Odysseus is the primary character in the Odyssey. He is a very strong mortal man that goes on a journey to get back home. So far he has made it away from Calypso after being held there for 7 years. He is very brave and so far has also survived a rough time at see due to the anger of Poseidon.
Telemachus is where we begin the story. He is the son of Odysseus and was very young when Odysseus left which left him there to help defend his mother. He then sets sail by the instruction of Athena to go out and search for his father. He then meets Menelaus who tells him about his father.
Athena plays a very big role in the first part of "The Odyssey" because she mentors Telemachus about numerous different things. She is a very helpful goddesses and can change to different people. When Odysseus was going into the kingdom of Alkinoos he was led by Athena disguised as a little girl.
Menelaus is like Athena being very helpful to Telemachus when he is on the journey to find his dad. He tells Telemachus about him and his father in the old days about how they used to go fight together and battle together in their youth. Menelaus is also known to like war and fighting of any sort.
Nausikaa was Alkinoos' daughter that Odysseus met when he swam to shore after Poseidon had cast up a storm to wreck him and his ship. She was told by Athena that she needed to wash her wedding clothes and her father even wanted Odysseus to marry her.
Zeus could not go without mention because he is "the summoner of the cloud" otherwise known as the god of all gods. He is prayed to by Odysseus to help him and also by Athena to help guide her and what she should say. There isn't many things that he does other than stay on Mt. Olympus.