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23 Cards in this Set

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Odysseus
The protagonist and hero of the poem. Odysseus is the King of Ithaca, a small, rugged island on the western coast of Greece. He takes part in the Trojan War on the side of Agamemnon. Of all the heroes who return from the war, his homeward voyage is the longest and most perilous. Although Odysseus is in many ways a typical Homeric hero, he is not perfect, and his very human flaws play an important role in the work.
Penelope
The "much-enduring" wife of Odysseus and the patient mother of Telemachus. If travel is Odysseus' test, staying home is Penelope's. She keeps home and family intact until Odysseus can return to claim his rights. The suffering she undergoes and the tricks that she employs to keep her suitors at bay bear testimony to her power of endurance and love for her son and husband.
Telemachos
Odysseus' son. A mere child when his father left for the Trojan War, Telemachus is, at the beginning of The Odyssey, an inexperienced, unhappy, and helpless young man. His travels in search of his father help him to mature, and, on Odysseus' return, he fulfills his duties, as the son of a hero should.
Athena
The goddess of wisdom and the daughter of Zeus. She is Odysseus' champion amongst the gods, and she aids him and Telemachus throughout the poem, displaying great tact, intelligence, and cleverness in all her endeavors.
Nestor
The King of Pylos. He had fought on the side of Agamemnon in the Trojan War. When Telemachus sails off to find news of Odysseus, he first visits Nestor at Pylos. Nestor contributes very little to Telemachus' knowledge of his father, though he is generous and helpful.
Menelaos
The King of Sparta. The Trojan War was fought to rescue his wife, Helen, who was abducted by Paris. In The Odyssey, both husband and wife are back at Sparta. An old friend of Odysseus, Menelaus welcomes Telemachus into his home.
Helen
The wife of Menelaus and the cause of the Trojan War. Helen's portrayal is more striking than that of Menelaus. She is back with Menelaus at Sparta, happy and at peace, having learned from her sufferings. The tenderness which she possesses in The Iliad is turned to new purposes here in The Odyssey.
Antinous
The most vociferous and proud of the suitors. He plots Telemachus' death and often leads the suitors in their mistreatment of Odysseus and his household.
Eurymachus
Another outspoken and powerful suitor. In Book 22, he begs Odysseus for forgiveness on behalf of all the suitors.
Mentor
Another Ithacan who is loyal to Odysseus. When Odysseus departed, he had given charge of his house to this man. Athena often disguises herself as Mentor in order to aid Odysseus and Telemachus.
Calypso
a sea nymph, daughter of Atlas, who delayed Odysseus on her dark and depressing island (Ogygia) for seven years.

Athena intervened and asked Zeus to order her to let him go. Zeus sent Hermēs and Kalypsō reluctantly agreed. She had promised him immortality if he stayed. He left to be with his beloved Penelope. Kalypsō died in grief. With Odysseus, she was the mother of Nausinous.
Hermes
Hermēs saved Odysseus from both Calypso and Circe, by convincing the first to let Odysseus go and then protecting him from the latter by bestowing upon him an herb that would protect him from Circe's spell.
the "Old Man of the Sea"
According to Homer (Odyssey 4:412), the sandy island of Pharos situated off the coast of the Nile Delta was the home of Proteus, the oracular Old Man of the Sea and herdsman of the sea-beasts.
Nausicaa
daughter of King Alcinous of the Phaeaceans; she found the shipwrecked Odysseus and brought him to her father. Odysseus recounts his adventures to Alcinous for a substantial portion of the Odyssey, and Alcinous provides Odysseus with the ships that finally bring him home to Ithaca. According to Aristotle and Dictys, she married Telemachus, Odysseus's son, and had a son named Perseptolis or Ptoliporthus.
Alcinous
was a son of Nausithous and father of Nausicaa and Laodamas with Arete.

He was King of the Phaeacians on Scheria and welcomed both Odysseus who had been shipwrecked on his shore and the Argonauts.
Hephaistus
In the Olympian order, Hephaestus was formally paired with Aphrodite, whom no one could possess. Although married to Hephaestus, Aphrodite gave herself in secret to Ares, according to a tale in the Odyssey. When Hephaestus found out about it from Helios, the Sun, who sees all, he surprised them during one of their trysts ensnared in his invisibly fine and unbreakable net and left them exposed for all of Olympus to see.
Circe
her home is described as a stone mansion standing in the middle of a clearing in a dense wood. Around the house prowled lions and wolves, the drugged victims of her magic; they were not dangerous, and fawned on all newcomers. Circe worked at a huge loom. She invited Odysseus' crew to a feast, the food laced with one of her magical potions, and she turned them all into pigs with a wand after they gorged themselves on it. Only Eurylochus, suspecting treachery from the outset, escaped to warn Odysseus and the others who had stayed behind at the ships. Odysseus set out to rescue his men, but was intercepted by Hermes and told to procure some of the herb moly to protect him from the same fate. When her magic failed he was able to force her to return his men to human form. She later fell in love with Odysseus and assisted him in his quest to reach his home after he and his crew spent a year with her on her island. Odysseus and Circe made love in her "flawless bed of love" as well.
Tiresias
After his death he was visited in the underworld by Odysseus, to whom he gave valuable advice concerning the rest of his voyage, specifically concerning the cattle of Apollo, which Odysseus' men did not follow.
siren
who lived on an island called Sirenum scopuli which was surrounded by cliffs and rocks. Approaching sailors were drawn to them by their enchanting singing, causing them to sail on the cliffs and drown. They were considered the daughters of Achelous or Phorcys. Their number is variously reported as between two and five, and their individual names as Thelxiepia/Thelxiope/Thelxinoe, Molpe, Aglaophonos/Aglaope, Pisinoe/Peisinoë, Parthenope, Ligeia, Leucosia, Raidne, and Teles. According to some versions, they were playmates of young Persephone and were changed into the monsters of lore by Demeter for failing to intervene when Persephone was abducted.
scylla
In Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus is given advice by Circe to sail closer to Scylla, for Charybdis could drown his whole ship. Odysseus then successfully navigates his ship past Scylla and Charybdis, but Scylla manages to catch six of his men, devouring them alive.
Charybdis
On the other side of the strait was Scylla, another sea-monster. The two sides of the strait are within an arrow's range of each other, so close that sailors attempting to avoid Charybdis will pass too close to Scylla and vice versa. The phrase between Scylla and Charybdis has come to mean being in a state where one is between two dangers and moving away from one will cause you to be in danger from the other and may be the genesis of the phrase "between a rock and a hard place" speaking of the rock upon which scylla dwelt and the hard place being the whirlpool of Charybdis.
Eumaios
Eumaeus is the first person Odysseus meets after his return to Ithaca. Although he doesn't recognize his old master in disguise, Eumaeus still treats him well, giving him food and shelter. Eumaeus also welcomes Odysseus' son Telemachus when he returns from his voyage to Pylos and Sparta and Telemachus also does not recognize his father at first. During Odysseus' absence Eumaeus had acted as a father to Telemachus.

Despite being a swineherd, Eumaeus was fairly wealthy and could afford to buy his own slave. However, the suitors of Penelope had abused him, taking his best pigs for their own feasts and leaving him with only piglets to eat. Later, when Eumaeus finally recognizes Odysseus, he helps Odysseus kill the suitors.

Interestingly, Eumaeus is the only character in the Odyssey whom the narrator addresses in the second person, as δι Ευμαιη, "you, Eumaeus." He is also frequently called the "noble swineherd."
Melantos
an insolent goat herder who curses and tries to kick Odysseus