Study Guide

Odysseus (Ulysses)

  • Profile

    Odysseus, King of Ithaca, was the craftiest of all the Greek heroes. He could definitely kick butt when butt needed kicking, but he had a real knack for persuasion and trickery. Odysseus's quick wits were on full display throughout the Trojan War. And during his long journey home (which we know all about thanks to Homer), Odysseus time and again used his sharp wits and silver tongue to escape danger after danger. You might criticize Odysseus's less than straightforward methods, but for the wily King of Ithaca, the ends always justify the means.

    Basic Information

    Name

    Odysseus

    Nickname

    Wily Odysseus, Mr. Sneaky Pants

    Sex

    Male

    Current city

    Elysium, the Underworld

    Work & Education

    Occupation

    Intelligent Hero
    Creative Problem Solver

    Education

    Hermes' Academy of Cunning and Guile

    Beliefs

    Political views

    I support whoever is advantageous at the time

    Family & Friends (& Enemies)

    Parents

    Anticlea (Mom) 
    Laertes (Dad)

    Children

    Telemachus (with Penelope)
    (and maybe some others…)

    Friends

    Athena
    Agamemnon (sort of)
    Menelaus (sort of)

    Enemies

    Poseidon
    Polyphemus
    The Sirens
    Scylla

    Relationships

    Relationship status

    Married to Penelope
    Flings with Circe and Calypso (oops)

    Favorites

    TV Shows

    Battlestar Galactica

    Quotations

    "The bold are helpless without cleverness."
    – Euripides

    "The height of cleverness is being able to conceal it."
    – Francois de la Rochefoucauld

    "Homeward bound
    I wish I was
    Homeward bound
    Home, where my thought's escaping
    Home, where my music's playing
    Home, where my love lies waiting
    Silently for me"
    – Simon and Garfunkel

    "We are only falsehood, duplicity, contradiction; we both conceal and disguise ourselves from ourselves."
    – Blaise Pascal

    Books

    Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift 
    Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain 
    The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway 
    Moby-Dick by Herman Melville 
    "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost 
    On the Road by Jack Kerouac 
    The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis 
    Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
    Life of Pi by Yann Martel 
    "Dream-Land" by Edgar Allan Poe 
    The Road by Cormac McCarthy
    Ulysses by James Joyce 
    The Iliad by Homer 
    The Odyssey by Homer (duh) 

    Music

    Sloop John B by the Beach Boys 
    Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros 
    Fantastic Voyage by Lakeside 
    I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For by U2 
    Homeward Bound by Simon and Garfunkel 
    Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show 
    Ain't No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terell 
    Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver 

    Movies

    O Brother, Where Art Thou? 
    Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey 
    Cast Away 
    Thor 
    Spirited Away 
    Forrest Gump 
    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 

    Activities & Interests

    Likes

    Cruise Ships
    Homecoming
    April Fools Day
    Poker
    Chess Tournaments
    Masquerades

    Interests

    Diplomacy
    Strategery
    Epic Adventure
    Underworld Exploration

    Groups

    Chess Players of the World
    Underworld Explorers
    Puzzle Solvers
    Masters of Disguise

    • Spotter's Guide

      Odysseus might be pretty hard to spot if he doesn't want you to find him. His reputation for being one of the craftiest heroes is well-earned. We highly recommend you go down to Elysium, the city of the blessed dead, and have a chat with him. He's one of the most famous Greek heroes of all time, and he definitely has stories to tell. You better watch out, though, that silver-tongued devil can charm a snake out of its skin.

      Sex: Male
      Age: Middle-aged
      Build: Lean and muscular
      Complexion: Tanned
      Hair Color: Brown
      Facial Hair: Beard
      Scars/marks/tattoos: Battle scars
      Jewelry and accessories: None
      Clothing: Robes
      Armor: The Armor of Achilles (booya)
      Type of Weapon: Spear, Sword, Bow and Arrows… and Brains

      Typical Companions:

      Agamemnon
      Menelaus
      Achilles
      His loyal crew
      Penelope

      Known Hangouts:

      Troy
      The Mediterranean
      Ithaca
      Chess Tournaments

    • Sightings

      Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

      The Iliad by Homer

      Odysseus is a man with a plan in Homer's epic recounting of the Trojan War.

      Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

      The Odyssey by Homer

      This epic poem is all Odysseus all the time.

      Dec 20, 2019

      Rheus by Euripides

      Sneaky Odysseus helps assassinate the title character in this tragedy.

      Dec 20, 2019

      Ajax by Sophocles

      When Odysseus is awarded the armor of fallen Achilles in this ancient drama, Ajax goes totally haywire.

      Hecuba by Euripides

      Our hero makes an appearance in this tragedy about the Queen of Troy.

      Dec 20, 2019

      Philoctetes by Sophocles

      This time, Odysseus has to win the help of a man he abandoned on a desert island.

      Dec 20, 2019

      The Cyclopes by Euripides

      In this uniquely surviving satyr play, Euripides turns the story of Odysseus's blinding the cannibalistic Cyclops, Polyphemus, into an R-rated comedy.

      Dec 20, 2019

      Metamorphoses by Ovid

      Odysseus's contest with Ajax and his affair with Circe are given the Roman treatment in Ovid's epic poem.

      Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

      The Inferno by Dante Alighieri

      According to Dante, Odysseus belongs in the 8th circle of Hell for his deceiving ways.

      Dec 20, 1883

      "Ulysses" by Lord Alfred Tennyson

      Odysseus decides he's got to go adventuring again in this 19th-century poem.

      Dec 20, 1996

      "Circe's Power" by Louise Glück

      Check out Circe's version of her affair with Odysseus. Yowza.

      Dec 20, 1999

      The Odyssey

      The epic poem was transformed into an epic TV series.

      Dec 20, 1999

      Hercules

      Odysseus makes a cameo in Disney's animated version of the adventures of young Heracles.

      Dec 20, 2019

      Troy

      Odysseus is just one hero among many in this star-studded Hollywood blockbuster.

      Dec 20, 2019

      Marvel Illustrated: The Odyssey

      And of course, Marvel's got you covered with their digital comic version of Odysseus's greatest adventure.