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Free Study Guide-The Odyssey by Homer-Free Book Notes Summary
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Ajax

Another Trojan hero. His soul appears in the Hall of Hades when Odysseus goes there but refuses to speak to Odysseus as the latter had won a battle against him. This battle was fought for the arms of Achilles at the end of the Trojan War.

Heracles

The son of Zeus and a great hero. Odysseus meets and talks to his soul in the Hall of Hades. Heracles recounts his own destiny.

Eumaeus

Odysseus' chief swineherd at Ithaca. Eumaeus is loyal to his master and helps him in the slaughter of the suitors.

Theoclymenus

A soothsayer. A fugitive, he sails with Telemachus from Pylos to Ithaca. He interprets signs and omens at Ithaca which indicate that Odysseus will soon slaughter the suitors.

Amphinomus

One of the suitors. He is the only one who is somewhat compassionate, but he, too, is slaughtered in the end.

Eurycleia

A respected, old servant at Odysseus' palace. She is loyal to the household and exhibits a clever and sensible mind.

Antiphus

One of the noblemen at Ithaca. He remains loyal to Odysseus and is a friend of Telemachus.

Melanthius

Odysseus' chief goatherd. He is a rude, pompous man and is disloyal to Odysseus. He is cruelly killed by Odysseus' loyal servants in the end.


Phemius

The bard at Odysseus' palace at Ithaca. He remains loyal to his king, though he is forced to sing for the suitors while they feast in the halls.

Eurynome

A maidservant of Odysseus. She is loyal to Penelope and Odysseus.

Irus

A common beggar at Ithaca. He challenges the disguised Odysseus to a fight. Odysseus accepts and defeats him easily.

Melantho

A shameless and rude maidservant at Odysseus' place in Ithaca. She is Eurymachus' paramour and insults the disguised Odysseus more than once.

Ctessipus

Another arrogant suitor. He throws an ox's foot at the disguised Odysseus and speaks vain words.

Leiodes

The soothsayer among the suitors. He is the first to attempt Odysseus' bow, but he fails miserably.

Philoetius

Odysseus' chief cowherd. He helps Odysseus in the slaughter of the suitors and displays a quick, efficient mind.

Agelaus

Another impudent suitor. He urges his companions to attack Odysseus in the battle in the hall.

Laertes

Odysseus' old father. He no longer resides at Ithaca, but at a farm in the country. Odysseus meets him in the last Book, and Athena gives this old warrior strength to fight with the suitors' kinsmen.

Dolius

This old man stays with his sons at the same vineyard where Laertes dwells. He embraces Odysseus warmly and welcomes his return.

Eupeithes

Antinous' father. He persuades the suitors' kinsmen to avenge the wooers' death. He leads the townspeople to Laertes' farm to confront Odysseus and is killed by Laertes himself.

Hermes

One of the gods. He often acts as a messenger of Zeus. He is sent to ask Calypso to release Odysseus, and he later leads the suitors' souls to the Hall of Hades.

Zeus

The supreme god and Athena's father. His word is the ultimate dictum, and he often appears in this epic, casting thunderbolts and speaking to Athena.

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