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Free Study Guide-The Odyssey by Homer-Free Book Notes Summary
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Minor Characters (continued)


The daughter of the mighty Proteus. She helps Menelaus to trap her father so that he may hear about the past and future from him.


An Ithacan. Athena borrows his ship for Telemachus to take to Pylos for finding news of Odysseus. It is through Noemon that the suitors realize Telemachus has left Ithaca and has gone to Pylos.


A herald in Odysseus' home at Ithaca. He is loyal to Penelope and often overhears the vicious plans of the suitors and reports them to Penelope. He is spared at the end.


A goddess. She abides on a distant isle, Ogygia, and, when Odysseus reaches there after a shipwreck, he stays with her for eight years. It is from her isle that Odysseus leaves for Phaecia, from which he finally reaches Ithaca. Calypso loves Odysseus sincerely, but has no choice but to let him go.


The Daughter of Cadmus. She was initially a mortal, but is now a goddess who resides in the deep sea. She helps Odysseus to reach Phaecia after his ship is wrecked by Poseidon by giving him a magical veil which prevents him from drowning.


The daughter of Alcinous, the King of Phaecia. She is the first to meet Odysseus when he reaches Phaecia. She guides him to the city and advises him to approach her mother Arete if he wishes to get help to return home.


The King of Phaecia. He is a hospitable host to Odysseus, who stays with him for a few days. Odysseus relates the stories of his adventures to Alcinous, who helps him return home.


The wife of Alcinous. She is a well-respected woman at Phaecia. When Odysseus reaches the Phaecian capital's palace, he clasps her knees and asks for help to get back to his home. She is obliging.


The divine minstrel at Alcinous' palace. Upon hearing his songs of the heroes of Troy, Odysseus begins to cry.


A servant at Alcinous' palace. He helps to lead the blind Demodocus into the hall and performs other miscellaneous duties.


Son of Alcinous. He suggests that Odysseus should also take part in the Phaecian games and try his hand at some sport.


A strong and handsome Phaecian youth. He insults Odysseus when he refuses to take part in the Phaecian games, but later apologizes on Alcinous' instructions.


The second son of Alcinous. He and Laodamas dance to entertain Odysseus at Phaecia.


The third son of Alcinous. A swift runner, he wins the race in the Phaecian games.

The giant Polyphemus

A Cyclops and the son of the god Poseidon. Odysseus enters his cave with his companions after leaving Troy and is trapped. While escaping, he blinds the eye of this giant, for which he is punished gravely by Poseidon.


Keeper of the winds. He resides on a floating island along with his large family. After the adventure with the Cyclops, Odysseus and his men stay with Aeolus for a whole month and then are sent on their way to Ithaca. Aeolus gives Odysseus a bag of winds that his men foolishly open, causing them to be driven back to the Aeolian isle.


A Laestrygonian noble. He is as bulky as a mountain peak and kills many of Odysseus' men when they arrive at Lamos and Telepylos after leaving the Aeolian isle.


A goddess. She resides on the Aegaean isle. After the Laestrygonian encounter, Odysseus and his men reach her place and stay with her for a year. She begins as a malevolent witch who turns his men into pigs, but later helps Odysseus and his companions.


The youngest of Odysseus' crew. When Odysseus and his men are about to leave Circe's isle in order to descend into the underworld, Elpenor falls from the roof of Circe's dwelling and dies. His soul meets Odysseus in the underworld and asks for a burial.


The most vociferous of Odysseus' crew. He plays a significant part in the Circe and Thrinacian isle episodes but perishes in the sea with the rest of the crew when Odysseus' ship is destroyed.


A legendary Greek seer. His soul prophesies the future for Odysseus in the Hall of Hades and warns him of the dangers that he may face on his journey back to Ithaca.


Odysseus' mother. Her soul meets him briefly in the Hall of Hades. Mother and son wish to embrace but cannot, as she is a spirit.


The King of Mycenae and Menelaus' brother. A heroic leader in the Trojan War, he was killed by Aegisthus, his wife's lover, upon his return home. His soul meets Odysseus in the Hall of Hades and warns him of the treachery of women.


A hero of the Trojan War. His soul meets Odysseus in the Hall of Hades and says that he would prefer to be a serf in the land of the living than a great prince in the land of the dead.

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