Odysseus slaying the suitors, detail of a red-figure skyphos —Courtesy of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ger.
Hero of Homer's Odyssey. According to Homer, Odysseus was the king of Ithaca. His shrewdness, resourcefulness, and endurance enabled him to capture Troy (through the device of the Trojan horse) and endure nine years of wandering and adventures before reaching his home in Ithaca, where his wife, Penelope, and son, Telemachus, awaited him. Classical opinion was divided on whether he was an unscrupulous politician or a wise and honourable statesman. Odysseus has been one of the most frequently portrayed figures in literature, treated by numerous Greek and Roman poets and by later writers such as William Shakespeare (Troilus and Cressida), Níkos Kazantzákis (The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel), and (metaphorically) by James Joyce (Ulysses) and Derek Walcott (Omeros).