a Greek king and Menelaos's brother. His unfaithful wife Klytaimestra (Clytemnestra) teamed up with her lover Aigisthos to kill him when he came back from fighting the Trojan War. In...

Alkinoös Quotes

Sometimes spelled Alcinous. King of the Phaiakians, husband of Arete, father to Nausikaa. He's a super hospitable guy, who offers Odysseus passage home:this stranger, I do not know who he is, com...

Laodamas Quotes

A Phaiakian prince, the son of Alkinoös and Arete. He wins the boxing match during the athletic games, before Odysseus beats everyone at everything. He challenges Odysseus in the games, saying t...

Nausikaa Quotes

Sometimes spelled Nausicaa. The Phaiakian princess, daughter of Alkinoös and Arete. Nausikaa finds Odysseus, and she who brings him to the palace (somewhat indirectly) to ask for help from the Q...

Helen Quotes

Menelaos's wife and instigator of the entire Trojan war. Although we don't hear about it in the Odyssey, her story would have been common knowledge among Homer's audience. Here's the deal: Helen...

Menelaos Quotes

A King of Sparta and husband to Helen; he's the second man Telemachos visits in his search for Odysseus, and he's the one who confirms the boy's father is still alive and on Kalypso's island. Lik...

Polyphemos Quotes

Sometimes spelled Polyphemus. The specific one-eyed monster that the Ithakans encounter on their way home. Unfortunately for everyone involved, Polyphemos eats human flesh. Doubly unfortunately,...

Proteus Quotes

An island god we hear about in Menelaos's tale to Telemachos; he reveals to the King how to escape the island he's stuck on (namely, by traveling to Egypt and sacrificing to Zeus).

Teiresias Quotes

Sometimes spelled Tiresias. The blind prophet whose help Odysseus seeks in the Underworld.For more on this guy, check out Shmoop's guide to Tiresias.

Aiolos Quotes

Sometimes spelled Aeolus, Eolus or Aeolos. God of the winds; he helps Odysseus and his men in Book X, before he realizes there is no hope for the Ithakans and sends them packing: "O least of livi...

Circe Quotes

The sorceress of the island Aiaia. She turns Odysseus's men into sheep, seduces him, and then finally sends them on their way with directions to the Underworld. For more on this gal, check out Sh...

Helios Quotes

God of the sun and master of some really awesome cattle that no one was allowed to touch, much less kill and eat. When Odysseus's men do just that, Helios demands revenge, basically by holding hi...

Hephaistos Quotes

Sometimes spelled Hephæstos. Aphrodite's crippled blacksmith husband. Luckily, he married a beautiful goddess. Unluckily, she cheats.For more on this guy, check out Shmoop's guide to Hephaestus....

Kalypso Quotes

Sometimes spelled Calypso. The goddess who holds Odysseus hostage for purposes of sex. On the one hand, she sure is hospitable: she invites Hermes to "speak what is in your mind. My heart is urge...

Peisistratos Quotes

Sometimes spelled Peisistratus or Pisistratus. Nestor's son. He accompanies Telemachos to Sparta to see King Menelaos. Unlike Telemachos, he's super good at speaking in public. Check out the way...

Theoklymenos Quotes

Sometimes spelled Theoclymenus. The hitchhiker fugitive seer who grabs a ride with Telemachos on his way out of Sparta and conveniently prophesies good fortune for Telemachos: "Telemachos, not wi...

Elpenor Quotes

Elpenor is the guy who wandered up to Circe's roof and fell to his death before the men departed. Odysseus talks to him in the underworld, where Elpenor asks for a proper burial: "I ask that you...

Laertes Quotes

Odysseus's father. For some reason, he seems to live in a shack at the outskirts of Ithaka, although he also apparently has a nice farm. Mostly, he mourns for Odysseus and then for Telemachos. As...

Halitherses Quotes

An Ithakan augur and loyal to Odysseus. In Book II, he interprets the two vicious eagles as a sign that Odysseus is coming home soon.

Mentor Quotes

Mentor can be confusing in the Odyssey since the name either refers to Mentor, the elderly Ithakan, or Mentor, Athene in yet another guise. (Imagine how much easier everyone's life would be if th...

Eurykleia Quotes

Odysseus's nurse when he was a little boy. She's still around in the palace working as a servant (and trying to keep Telemachos from running off) when Odysseus returns and she recognizes her mast...

Melanthios Quotes

Sometimes spelled Melanthius. The Ithakan goatherd. Unlike many of the other, loyal servants we meet, Melanthios sides with the suitors and insults beggar Odysseus. On the one hand, he arms the s...

Phemios Quotes

Sometimes spelled Phemius. The resident bard in Ithaka. We first meet him as he saddens Penelope by singing of the Trojan war. Later, he is spared from the slaughter because he has been loyal to...
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