Study Guide

The Odyssey Characters

By Homer

Odysseus

Odysseus is brave, strong, handsome, wily, loyal, pious—and did we mention handsome? He's...

Telemachos

Shmoop has a secret. Odysseus may be the Odyssey's hero, but we actually think Telemachos is more...

Penelope

The other Greek wives must have hated Penelope. She's like an ancient Greek Martha Stewart,...

Athene

Zeus' daughter Athene may be the patroness of warfare but she's also the goddess of wisdom, so...

Agelaos

Sometimes spelled Agelaus. One of the suitors we see in Book XXI. He asks Telemachos to reason...

Aigisthos

Sometimes spelled Aegisthus. The treacherous lover of Agamemnon’s wife, Klytaimestra. He...

Aithon

The fake name that Odysseus gives when speaking with Penelope while in the guise of a beggar. The...

Kassandra

Sometimes spelled Cassandra. A Trojan princess. She was raped and killed by Little Aias on the...

Dolios

Laertes’s housekeeper.

Eidothea

A nymph who comes into play in Menelaos’s story to Telemachos about that one time he was...

Eperitos

The name that Odysseus gives to his father, Laertes, in Book XXIV, before revealing his true...

Eumaios

Eumaios is Ithakan swineherd who takes Odysseus in when he returns home in the guise of a beggar,...

Eurylochos

Sometimes spelled Eurylochus. One of the Ithakans traveling with Odysseus on the way back from...

Iphitos

A minor character in the story of How Odysseus Got His Bow. Actually, Iphitos is the man who gave...

Iphthime

Penelope’s sister. She isn’t actually present in the Odyssey, but in Book IV Athene...

Ktimene

The daughter of Laertes, Odysseus’s sister.

Klytaimestra

Sometimes spelled Clytemnestra. Agamemnon’s no-good wife. She sleeps with Aigisthos while...

Mykene

Sometimes spelled Mycenae. Agamemnon’s kingdom.

Nestor

Telemachos meets this guy, the King of Pylos, while he's searching for news of his father....

The Taphians

Mentes, the man Athene pretends to be when she first arrives in Ithaka, is the ruler of the...

Amphimedon

Amphinomos

Eurymachos

Ktesippos

An evil suitor. Pretty much all he does in the Odyssey is to throw a cow's foot at beggar...

Achilleus

For more on this guy, check out Shmoop's guide to Achilles.

Agamemnon

Got that? One woman's misdeeds make all the rest of us look bad. (Of course, Aigisthos' treachery...

Antilochos

Little Aias

Neoptolemos

Orestes

For more on this guy, check out Shmoop's guide to Orestes.

Patroklos

Telamonian Aias

In other words, it's probably enough to hold a grudge in life. You really don't need to hang onto...

Alkinoös

Arete

Demodokos

Euryalos

Klytoneos

Laodamas

Nausikaa

Antiphates

The Cyclopes

Sometimes spelled Kyklopes. The one-eyed monsters that the Ithakans encounter on their way...

Helen

For more on this gal, check out Shmoop's guide to Helen.

The Kikonians

The Laistrygones

The Lotus Eaters

And then they failed their algebra tests and got arrested trying to hold up a convenience store....

Menelaos

For more on this guy, check out Shmoop's guide to Menelaus.

Polyphemos

Proteus

The Sirens

Skylla

For more on this creature, check out Shmoop's guide to Scylla.

Charybdis

Teiresias

Sometimes spelled Tiresias. The blind prophet whose help Odysseus seeks in the Underworld.For...

Aiolos

Aphrodite

For more on this gal, check out Shmoop's guide to Aphrodite.

Ares

God of war who gets busy (and then caught) with Aphrodite. For more on this guy, check out...

Circe

For more on this gal, check out Shmoop's guide to Circe.

Helios

For more on this guy, check out Shmoop's guide to Helios.

Hephaistos

For more on this guy, check out Shmoop's guide to Hephaestus.

Hermes

The messenger of the Gods. He doesn't seem to have any real personality of his own, but he sure...

Kalypso

Well, that's probably what he's going to tell Penelope, at any rate.

Poseidon

For more on this guy, check out Shmoop's guide to Poseidon.

Melampous

Neleus

Peiraios

Peisistratos

That's what comes of having your dad around.

Theoklymenos

Autolykos

Antikleia

Elpenor

Eurylochos

Laertes

Aigyptios

An Ithakan lord present at Telemachos' meeting in Book II.

Antiphos

Eupeithes

Halitherses

Iros

Mentes

Mentor

Noemon

Argos

Eurykleia

Maron

The keeper of Apollo's groves at Ismaros; he provides the Ithakans with wine.

Melantho

Melanthios

Medon

Phemios

Philoitios