From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.


Character Analysis

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 Eumaios tells the boy, he would, "while he so greatly grieved for Odysseus yet would look after his farm and with the thralls in his household would eat and drink, whenever the spirit was urgent with him; but now, since you went away in the ship to Pylos, they say he has not eaten in this way, nor drunk anything, nor looked to his farm, but always in lamentation and mourning sits grieving, and the flesh on his bones is wasting from him" (16.137-145).

So, obviously, he's thrilled when Odysseus comes back, and even more thrilled when Odysseus and Telemachos get into a fight about who's braver: "What day is this for me, dear gods? I am very happy. My son and my son's son are contending over their courage" (24.513-515). Ah. It warms a grandfather's heart.