Odyssey Characters Analysis

Ulysses (aka Odysseus): Protagonist and main character, and rightful king of Ithaca. He is known for his cunning and clever skills, as well as his strength, bravery, loyalty, and integrity. 


Penelope: Ulysses' wife. She waits patiently and faithfully for Ulysses to return home. 


Telemachus: Son of Ulysses and Penelope. Heir to the throne of Ithaca, who must face growing up while protecting his mother, and the throne. Only a child when Ulysses left home. 


Laertes: Father of Ulysses, an old king. 


Anticlea: Mother of Ulysses.


Eurycleia: Palace nurse/ attendant to Ulysses and Telemachus. 


Nestor: King of Pylos


Pisistratus: Son of Nestor


Argos: Ulysses' faithful old dog.


Eumaeus and Philoetius: Loyal tenders of Ulysses' livestock. 


Antinous and Eurymachus: Two of the most prominent suitors vying for Penelope's hand and the throne of Ithaca. Antinous is the more aggressive and brutish, while Eurymachus is more diplomatic, known as a smooth talker.  


Amphinomus: A suitor, but less objectionable than most. 


Eupeithes: Father of Antinous, and leader of those seeking revenge upon Ulysses after the slaughter of the suitors. 


Melanthius: Disloyal and foul-tempered tender of Ulysses' goats. 


Melantho: Sister of Melanthius; Disloyal palace maidservant who is carrying on an illicit affair with suitor Eurymachus. 


Agamemnon: King of Mycenae. Assassinated by his wife and her lover upon his return from commanding the Greeks at Troy. 


Clytemnestra: Unfaithful and murderous wife of Agamemnon


Alcinous: King of Phaeacia who helps Ulysses return to Ithaca.


Tiresias: A blind psychic who offers Ulysses warnings, advice, and visions of the future.


Nausicaa: Daughter of Alcinous who finds him washed ashore at Phaeacia


Scylla: A six-headed monster that Ulysses must escape from. 


Zeus: King of the gods


Athena: Daughter of Zeus


Polyphemus, aka, "Cyclops." One-eyed giant who attempts to trap and kill Ulysses


Poseidon: Father of Polyphemus, and god of the Sea


Calypso: A goddess who holds Ulysses captive for seven years, hoping to marry him. 


Circe: A goddess who casts a spell, turning some of Ulysses' men into pigs. 


Hermes: Son of Zeus


Aeolus: A god, and Master of the Winds. 


Lotus-eaters: Peaceful beings who feed on the lotus plant, suffering from the effects of memory loss.


Laestrygonians: Cannibals who sink most of Ulysses' fleet


Araneus, aka, Irus: A portly buffoon, almost a jester, who entertains the suitors, even at the expense of his dignity.