The Odyssey

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  • Odysseus and his men come across a cave where a cyclops lives. They explore the cave and find cheeses and lambs inside. Odysseus' men tell him that they should just take the cheeses and leave, but Odysseus wants to see the cyclops.
  • The men wait inside the cave until the cyclops arrives. "'Strangers,' he said, 'who are you? And where from?'" (156) Odysseus tells him he is Nohbdy, and asks for help, but, the cyclops "clutched at my companions and caught two in his hands like squirming puppies, to beat their brains out, spattering the floor." (192-194)
  • Odysseus devises a plan, "'Cyclops, try some wine. Here's liquor to wash down your scraps of men.'" (256-257) After a few bowls the cyclops "reeled and tumbled backward, his great head lolling to one side: and sleep took him like any creature." (278-280)
  • While the cyclops is sleeping, Odysseus and four of his men create a spike to drive through the cyclops' eye. "Straight forward they sprinted, lifted it, and rammed it deep in his crater eye." (290-292)
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  • The cyclops was now blind. Odysseus tied his men under the rams in the cave so they could escape when the rams went outside to graze. They all get out successfully and the cyclops suspects nothing.
  • The men make it back onto their ship. They take the rams with them, but before leaving, Odysseus shouts, "'Cyclops, if ever mortal man inquire how you were put to shame and blinded, tell him Odysseus, raider of cities, took your eye: Laertes' son, whose home's on Ithaca!'" (415-419)
  • Tell him Odysseus, raider of cities, took your eye!
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