Antikleia is Odysseus's mother, whom Odysseus encounters while in the Underworld. Antikleia has recently died, and when Odysseus happens upon her in the Underworld, he learns for the first time about her death. Because Odysseus had been away at war for so long, Antikleia was filled with anguish at the thought of her missing son, and committed suicide. She tells Odysseus, "only my loneliness for you… for your kind heart and counsel… took my own life away," expressing her reasoning for death (191). Odsseus is filled with sorrow at the thought of causing his mother pain and suffering. Yet Antikleia motivates Odysseus, restoring his hope by telling him of his healthy son and expiring father, both awaiting his return in Ithaka.

Antikleia also fills Odysseus with hope that his wife Persephone has been faithful to him during his entire voyage away from home. Antikliea says "no man takes your honored place" (191) reassuring Odysseus that he is not coming home to a taken wife.