Odyssey 05—Characters

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05 in the Odyssey series; characters in the Odyssey

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Odyssey 05—Characters

  1. 1. The OdysseyCharacters<br />By Homer<br />The epic story of a journey —<br />Symbolic of our journey through life.<br />4/10/10<br />NMHS English 1, Charles Coursey<br />
  2. 2. TheProtagonist and his human allies<br />The “Good Guys” in the story<br />4/10/10<br />NMHS English 1, Charles Coursey<br />
  3. 3. Odysseus<br />The protagonist of the Odyssey. Odysseus fought among the other Greek heroes at Troy and now struggles to return to his kingdom in Ithaca. Odysseus is the husband of Queen Penelope and the father of Prince Telemachus. Though a strong and courageous warrior, he is most renowned for his cunning. He is a favorite of the goddess Athena, who often sends him divine aid, but a bitter enemy of Poseidon, who frustrates his journey at every turn. <br />4/10/10<br />NMHS English 1, Charles Coursey<br />
  4. 4. Telemachus<br />Odysseus’s son. An infant when Odysseus left for Troy, Telemachus is about twenty at the beginning of the story. He is a natural obstacle to the suitors desperately courting his mother, but despite his courage and good heart, he initially lacks the poise and confidence to oppose them. His maturation, especially during his trip to Pylos and Sparta in Books 3 and 4, provides a subplot to the epic. Athena often assists him.<br />4/10/10<br />NMHS English 1, Charles Coursey<br />
  5. 5. Penelope<br />Wife of Odysseus and mother of Telemachus. Penelope spends her days in the palace pining for the husband who left for Troy twenty years earlier and never returned. Homer portrays her as some-times flighty and excitable but also clever and steadfastly true to her husband.<br />4/10/10<br />NMHS English 1, Charles Coursey<br />
  6. 6. Eumaeus<br />The loyal shepherd who, along with the cowherd Philoetius, helps Odysseus reclaim his throneafter his return to Ithaca. Even though he does not know that the vagabond who appears at his hut is Odysseus, Eumaeus gives the man food and shelter.<br />4/10/10<br />NMHS English 1, Charles Coursey<br />
  7. 7. Eurycleia<br />The aged and loyal servant who nursed Telemachus when he was a baby.<br />Eurycleia has been with the family since the beginning. She is well informed about palace intrigues and serves as confidante to her master. <br />4/10/10<br />NMHS English 1, Charles Coursey<br />
  8. 8. The Gods<br />Greek gods who help — <br />and the one who hinder — <br />the Protagonist (Odysseus) <br />on his epic Journey<br />4/10/10<br />NMHS English 1, Charles Coursey<br />
  9. 9. Zeus<br />King of gods and men, who mediates the disputes of the gods on Mount Olympus.<br />Zeus is occasionally depicted as weighing men’s fates in his scales. He sometimes helps Odysseus or permits Athena to do the same.<br />4/10/10<br />NMHS English 1, Charles Coursey<br />
  10. 10. Athena<br />Daughter of Zeus and goddess of wisdom, purposeful battle, and the womanly arts. Athena assists Odysseus and Telemachus with divine powers throughout the epic, 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.<br />4/10/10<br />NMHS English 1, Charles Coursey<br />
  11. 11. Poseidon<br />God of the sea.As the suitors (they guys who tear up his home and try to steal his wife while he is away) are Odysseus’s mortal antagonists, Poseidon is his divine antagonist. <br />He despises Odysseus for claiming he needed no help from the gods to win the Trojan war. He also hates him for blinding his son, the Cyclops Polyphemus, and constantly hampers his journey home. Ironically, Poseidon is the patron of the seafaring Phaeacians, who ultimately help to return Odysseus to Ithaca. <br />4/10/10<br />NMHS English 1, Charles Coursey<br />
  12. 12. TheAntagonists<br />The human “Bad Guys” in the story<br />4/10/10<br />NMHS English 1, Charles Coursey<br />
  13. 13. Antinous<br />The most arrogant of Penelope’s suitors.Antinous leads the campaign to have Telemachus killed. <br />Unlike the other suitors, he is never portrayed sympathetically (as if he has any qualities of human decency at all), and he is the first to die when Odysseus returns.<br />4/10/10<br />NMHS English 1, Charles Coursey<br />
  14. 14. Eurymachus<br />A manipulative, deceitful suitor.Eurymachus is the guy who talked really sweet to Penelope but ratted on her when he went to her room and found out she was trying not to finish the tapestry any time soon. <br />He’s also the guy who was always speaking up and getting the other suitors to do whatever he wanted them to do. His charisma and duplicity (self-interested double-talk) allow him to exert some influence over the other suitors.<br />4/10/10<br />NMHS English 1, Charles Coursey<br />
  15. 15. Other characters “Good Guys”<br />Helpful people and gods <br />you’ll need to keep in mind.<br />4/10/10<br />NMHS English 1, Charles Coursey<br />
  16. 16. Other allies — AKA “Good Guys”<br />There are other “Good Guys” who helped either Odysseus or Telemachus to bring the story to a righteous ending — like King Menelaus of Sparta, who received Telemachus, but told him (mistakenly) that Odysseus was dead. And Hermes (the messenger god) was kind of helpful in delivering messages from Zeus to Odysseus and Calypso.<br />But they’re the only ones I’m going to mention here, so you won’t be held responsible for knowing any of the rest of them on any tests.<br />4/10/10<br />NMHS English 1, Charles Coursey<br />
  17. 17. Mythological Dangers worth remembering<br />Archetypal/Mythical dangers <br />you’ll need to keep in mind.<br />4/10/10<br />NMHS English 1, Charles Coursey<br />
  18. 18. Kharybdis<br />In The Odyssey, Kharybdis (also spelled Charybdis) was experienced by Odysseus as a powerful whirlpool, located opposite Scylla (the sea multi-headed sea monster) on either side of a smooth, easy-sailing water through the middle of a narrow sea passage.<br />Sail too close to Kharybdis and your boat will be sucked in. Everyone aboard will die at the bottom of the sea.<br />Kharybdis is way too cool not to remember.<br />4/10/10<br />NMHS English 1, Charles Coursey<br />
  19. 19. Scylla<br />Scylla was a terror, located opposite Kharybdis on either side of a narrow strait of smooth, easy-sailing water through the middle of a passage.<br />She was a monster rooted to a rock in the sea. She regularly ate sailors who passed by too closely. She was described by Homer in The Odyssey as having six heads perched on long (snakey) necks with twelve feet. <br />Remember that, in the video, Odysseus directed his boat beyond the middle (smooth-sailing route) — too far away from Kharybdis, too close to Scylla. She ate most of Odysseus’s crew and the whole boat when they went over the waterfall? <br />Scylla is way too cool not to remember.<br />4/10/10<br />NMHS English 1, Charles Coursey<br />
  20. 20. The OdysseyCharacters<br />These are not all the characters in the story,<br />But they’re all you need to remember<br />for upcoming quizzes and tests.<br />4/10/10<br />NMHS English 1, Charles Coursey<br />

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