In "The Odyssey," Odysseus defeats the sleeping cyclops Polyphemus by ramming a sharpened stake through his single eye. The blinded giant cannot distinguish Odysseus and his men from the sheep he lets out the subsequent morning, and they escape.Continue Reading
In his ten-year journey home, Odysseus and his men land on the Island of the Cyclopes, believed to have been Sicily. They bring a gift of wine to the cave of Polyphemus, hoping for his help. When the cyclops returns with his sheep and sees the men, he blocks the cave door with a giant stone and eats two of the sailors. The next evening, Odysseus offers Polyphemus some strong wine, and the giant gets drunk, falling asleep. Odysseus and his men then prepare a sharp wooden stake, hardening it in the fire, and they drive it into the giant's single eye. Odysseus and his men tie themselves to the bottoms of the sheep in order to slip out the next morning. Though Polyphemus throws giant boulders at their retreating ship, he cannot hit it and the men escape.
According to the Encyclopedia Mythica, there were several other cyclopes mentioned in Greek myth, among them the immortal brothers of the Titans Brontes, Steropes and Arges, The cyclopes living with Polyphemus, however, were a mortal race. In Greek myth, cyclopes are often associated with giant fortifications, volcanoes, blacksmithing and the making of magical weaponry.Learn more about Classics
Odysseus died when he was stabbed with a spear by Telegonus, the son of Odysseus and Circe. Telegonus did not know he was stabbing his father.Full Answer >
Odysseus escaped from the Cyclops by tricking it after blinding it with a large pike. Once the Cyclops was blind, Odysseus and his men escaped by tying themselves to the bottom of the Cyclops' sheep. The monster felt the tops of the sheep but didn't check the bottoms before letting them out of the cave to pasture.Full Answer >
Odysseus and his son Telemachus are the only two characters in "Odyssey" to significantly develop over the course of the story. While Telemachus is not as strong a leader as his father, both characters are courageous and intelligent. In any case, it is implied by the end of the story that Telemachus, who is introduced in the story as being 21 years old and therefore about to mature into manhood, is on course to follow in the footsteps of Odysseus and become a skilled leader.Full Answer >
Teiresias tells Odysseus about the rest of his journey home to Ithaca, the suitors and their defilement of Odysseus' home, and how to placate the god Poseidon, who is still angry with the hero for blinding his son Polyphemus. He specifically warns Odysseus about certain perils, but he proclaims that Odysseus is fated to lose all his men who are doomed to be overtaken by greed.Full Answer >