A True History Characters


Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)


Lucian, the author and narrator, who says in the introduction that readers should not believe a word of what follows. He is going to make fun of historians and travel writers who tell fantastic tales about exotic places and unbelievable peoples and creatures. He then becomes the narrator of his own fantastic story and strives to convince readers that he is telling the truth. He reports events and details in a matter-of-fact manner, presenting himself as a curious yet rational observer. The narrator is a typical Greek intellectual: He wants to discover the unknown and to understand it. He is well versed in Homer and the literary tradition, and he has more than a passing interest in philosophy. Although occasionally vulnerable to fear and feelings of homesickness, he is resolved to continue his journey to the continent on the other side of the ocean, and beyond. Lucian is also a reincarnation of Odysseus: His voyage is a process of discovery and self-knowledge. The relationship between Lucian the author and Lucian the narrator is like that between Homer and Odysseus; in each case, the storyteller manages to outdo the author in imagination and fabrication.


Endymion (ehn-DIH-mee-ehn), the King of the Moon, a human being who, as a handsome young shepherd, was carried off while asleep by the moon goddess, Selene. She gave him eternal sleep. He is hospitable and kind to the...

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