Odyssey Part 1 Study Guide

Odysseus [character] (main character) Son of Laertes and Anticlea, husband of Penelope and father of Telemachus, king of Ithaca. A cunning, shrewd and eloquent hero.
Achaeans [character/s] Greek people, including people of Ithaca. Odysseus’ men.
Ithaca [place] Home of Odysseus and Penelope. An island in Greece.
Troy (Ilium) [place] A kingdom that was destroyed by the Greeks in the Trojan War. Odysseus is coming home from here.
Hades [character] God of the Underworld
Homer [character] A Greek poet, author of the Iliad and the Odyssey
Ismarus [place] The City of Cicones; where the wind carried Odysseus sailing form Troy
Laertes [character] Father of Odysseus
Lotus [character/s] People who feed Odysseus’s men lotus plants to make them forget Ithaca
Cyclops [character/s] One of a race of giants having a single eye in the middle of their forehead
Athena [character] Daughter of Zeus and goddess of wisdom, purposeful battle, and the womanly arts. Athena assists Odysseus and Telemachus with divine powers throughout the epic poem, and she speaks up for them in the councils of the gods on Mount Olympus. She often appears in disguise as Mentor, an old friend of Odysseus.
Zeus [character] The supreme god of ancient Greek mythology. Struck down Odysseus’ ship and killed his men after they ate Helios’ cattle.
Poseidon [character] God of the sea, earthquakes, and horses. Prepared anguish for Odysseus and his men.
Scylla [character] A sea nymph transformed into a sea monster who lived on one side of a narrow strait, has six heads
Charybdis [character] A ship-devouring whirlpool lying on the other side of a narrow strait from Scylla
Tiresias [character] A Theban prophet who inhabits the underworld. Tiresias meets Odysseus when Odysseus journeys to the underworld. He shows Odysseus how to get back to Ithaca and allows Odysseus to communicate with the other souls in Hades.
Siren [character/s] Creatures who call to sailors with a tempting song of knowledge; all who answer die; Odysseus instructs his men to lash him to the mast so that he can hear their song without peril (his crew does not hear the song for the wax placed in their ears.)
Aeolus [character] A mortal whom Zeus has appointed keeper of the winds.
Helios [character] Sun god, Odysseus’ crew ate his cattle and were all granted with death.
Penelope [character] The wife of Odysseus and a symbol of devotion and fidelity
Telemachus [character] Odysseus and Penelope’s son
Polyphemus [character] One of the Cyclopes (uncivilized one-eyed giants) whose island Odysseus comes to soon after leaving Troy. Polyphemus imprisons Odysseus and his crew and tries to eat them, but Odysseus blinds him through a clever ruse and manages to escape. In doing so, however, Odysseus angers Polyphemus’s father, Poseidon.
The Cattle of the Sun of God – they are Helios’ cattle – Odysseus told his men that if they are the cattle they would die – they are the cattle so Zeus killed them by striking their ship with lightening – only Odysseus survived
The Land of the Dead [Place] – The place where Odysseus encounter Tiresias, who told Odysseus his prediction about what will happen when he gets home
The Lotus Eaters – they landed for water, then ate lotus flowers and had no desire to leave- Odysseus had to drag them back
Amphinomus Another Suitor
Alcinous King of the Phoenicians, to whom Odysseus tells his story
Calypso Sea goddess who loved Odysseus
Circe Enchantress who helped Odysseus

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