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              Monsters of the Odyssey              


       The monsters are numerous and distinct in The Odyssey. They symbolize many things, both in the story and in our lives. They may range from aggressive monsters to human beings much like ourselves; they come in many forms. They may may be mental or physical, and may be decieving or boastful. However, one thing seems clear whether you have read the book or not: they are all very important, each and every one of them. This section of the website describes each monster's importance in both The Odyssey and in our lives.




The Monsters

Monsters and Characters Description
Calypso A nymph who keeps Odysseus on her island of Ogygia for 8 years. Calypso is very fond of Odysseus and even offers to make him immortal because she is very lonely on her island...
Cyclops The Cyclops, named Polyphemus, traps Odysseus and some of his crew in his cave. He eats six of them and then gets blinded by Odysseus. Odysseus uses his cunning skills to get out of the cave undetected by the Cyclops...
Circe A nymph who lives on Aeaea and changes Odysseus' crew into swine. Odysseus then threatens her and makes her turn his crew back into men...
The Sirens Women who live on an island and lure men to thier doom by singing about the men's pasts. Odysseus passes by the their place and listens to their song while tied down...
The Suitors Princes and lords who are in Odysseus' palace and wants to marry Penelope, Odysseus' loyal wife. They are all killed by Odysseus, along with Telemachus, the cowherd, and the swineherd...
The Lotus Eaters People who eat a plant that makes them forget about home and want to stay there to eat more. They are visited by Odysseus and his crew while going to Aeaea...
Scylla A six-headed monster that snatches six men, one for each of her heads, whenever a ship sails by. She lives in a cave opposite from the whirlpool, Charybdis...
Charybdis A giant whirlpool monster that swallows Odysseus' ship when he is returning from Thrinacia. The monster is opposite Scylla...
The Underworld The place where dead people go. Odysseus goes there after Circe told him to. He meets a seer who tells him how to return home to Ithaca safely...
The Cattle of the Sun Herds of cattle that live on Thrinacia. They belong to Helios, the sun god. Helios punished Odysseus' crew because they killed some of the cattle...
Poseidon The god of the sea who punishes Odysseus for blinding his son, Polyphemus. He makes Odysseus' journey home as long as possible...