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2011-01-25 18:55:55

Characters and questions on the Odyssey.
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  1. Who is Odysseus?
    Odysseus is the King of Ithaca, the husband of Penelope, and the father of Telemachus. Having just fought at Troy, he fights to return to Ithaca.
  2. Who is Penelope?
    Penelope is the Queen of Ithaca, the wife of Odysseus, and the mother of Telemachus. During the story, she is forced to deal with the constant pressuring of the suitors to marry.
  3. Who is Telemachus?
    Telemachus is the Prince of Ithaca, and the son of Odysseus and Penelope. During the story, he goes to Sparta and Pylos to find news of his father.
  4. Who is Athena?
    Athena is the goddess who helps Odysseus return home, Telemachus get to Sparta and Pylos, and see the suitors fall. She is the goddess of battle and knowledge, and the daughter of Zeus.
  5. Who is Posiedon?
    Posiedon is the god that doesn't want Odysseus to return. He gets mad because Odysseus forgets to thank him after the Trojan War. In the book, he is always left out of the meetings of the gods, when Athena begs Zeus to help him.
  6. Who is Antinous?
    Antinous is the leader of Penelope's suitors, and the one Odysseus kills first. He also was the one who plotted to kill Telemachus.
  7. Who is Eurymachus?
    Eurymachus is one of the major suitors.
  8. Who is Eumaeus?
    Eumaeus is the loyal swineherd who shelters Odysseus, disguised as an old man. He helps defeat the suitors later on in the book.
  9. Who is Philoetious?
    Philoetious is the loyal cowherd who also helps Odysseus defeat the suitors.
  10. Who is Eurycleia?
    Eurycleia is the loyal old nurse who nursed Odysseus and Telemachus as babies.
  11. Who is Melanthius?
    Melanthius is the brother of Melantho, and he is the unloyal goatherd. He supports the suitors, especially Eurymachus.
  12. Who is Melantho?
    Melantho is the sister of Melanthius. She is the unloyal maid who is having an affair with Eurymachus. She is rude to Odysseus when he is in disguise, and she tells Eurymachus that Penelope was unweaving her loom.
  13. Who is Calypso?
    Calypso is a goddess who falls in love with Odysseus. She keeps him captive on her island, Ogygia, for seven years before Hermes forces her to let him go. She offers him immortality to stay, but he refuses.
  14. Who is Polyphemus?
    Polyphemus is Posiedon's son. After Odysseus and his crew stumble onto his island, he keeps them captive in his cave, where he eats two of them. Odysseus ends up escaping by blinding him, and Posiedon continues to seek further revenge.
  15. Who is Circe?
    Circe is a beautiful witch-goddess who turns Odysseus' crew into swine. After Hermes helps resist her powers, he becomes her lover and Odysseus and the crew live in her palace for a year.
  16. Who is Laertes?
    Laertes is Odysseus' father and Anticlea's husband.
  17. Who is Tiresias?
    Tiresias is a Theban prophet who Odysseus visits in the underworld. He tells him how to return to Ithaca.
  18. Who is Nestor?
    Nestor is the King of Pylos and a former warrior in the Trojan War. Telemachus visits him, but he knows little of Odysseus' whereabouts. When Telemachus leaves, he gives him his son, Peisistratus.
  19. Who is Menelaus?
    Menelaus is the King of Sparta, husband of Helen, and the brother of Agamemnon. He offers assistance to Telemachus to help look for Odysseus, when he comes to visit him.
  20. Who is Helen?
    Helen is the wife of Menelaus and Queen of Sparta. Her being captured starts the Trojan War.
  21. Who is Agamemnon?
    Agamemnon is the brother of Menelaus, and commander of the Achaean forces at Troy. Odysseus encounters Agamemnon’s spirit in Hades. Agamemnon was murdered by his wife, Clytemnestra, and her lover, Aegisthus, upon his return from the war. He was later avenged by his son Orestes.
  22. Who is Nausicaa?
    Nausicaa is a Phaecian princess who helps Odysseus by clothing him and getting him to the palace.
  23. Who is Alcinous?
    Alcinous is the King of the Phaecians. He listens to Odysseus' story intently and provides him safe passage back to Ithaca.
  24. Who is Arete?
    Arete is the Queen of the Phaeacians, wife of Alcinous, and mother of Nausicaa.
  25. ___________ means in the middle of things.
    In Media Res means in the middle of things.
  26. ___________ is always left out at the meetings of the gods.
    Posiedon is always left out at the meetings of the gods.
  27. _____________ is murdered by his wife, _____________, and her lover, ___________.
    Agamemnon is murdered by his wife, Clytemnestra, and her lover, Aegisthus.
  28. The games begin after ______________, the bard, stops singing.
    The games begin after Demodocus, the bard, stops singing.
  29. Although her parents are angry with Nausicaa, Odysseus blames __________ for the issue.
    Although her parents are angry with Nausicaa, Odysseus blames himself for the issue.
  30. ___________ makes fun of Odysseus by saying that he can't participate in the games.
    Euryalus makes fun of Odysseus by saying that he can't participate in the games.
  31. When Odysseus is made fun of for not wanting to throw the discus, he says, "The gods don't give anyone/ all their gifts" (8.183-4). What does he mean by this?
    He is implying that the boys may be strong, but not necessarily smart.
  32. Who does Aphrodite have an affair with?
  33. How is Achilles a foil of Odysseus?
    He is a foil because: They were both great heroes, but Achilles chose fame over family, and Odysseus chose family over fame.
  34. Who is the king of Phaecia?
  35. Who tells Menelaus that Odysseus is alive?

    *Hint: "the Old Man of the Sea"
  36. A Greek Word for Troy is...?
  37. The people of Ismaros are called _________.
    The people of Ismaros are called Cicones.
  38. The Laestrygonians live at the island of _______.
    The Laestrygonians live at the island of Lamus.
  39. ________ is the name Odysseus gives to the Cyclops.
    Noman is the name Odysseus gives to the Cyclops.
  40. Who is Aeolus?
    Aeolus is the god of wind.
  41. What is Aeolia?
    Aeolia is the place where Aeolus lives.
  42. What are the names of the giants that threw stones at Odysseus and his crew?
  43. What is the name of the herb that Hermes gave to Odysseus to defy Circe's potion?
  44. Which crew member requests a burial in Aeaea?
  45. Who is Odysseus' mother? How does she die?
    His mother's name is Anticleia and she commits suicide out of grief for Odysseus.
  46. Which crew member defies Odysseus?
  47. Which goddess saves Odysseus with a veil?
  48. Which muse tells Homer the story?
  49. Who punishes Odysseus for eating his cattle?
    Hyperion, the sun god
  50. What is next to Charybdis?
  51. Where is Pesistratus from?
  52. What is the island of the sun?
  53. Who finds out that his goddess wife is having an affair?
  54. Who kills Antinous' father?
  55. Where does Circe live?
  56. What happened on the Land of the Lotus Eaters?
    The men started eating lotus which made them forget about their home.
  57. Give one example of Odysseus' cunning.
    Possible answers: Odysseus coming up with the Trojan Horse idea, flattering Calypso before leaving, telling Polyphemus that he was "Noman", etc.
  58. Who does Odysseus spare when he returns?
    The swineherd, cowherd, the herald, and the bard.
  59. Who discovers Odysseus' true identidy?
  60. How does Athena get Nausicaa to go to the river to wash her clothes?
    Athena appears to her in a dream and says in order for her to get married, she needed to wash her clothing in the river.