In Shakespeare's Hamlet, the son of the lord chamberlain Polonius and the hotheaded type of guy who believes in revenge, especially when it is members of his family (Polonius and Ophelia) who have suffered. Very good at fencing also.


Particularly celebrated because he was the father of Odysseus. He was the son of Arcisius and Chalcomedusa (Table 39) and consequently of the family of Deucalion through his grandfather Deion. His family came originally from Cephalonia; his maternal grandfather was CEPHALUS after whom the island was named. Laertes married ANTICLEIA, the daughter of Autolycus, though she had previously been married to Sisyphus, so that occasionally Odysseus was regarded as the son of Sisyphus rather than of Laertes.

During Odysseus' absence Laertes was in despair and had an unhappy old age. He withdrew to his estate in the country; his only company was an old maidservant and her husband Dolius and their children. Odysseus went to join him there when he returned. Athena gave him a magic bath which rejuvenated him and gave him the strength to help his son repulse the parents of the suitors who had been put to death. He killed Eupithes, the father of Antinous, with a javelin. The marriage of Laertes and Anticleia produced a daughter called CTIMENE although in some accounts Odysseus was said to be the only child of Laertes.


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