Cyclopes

Cyclopes
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  • Odysseus and his men then sail through the murky night to the land of the Cyclopes, a rough and uncivilized race of one-eyed giants.
  •  They immediately come upon a cave full of sheep and crates of milk and cheese. The men advise Odysseus to snatch some of the food and hurry off, but, to his and his crew’s detriment, he decides to linger.
  • The cave’s inhabitant soon returns it is the Cyclops Polyphemus, the son of Poseidon. Polyphemus makes a show of hospitality at first, but he soon turns hostile. He devours two of Odysseus’s men on the spot and imprisons Odysseus and the rest in his cave for future meals.
  • When Polyphemus returns, Odysseus gets him drunk on wine that he brought along from the ship. Feeling jovial, Polyphemus asks Odysseus his name. Odysseus replies that his name is “Nobody”. As soon as Polyphemus collapses with intoxication, Odysseus and a select group of his men drive the red hot staff into his eye. Polyphemus wakes with a shriek, and his neighbors come to see what is wrong, but they leave as soon as he calls out, “Nobody’s killing me”
  • When morning comes, Odysseus and his men escape from the cave, unseen by the blind Polyphemus, by clinging to the bellies of the monster’s sheep as they go out to graze.
  •  Safe on board their ships and with Polyphemus’s flock on board as well, Odysseus calls to land and reveals his true identity. With his former prisoners now out of reach, the blind giant lifts up a prayer to his father, Poseidon, calling for vengeance on Odysseus.
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