The Odyssey Important Characters

Odysseus - the protagonist and hero of the story who journeys home from Troy to Ithaca while facing a myriad of challenges, ultimately regaining his place as king

Telemachus - Odysseus's son who supports his father in his quest to regain his palace and rule over Ithaca

Penelope - Wife of Odysseus and mother of Telemachus who stays loyal to Odysseus during his twenty years away from home

Athena - goddess of wisdom and war who helps Odysseus on his quest to return home and resume his position

Poseidon - god of the sea who tries to steer Odysseus's ship off course whenever possible as revenge for what Odysseus did to his son, the Cyclops

Antinous - leader of Penelope's suitors who plots to kill Telemachus, is rude to a disguised Odysseus and ultimately dies from an arrow to the throat

Eurymachus - another suitor who revolts against Odysseus only to be killed

Amphinomus - a kinder suitors who Odysseus tries to convince to leave but still dies in the battle

Eumaeus - loyal swineherd who helps Odysseus when he finally arrives home

Eurycleia - old servant to Odysseus and Penelope who recognizes Odysseus by the scar on his foot

Calypso - beautiful nymph who falls in love with Odysseus and holds him prisoner there for seven years

Polyphemus - one of the Cyclops (one-eyed giants) who is blinded by Odysseus as Odysseus escapes from his cave

Circe - goddess who transforms Odysseus's crew into pigs, makes Odysseus her lover, and gives him advice for his journey

Laertes - Odysseus's aging father who lost his wife to grief

Tiresias - prophet in the underworld who tells Odysseus he will one day return to Ithaca

Nestor - King of Pylos who assists Telemachus in finding information as to Odysseus's whereabouts.

Menelaus - King of Sparta who offers Telemachus assistance in his quest to find Odysseus

Nausicaa - daughter of King Alcinous who discovers Odysseus on the beach and gives him a warm reception at her parents' palace

Alcinous - King of the Phaeacians who offers Odysseus hospitality, hears the story of Odysseus's journey, and provides him with safe passage back home

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