Index of Important Characters – Classical Literature

Here is a list of some of the important characters appearing in classical literature (particularly those who appear in several different works) and the plays and poems in which they appear.

In general, I have not included the gods (e.g. Zeus, Apollo, Hera, Poseidon, etc) who appear in many works, usually in relatively minor roles, except where they are used as major characters in a work (e.g. Dionysus, Prometheus, etc). Neither have I included the more minor characters. The search facility can be used to narrow down appearances of other characters not listed here.

Also, you can move your mouse over the character’s name (the brighter green links) to see some very quick information on that figure in mythology.


Achilles

Homer: “The Iliad”
Euripides: “Iphigenia at Aulis”
Ovid: “Heroides”
Ovid: “Metamorphoses”

Aegeus

Euripides: “Medea”
Ovid: “Metamorphoses”

Aegisthus

Homer: “The Odyssey”
Aeschylus: “Agamemnon” (“Oresteia Trilogy”)
Aeschylus: “The Libation Bearers” (“Oresteia Trilogy”)
Sophocles: “Electra”
Euripides: “Electra”
Seneca the Younger: “Agamemnon”

Aeneas

Ovid: “The Aeneid”
Ovid: “Heroides”
Ovid: “Metamorphoses”

Agamemnon

Homer: “The Iliad”
Aeschylus: “Agamemnon” (“Oresteia Trilogy”)
Sophocles: “Ajax”
Euripides: “Hecuba”
Euripides: “Iphigenia at Aulis”
Ovid: “Metamorphoses”
Seneca the Younger: “Agamemnon”
Seneca the Younger: “Troades”
Seneca the Younger: “Thyestes”

Ajax

Homer: “The Iliad”
Sophocles: “Ajax”

Alcestis

Euripides: “Alcestis”

Amphitryon

Euripides: “Heracles”
Seneca the Younger: “Hercules Furens”

Andromache

Homer: “The Iliad”
Euripides: “Andromache”
Euripides: “The Trojan Women”
Seneca the Younger: “Troades”

Antigone

Aeschylus: “Seven Against Thebes”
Sophocles: “Antigone”
Sophocles: “Oedipus at Colonus”
Euripides: “The Phoenician Women”
Seneca the Younger: “Phoenissae”

Atreus

Seneca the Younger: “Thyestes”

Bacchus
(also known as Dionysus)

Hesiod: “Theogony”
Euripides: “The Bacchae”
Aristophanes: “The Frogs”

Beowulf

Anonymous: “Beowulf”

Cassandra

Aeschylus: “Agamemnon” (“Oresteia Trilogy”)
Euripides: “The Trojan Women”
Seneca the Younger: “Agamemnon”

Circe

Homer: “The Odyssey”
Apollonius of Rhodes: “The Argonautica”

Clytemnestra

Homer: “The Odyssey”
Hesiod: “Theogony”
Aeschylus: “Agamemnon” (“Oresteia Trilogy”)
Aeschylus: “The Libation Bearers” (“Oresteia Trilogy”)
Sophocles: “Electra”
Euripides: “Electra”
Seneca the Younger: “Agamemnon”

Creon of Corinth

Euripides: “Medea”
Seneca the Younger: “Medea”

Creon of Thebes

Sophocles: “Antigone”
Sophocles: “Oedipus the King”
Sophocles: “Oedipus at Colonus”
Euripides: “The Phoenician Women”
Seneca the Younger: “Oedipus”

Danaus

Aeschylus: “The Suppliants”

Deianeira

Sophocles: “The Trachiniae”
Ovid: “Heroides”
Ovid: “Metamorphoses”

Demophon

Euripides: “Heracleidae”

Dido

Vergil: “The Aeneid”
Ovid: “Heroides”
Ovid: “Metamorphoses”

Dionysus
(also known as Bacchus)

Hesiod: “Theogony”
Euripides: “The Bacchae”
Aristophanes: “The Frogs”

Electra

Aeschylus: “The Libation Bearers” (“Oresteia Trilogy”)
Sophocles: “Electra”
Euripides: “Electra”
Euripides: “Orestes”
Seneca the Younger: “Agamemnon”

Enkidu

Anonymous: “Gilgamesh”

Erinyes (Furies)

Hesiod: “Theogony”
Aeschylus: “The Libation Bearers” (“Oresteia Trilogy”)
Aeschylus: “The Eumenides” (“Oresteia Trilogy”)
Euripides: “Orestes”

Eteocles

Aeschylus: “Seven Against Thebes”
Euripides: “The Phoenician Women”
Seneca the Younger: “Phoenissae”

Gilgamesh

Anonymous: “Gilgamesh”

Glauce

Euripides: “Medea”
Ovid: “Metamorphoses”
Seneca the Younger: “Medea”

Grendel

Anonymous: “Beowulf”

Hector

Homer: “The Iliad”

Hecuba

Euripides: “Hecuba”
Euripides: “The Trojan Women”
Ovid: “Metamorphoses”
Seneca the Younger: “Troades”

Helen

Homer: “The Iliad”
Homer: “The Odyssey”
Hesiod: “Theogony”
Euripides: “The Trojan Women”
Euripides: “Helen”
Ovid: “Heroides”
Ovid: “Metamorphoses”

Heracles/Hercules

Hesiod: “Theogony”
Sophocles: “The Trachiniae”
Sophocles: “Philoctetes”
Euripides: “Alcestis”
Euripides: “Heracleidae”
Euripides: “Heracles”
Aristophanes: “The Birds”
Aristophanes: “The Frogs”
Apollonius of Rhodes: “The Argonautica”
Ovid: “Heroides”
Ovid: “Metamorphoses”
Seneca the Younger: “Hercules Furens”

Hermione

Euripides: “Andromache”
Euripides: “Orestes”
Ovid: “Heroides”

Hippolytus

Euripides: “Hippolytus”
Ovid: “Heroides”
Seneca the Younger: “Phaedra”

Ion

Euripides: “Ion”

Iphigenia

Euripides: “Iphigenia at Aulis”
Euripides: “Iphigenia in Tauris”

Ismene

Sophocles: “Antigone”
Sophocles: “Oedipus at Colonus”

Jason

Euripides: “Medea”
Apollonius of Rhodes: “The Argonautica”
Ovid: “Heroides”
Ovid: “Metamorphoses”
Seneca the Younger: “Medea”

Jocasta

Sophocles: “Oedipus the King”
Euripides: “The Phoenician Women”
Seneca the Younger: “Oedipus”
Seneca the Younger: “Phoenissae”

Medea

Euripides: “Medea”
Apollonius of Rhodes: “The Argonautica”
Ovid: “Heroides”
Ovid: “Metamorphoses”
Seneca the Younger: “Medea”

Megara

Euripides: “Heracles”
Seneca the Younger: “Hercules Furens”

Menelaus

Homer: “The Iliad”
Homer: “The Odyssey”
Sophocles: “Ajax”
Euripides: “Andromache”
Euripides: “The Trojan Women”
Euripides: “Helen”
Euripides: “Orestes”
Euripides: “Iphigenia at Aulis”
Ovid: “Metamorphoses”
Seneca the Younger: “Thyestes”

Neoptolemus

Sophocles: “Philoctetes”
Euripides: “Andromache”

Odysseus/Ulysses

Homer: “The Iliad”
Homer: “The Odyssey”
Sophocles: “Ajax”
Sophocles: “Philoctetes”
Euripides: “Hecuba”
Euripides: “Cyclops”
Vergil: “The Aeneid”
Ovid: “Heroides”
Seneca the Younger: “Troades”

Oedipus

Sophocles: “Oedipus the King”
Sophocles: “Oedipus at Colonus”
Euripides: “The Phoenician Women”
Seneca the Younger: “Phoenissae”
Seneca the Younger: “Oedipus”

Orestes

Aeschylus: “The Libation Bearers” (“Oresteia Trilogy”)
Aeschylus: “The Eumenides” (“Oresteia Trilogy”)
Sophocles: “Electra”
Euripides: “Andromache”
Euripides: “Electra”
Euripides: “Iphigenia in Tauris”
Euripides: “Orestes”
Ovid: “Heroides”
Seneca the Younger: “Agamemnon”

Paris

Homer: “The Iliad”
Ovid: “Heroides”
Ovid: “Metamorphoses”

Peleus

Euripides: “Andromache”
Ovid: “Metamorphoses”

Penelope

Homer: “The Odyssey”
Ovid: “Heroides”

Perseus

Hesiod: “Theogony”
Ovid: “Metamorphoses”

Phaedra

Euripides: “Hippolytus”
Ovid: “Heroides”
Seneca the Younger: “Phaedra”

Philoctetes

Sophocles: “Philoctetes”

Polymestor

Euripides: “Hecuba”
Ovid: “Metamorphoses”

Polynices

Aeschylus: “Seven Against Thebes”
Sophocles: “Oedipus at Colonus”
Euripides: “The Phoenician Women”
Seneca the Younger: “Phoenissae”

Polyphemus

Homer: “The Odyssey”
Euripides: “Cyclops”

Polyxena

Euripides: “Hecuba”
Ovid: “Metamorphoses”

Priam

Homer: “The Iliad”
Ovid: “Metamorphoses”

Prometheus

Hesiod: “Works and Days”
Hesiod: “Theogony”
Aeschylus: “Prometheus Bound”
Aristophanes: “The Birds”

Pylades

Aeschylus: “The Libation Bearers” (“Oresteia Trilogy”)
Sophocles: “Electra”
Euripides: “Electra”
Euripides: “Iphigenia in Tauris”
Euripides: “Orestes”

Semele

Hesiod: “Theogony”
Euripides: “The Bacchee”

Telemachus

Homer: “The Odyssey”

Theseus

Hesiod: “Theogony”
Sophocles: “Oedipus at Colonus”
Euripides: “Hippolytus”
Euripides: “The Suppliants”
Euripides: “Heracles”
Ovid: “Heroides”
Ovid: “Metamorphoses”
Seneca the Younger: “Hercules Furens”
Seneca the Younger: “Phaedra”

Thyestes

Seneca the Younger: “Thyestes”

Tiresias

Homer: “The Odyssey”
Sophocles: “Antigone”
Sophocles: “Oedipus the King”
Euripides: “The Phoenician Women”
Ovid: “Metamorphoses”
Seneca the Younger: “Oedipus”

Xerxes

Aeschylus: “The Persians”