Zeus Zeus was a carefree god who loved to laugh out loud. He was regarded as wise and often gave fair judgement. He was also unpredictable—nobody was able to guess the decisions he would make. He was also easily angered which could be very destructive. When antagonized, he would hurl lightning bolts and cause violent storms that wreaked havoc on earth. Zeus fell in love easily and had many affairs with various women, however, he would severely punish anybody who attempted to escort/fall in love with his wife Hera. Poseidon Poseidon was considered to be the bad-tempered, moody, and greedy god among the Olympians. Once insulted, he wouldn’t hesitate to seek revenge. As the god of the sea, he had control over a large portion of the Earth, but he was constantly seeking more. He wanted to have it all, but Zeus often got in the way of him achieving total control. Hermes Hermes had wings on his sandals and therefore was the speediest of all Greek gods. Because of his speed, Hermes received the role of the messenger and leader of souls to the Underworld. Furthermore, Hermes was the only Olympian god who was authorized to visit Heaven, Earth, and the Underworld, which made him very popular among the other Gods, but this popularity often went to his head and came across as arrogance. Hermes, for instance, felt an irresistible impulse of stealing ever since he was a baby, which soon caused him to be known as the god of cheaters and thieves. He was even so bold as to cheat on Zeus with his wife, even though Zeus (unaware of his treachery) highly valued his skills and often went to him for assistance. Tiresias Tiresias was known as a “blind seer.” In other words, he could see the future, but had actually lost the use of his real eyes. His gifts were especially helpful in the mind of the gods and he was known for giving wise and valuable advice. He wasn’t born without his ability to see, though; it is rumored among the gods that he happened to walk in on Athena bathing and, humiliated and infuriated, she retaliated by blinding him forever. Hephaestus Hephaestus was the son of Zeus and Hera and, despite his parents being known for both their beauty and over-all attractiveness, Hephaestus was quite possibly one of the ugliest gods there was. Knowing that he would not find a wife on his own, Zeus arranged for him to marry Aphrodite, whom several other gods were currently fighting over. By taking her off the market, Zeus hoped to end the feud for her hand in marriage, but Aphrodite could not remain faithful to Hephaestus and she was known for having numerous lovers on the side, such as Ares. Agamemnon Agamemnon was the king of Argos and husband to Clytemnestra. He is known for being a proud and authoritative character, but he can also be uncaring, uncompromising, and unreasonable. He shows that he is rude, arrogant, and constantly in need of advice from his council (though he rarely heeds it). Though he commands one of the greatest armies the world has ever known, he is constantly putting his own needs and desires before those of his soldiers. His wife and him had a less than affectionate relationship and he was even willing to sacrifice his own children if it meant bettering his odds. The only person he truly cares for is his brother, Menelaus. Ares Just like his mother Hera, Ares was a very difficult character to deal with and was therefore rather unpopular among the other deities and mankind. Ares was not very respected for his attitude and his actions. He was a bloodthirsty fighter and had a quick temper. This was one of his bad habits, he did not think before he did things. No matter the outcome. Some of his strengths were that he was decisive, determined, and fearless. Ares was characterized as a murderer, brutal, and would slaughter the weak. Apollo Apollo was famous for his music. Whenever he could, he took out his instruments to please the crowds of gods and mortals alike. He was also known for his abilities to see the future. This ability, called a “gift of prophecy,” was given to him by his father, Zeus, and many would come from all around just for the chance to speak with him and get a glimpse into their own futures. Apollo was delighted to entertain his guests with both of his unique abilities. Achilles Achilles was most famous for being one of the fiercest fighters among both gods and men, and some would even call him invincible. He was loyal to a fault— doing whatever was required of him in the field of battle, resulting in him ending up in numerous situations in which any normal man would not have made it out alive. He was also proud and temperamental. He was known for making large, sweeping displays of emotion if someone upset, hurt, or offended him. Hades Hades is the ruler of the underworld and he was often depicted as stern and unyielding (big-headed, stubborn), though just as powerful as his brothers Zeus and Poseidon. After spending so much time as the ruler of the dead, he developed a morbid, dark personality, which was not much liked by the other gods or humans, especially since Hades seemed to enjoy being feared, Odysseus Odysseus, though a skilled and honorable warrior, was most well-known for his smarts and ability to problem solve. He could think himself out of any situation, but that caused him to become overconfident and arrogant. Without his ingenious tactics and cunning maneuvers, though, it is unlikely that his army would have made it out alive. While he was adored by some gods, like Athena, he was despised by others, like Poseidon. In his quest to return to his homeland and his faithful, loving wife Penelope and son, Telemachus, the gods were constantly intervening. While those in favor gave him a boost that he could not have made it home without, those against him stood in his way and made it seem nearly impossible that he would ever see the end of his journey. Aegisthus Suffering from a troubled youth, Aegisthus was an angry, tempermental individual. Even as an adult, he mourns the death of his two siblings who were boiled alive as children. He spends his time plotting ways to get revenge against those who have wronged him. He was also Clytemnestra’s lover, though she was married to Agamemnon. Because it was Agamemnon’s father who had killed his siblings, Aegisthus felt no remorse in this act of infidelity and was even seeking to take their relationship to the next step by murdering Agamemnon. Telemachus Telemachus, the son of Odysseus and Penelope, is known for being rather naïve. His father has missed out on much of his life due to being away at war, so Odysseus’s intelligence and cunning was not passed onto his son. He respects his father greatly, though, and is constantly looking for ways to help him get home—though he usually ends up causing more harm than good. Antinous Antinous was the ultimate “bachelor.” He was young, handsome, but full of arrogance and pride. As any bachelor would, he was constantly hunting for a lover/wife, and he had his sights set on a woman named Penelope, but she was already married to a man named Odysseus. Penelope was also faithful to her husband and not interested in other men whatsoever. However, Antinous pursued her anyway. He was prone to violent behavior when he didn’t get what he wanted, and he was also rude and disrespectful to just about everyone. He wouldn’t take no for an answer when he found something/someone he wanted. Menelaus Menelaus was the husband to Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world, whom he was very protective of. Many other men had interest in her, so he was constantly on the look-out for those who were trying to steal her away. Whenever she went missing, he was willing to send his entire army to find her, starting wars if necessary. b Though being a king, he wasn’t the best at giving advice. He usually spoke in clichés (i.e. “What goes around comes around,” “head over heels,” “brave as a lion”). He thought these made him sound wiser, but people usually ended up groaning at his overused phrases instead. Polyphemus Polyphemus, son of Poseidon, was a massive, intimidating cyclops. He is known for being very loud, inhospitable (meaning that he really doesn’t like new people), violent, and even murderous. He likes to eat people who get on his nerves. He is also blind, thanks to a man named Odysseus, whom Polyphemus has a personal vendetta against. At one time, Odysseus was stuck in the cyclops’s cave and, in order to escape, stabbed him in the eye in order to get away. Polyphemus, still fuming with rage, wants nothing more than to end Odysseus for wronging him. Helios Helios was the god of the sun and was famous for knowing too much about everybody else’s business. He went out of his way to find “dirt” on the other gods and goddesses, and then when he did, he didn’t hesitate to tell the others— especially if the “dirt” involved them. Especially if he found out that someone was being cheated on, he felt compelled to tell them of their spouse’s infidelity. Because of this, some gods really appreciated him while others despised him completely. Nestor Nestor was often depicted as a “wise, old sage,” meaning that, in his old age, he is known for giving advice to those around him. Much like an experienced politician, though, Nestor’s advice is usually long winded and pompous. In other words, all of his advice involved stories about himself and he acts like he knows everything. He rarely stopped talking long enough for anyone else to contribute to the conversation. Helen Helen was, by far, the most attractive and desirable woman among humankind—even gods acknowledged her beauty. Men from around the world sought after her and were constantly fighting for her hand in marriage. At one point, her suitors even started a war (which ended up lasting 10 years). She, herself, was very soft spoken and didn’t have much say in who she actually ended up with. Other than her beauty, there was nothing really exciting about who she was and some would even classify her as “dull.” Penelope Penelope was the faithful and wise wife to Odysseus. Despite being approached by many men who are interested in her, she consistently turns them away and awaits for her husband to return home from war. She does not humor any of their attempts at getting her attention. Nausicaa Nausicaa, a young princess, was Odysseus’s biggest fan. He was the perfect man in her book because it was strong, weathered (seen/experienced many things), and most importantly, intelligent. When she expressed her interest, though, she discovered was already married, though, which caused her to become eternally depressed. Though she knew she could never be with him, that didn’t stop her from being in love with him and she was constantly seeking ways to be in his presence—because that was better than nothing. Hera Wife to Zeus, Hera is the queen of the gods. Though being celebrated as the Goddess of Marriage and Birth, she was not entirely satisfied with her own marriage. She was known for being very jealous and vengeful towards the many lovers and offspring of her husband, who didn’t hesitate to spread his love. She is also known for reacting harshly towards those who have wronged her, and has held a grudge against Aphrodite for all eternity because, although being overwhelmingly beautiful herself, Aphrodite was considered to be the most beautiful of all the goddesses. Hera disagreed and believed herself to be the most beautiful and retaliated against anyone who thought otherwise. Overall, she is a terrifying and overwhelming individual who embodies the statement “a woman scorned.” Both gods and mortals (even Zeus) alike feared her wrath and no one stood in her way when someone ticked her off. Clytemnestra Clytemnestra was the wife of Agamemnon, though she did not have much affection for him. After he willingly sacrificed one of their daughters, she lost all love for him completely. She did, however, have an interest in Aegisthus—who also happened to be Agamamnon’s cousin. They became involved in a passionate affair while her husband was away at war. Clytemnestra soon realized that she wanted to make her relationship with Aegisthus more permanent and so she began plotting her husband’s death. Because of this, she became very brooding, moody, and overall unapproachable by anyone other than her lover, Aegisthus. Athena Athena was known for being a fierce and ruthless warrior. She was also quick to anger, often holding grudges and not being willing to forgive those who have wronged her. She was a very intense individual, bestowing confidence, courage, and skill upon those who get the chance to speak with her. Because she was very beautiful herself, she was not very fond of Aphrodite because many people considered Aphrodite to be more beautiful. Because of her intensity and war-like behavior, it made it hard for others to view her as feminine and a suitable mate. Artemis Artemis—a highly independent goddess—refused to conform to convention and tradition, fiercely valued and protected her freedom, and never allowed herself to depend on men or give in to love. Known for her unyielding chastity, she would much rather live her life without the distractions of love, men, and marriage. Aphrodite Aphrodite was known for being the most beautiful and attractive goddess there ever was. She smiled often and embodied everything stereotypically feminine, such as being frail, weak, timid, and caring. Though Zeus arranged for her to marry Hephaestus, her heart belonged to Ares, with home she was having a passionate, but secret love affair. Circe Circe was both powerful and enchanting, often using her magical abilities as a witch-goddess to seduce men and make them feel like they were in love with her. If men gave into her seduction, though, they were never seen again. She took many men as lovers, and when she had had her fill of them, would often resort to turning them into swine. She was both extravagant and nearly irresistible, which showed through in her personality. She had little concern for anyone else’s opinions/desires and cared only about which man would be her next toy to play with. Calypso Calypso was a beautiful sea nymph who becomes obsessed with Odysseus and forced him to spend time with her (held him captive on her island). You could call it love at first sight. While Odysseus didn’t reject her affection, ultimately he decided to leave her in order to get back to his wife, Penelope, which made Calypso both infuriated and heartbroken. She was willing to do anything to get him back, including offering him the power of immortality.