The Odyssey Characters

  • Odysseus, the Greek hero who devised the Trojan Horse. After the Trojan War, Odysseus spends ten years trying to get back home to Ithaca.
  • Penelope, Odysseus' devoted wife, who fends off her suitors by refusing to marry until she finishes weaving a cloth that she cleverly unwinds every night.
  • Telemachus, Odysseus' young son, who flees the suitors to search for his long lost father.
  • Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom, who disguises herself as Mentor in order to help Telemachus.
  • Calypso, a nymph who prevents Odysseus from returning to his wife for seven years.
  • Circe, an enchantress who turns Odysseus' men into swine and takes Odysseus as a love for one year.
  • Poseidon, the God of the Sea, who has never forgiven Odysseus for blinding his son, the Cyclops.

Character Analysis

Athena
It could be said that Athena is Odysseus’ “Guardian goddess”; after all, she is the Greek goddess of not only Battle, but Wisdom. Her wrath is what causes the Acheans’ difficulty in getting home, but she seems to have a special place in her heart for Odysseus. Her primary role in the epic seems to be for Odysseus; even the interactions she has with other characters are for the hero’s benefit.

In Book 5, Athena stills the waters Poseidon threw against Odysseus’ ship in an attempt to destroy it, avenging the Cyclops. Thanks to the goddess Odysseus and his crew are allowed to make it to shore. Later, in Book 22, Athena comes to the hero’s aid more as a “coach” or mentor than...

(The entire section is 1154 words.)