POLYPHEMUS (Polyphemos) - Cyclops Giant of Greek Mythology
May 21, as seen many times, fathers want the best for their sons; father-son relationships are strong and if one is hurt, the other will avenge; it is the duty. Polyphemus was the son of Poseidon. His mother The Cyclops Polyphemus; Polyphemus And Galatea; Polyphemus In Ancient Roman Mosaics. PrevNext. Polyphemus, the Cyclops and son of Poseidon, is a terrible host. In Book 9 of Homer's Odyssey, what can we learn about the guest/host relationship? eNotes.
When she appeared, the Kyklops rekindled the fire, milked his beasts in accustomed order and put the young ones to their mothers. Having quickly despatched these tasks of his, he clutched another two of my comrades and made his breakfast of them. This over, he drove his flocks out of the cave again, easily moving the massy stone and then putting it back once more as one might put the lid back on a quiver.
Cyclops - Wikipedia
Whistling loud, he led off his flock to the mountain-side; so I was left there to brood mischief, wondering if I might take vengeance on him and if Athene might grant me glory. After all my thinking, the plan that seemed best was this. Next to the sheep-pen the Kyklops had left a great cudgel of undried olive-wood, wrenched from the tree to carry with him when it was seasoned.
As we looked at it, it seemed huge enough to be the mast of some great dark merchant-ship with its twenty oars.
I stood over this, and myself and cut off six feet of it; then I laid it in front of my companions and told them to make it smooth; smooth they made it, and again I stood over it and sharpened it to a point, then took it at once and put it in the fierce fire to harden. Then I laid it in a place of safety; there was dung in layers all down the great cave, and I hid the stake under this.
I asked the men to cast lots for joining me--who would help me to lift the stake and plunge it into the giant's eye as soon as slumber stole upon him? The men that the lots fell upon were the very ones I should have chosen--four of them, and I made a fifth. Towards nightfall the Kyklops came home again, bringing his fleecy flocks with him. He drove all the beasts into the cave forthwith, leaving none outside in the fenced courtyard--had he some foreboding, or was it a god who directed him?
He lifted the massy door-stone and put it in place again; he sat down and began to milk the sheep and the bleating goats, all in accustomed order, and he put the young ones to their mothers. Having quickly despatched these tasks of his, he clutched another two of my comrades and made his meal of them.
And at that I came close to the Kyklops and spoke to him, while in my hands I held up an ivy-bowl brimmed with dark wine: You have had your fill of man's flesh. Now drain this bowl and judge what wine our ship had in it. I was bringing it for yourself as a libation, hoping you would take pity on me and would help to send me home.
But your wild folly is past all bounds. Merciless one, who of all men in all the world will choose to visit you after this? In what you have done you defy whatever is good and right.
He took my present and drank it off and was mightily pleased with wine so fragrant. Then he asked for a second bowlful of it: Earth is bounteous, and for my people too it brings forth grapes that thrive on the rain of Zeus and that make good wine, but this is distilled from nectar and ambrosia.
When the wine had coiled its way round his understanding, I spoke to him in meek-sounding words: I will tell you, and then you must grant me as your guest the favour that you have promised me. My name is Noman; Noman is what my mother and father call me; so likewise do all my friends.
Then I drove our stake down into the heap of embers to get red-hot; meanwhile I spoke words of courage to all my comrades, so that none of them should lose heart and shrink from the task. But when the stake, green though it was, was about to catch fire and glowed frighteningly, I drew it towards me out of the fire, while the others took their stand around me.
Some god breathed high courage into us. My men took over the keen-pointed olive stake and thrust it into the giant's eye; I myself leaned heavily over from above and twirled the stake round.
We grasped the stake with its fiery tip and whirled it round in the giant's eye. The blood came gushing out round the red-hot wood; the heat singed eyebrow and eyelid, the eyeball was burned out and the roots of the eye hissed in the fire.
His eye hissed now with the olive-stake penetrating it. He gave a great hideous roar; the cave re-echoed, and in terror we rushed away. He pulled the blood-stained stake from his eye and with frantic arms tossed it away from him.
Then he shouted loud to he Kyklopes kinsmen who lived around him in their caverns among the windy hill-tops. Hearing his cries they hastened towards him from every quarter, stood round his cavern and asked him what ailed him: Is some human creature driving away your flocks in defiance of you?
Is someone threatening death to yourself by craft of by violence? Racked with anguish, lamenting loudly, the Kyklops groped for the great stone and pushed it from the door-way, then in the doorway he seated himself with outstretched hands, hoping to seize on some of us passing into the open among the sheep--so witless did he take me to be. There were big handsome rams there, well-fed, thick-fleeced and with dark wool.
Making no noise, I began fastening them together with plaited withies, the same that the lawless monstrous ogre slept on. I took the rams three by three; each middle one carried a man, while the other two walked either side and safeguarded my companions; so there were three beats to each man.
As for myself--there was one ram that was finest of all the flock; I seized his back, I curled myself up under his shaggy belly, and there I clung in the rich soft wool, face upwards, desperately holding on and on. In this dismal fashion we waited now for ethereal Dawn. When she appeared, the rams began running out to pasture, while the unmilked ewes around the pens kept bleating with udders full to bursting. Their master, consumed with hideous pains, felt along the backs of all the rams as they stood still in front of him.
The witless giant never found out that men were tied under the fleecy creatures' bellies. Last of them all came my own ram on his way out, burdened both with his own thick wool and with me the schemer. Polyphemos felt him over too and began to talk to him: Never till now have you come behind the rest: You are grieving, surely, over your master's eye, which malicious Noman quite put out, with his evil friends, after overmastering my wits with wine; but I swear he has still not escaped destruction.
If only your thoughts were like my own, if only you had the gift of words to tell me where he is hiding from my fury! Then he would be hurled to the ground and his brains dashed hither and thither across the cave; then my heart would find some relief from the tribulations he has brought me, unmanly Noman! As for ourselves, once we had passed a little way beyond cave and courtyard, I first loosed my own hold beneath the ram, then I untied my comrades also.
We herded the many sheep in haste--fat plump creatures with long shanks--and drove them on till we reached our vessel. But when we were no further away [out at sea] than a man's voice, I called to the Kyklopes and taunted him: No, your sins were to find you out.
You felt no shame to devour your guests in your own home; hence the requital from Zeus and the other gods. He wrenched away the top of a towering crag and hurled it in front of our dark-prowed ship. The sea surged up as the rock fell into it; the swell from beyond came washing back at once and the wave carried the ship landwards and drove it towards the strand.
But I myself seized a long pole and pushed the ship out and away again, moving my head and signing to my companions urgently to pull at their oars and escape destruction; so they threw themselves forward and rowed hard. But when we were twice as far out on the water as before, I made ready to hail the Kyklops again, though my friends around me, this side and that, used all persuasion to restrain me: The stone he threw out to sea just now dashed the ship back to the shore again, and we thought we were dead men already.
Had he heard any sound, any words from us, he would have hurled yet another jagged rock and shattered our heads and the boat's timbers, so vast his reach is.
He groaned aloud as he answered me: We once had a prophet in our country, a truly great man called Telemos Telemus son of Eurymos, skilled in divining, living among the Kyklopes race as an aged seer. He told me all this as a thing that would later come to pass--that I was to lose my sight at the hands of one Odysseus. But I always thought that the man who came would be tall and handsome, visibly clothed with heroic strength; instead, it has been a puny and strengthless and despicable man who had taken my sight away from me after overpowering me with wine.
But come, Odysseus, return to me; let me set before you the presents that befit a guest, and appeal to the mighty Earthshaker [Poseidon] to speed you upon your way, because I am his son, and he declares himself my father. And he alone will heal me, if so he pleases--no other will, of the blessed gods or of mortal men.
Then the Kyklops lifted up a stone it was much larger than the first ; he whirled it and flung it, putting vast strength into the throw; the stone came down a little astern of the dark-prowed vessel, just short of the tip of the steering-oar. The sea surged up as the stone fell into it, but the wave carried the ship forward and drove it on to the shore beyond.
Ever since that blinding Poseidon has been against Odysseus. Once you endured worse than this, on the day when the ruthless Kyklops Cyclops devoured my hardy companions; you held firm till your cunning rescued you from the cave in which you thought to die.
I know incantations and binding charms and love spells which [the Nereid] Galatea is unlikely to resist even for a short time. For your part, just promise to move the door--or rather this door-stone: Winning her over, do I say? I'll produce her here in person, made compliant by many enchantments.
She'll beg and beseech you, and you will play coy and hide your true feelings.Discern Polyphemus
But one thing worries me in all this: I'm afraid the goat-stink of your fleecy blankets may be offensive to a girl who lives in luxury and washes many times a day.
So it would be a good idea if you put everything in order and swept and washed and fumigated your room, and better still if you prepared wreaths of ivy and bindweed to garland yourself and your darling girl. Come on, why waste time? Why not put your hand to the door now? O'Neill Greek comedy C5th to 4th B. Rist Greek bucolic C3rd B. Mair Greek poet C3rd B. Way Greek epic C4th A. Conybeare Greek biography C1st to C2nd A.
Gullick Greek rhetorician C2nd to C3rd A.
He it was who introduced Kyklops Cyclops [Polyphemos] whistling and the stranded Odysseus talking bad Greek. Grant Roman mythographer C2nd A. He had one eye in the middle of his forehead, and feasted on human flesh.
- The Odyssey
- Of what relationship are poseidon and polyphemus, the cyclops?
After he drove his flock back into the cave he would place a great stone weight at the door. He shut Ulysses and his comrades within, and started to devour the men. When Ulysses saw that he could not cope with his size and ferocity, he made him drunk with the wine he had received from Maron, and said that he was called Noman.
But Ulysses tied his comrades to the sheep and himself to the ram, and in this way they got out. Melville Roman epic C1st B.
Achaemenides in rags no more, his clothes no longer pinned with thorns, now quite his former self, replied [to his rescuer Aeneas]: To him I owe my life that did not end between the Cyclops' jaws, and should I leave the light of life today, a proper grave will hold me or at least not that belly!
What were my feelings then--Except that terror swept away all sense and feeling--when, abandoned there, I saw you sail away to sea? Cronus then placed them back in Tartarus, where they remained, guarded by the female monster Campeuntil freed by Zeus.
They fashioned thunderbolts for Zeus to use as weapons, and helped him overthrow Cronus and the other Titans. The lightning bolts, which became Zeus' main weapons, were forged by all three cyclopes, in that Arges added brightness, Brontes added thunderand Steropes added lightning. The cyclopes were said to have built the "cyclopean" fortifications at Tiryns and Mycenae in the Peloponnese. The noises proceeding from the heart of volcanoes were attributed to their operations.
Euripides[ edit ] Euripides' only extant comedy is his play Cyclopswhich was written in B. It is the only complete satyr play of ancient Greece that has survived.
It is based on a story that occurs in book nine of Homer 's Odyssey. It takes place on the island of Sicily near the volcano Mount Etnaand the cyclops is portrayed as a cave-dwellingviolent, cannibalisticoafish character. For this crime, Apollo was then forced into the servitude of Admetus for one year.
Other stories after Euripides tell that Zeus later revived Asclepius and the cyclopes. This was after the year of Apollo's servitude had passed. Zeus pardoned the cyclopes and Asclepius from the underworlddespite them being dead, even though Hades is lord of the dead and they are his prisoners. Hades as well does not ever allow any of his souls to leave the Underworld.
Zeus could not bear the loss of the cyclopes, for they were the biggest reason the Olympians assumed power.
Also, Zeus resurrected Asclepius at the request of Apollo so that their feud would end. Some versions of this myth have it that after Apollo killed the cyclopes, their ghosts dwelt in the caverns of the volcano Aetna. Furthermore, communications are very primitive in Homer's world, and strangers bring and receive news.
It was through visitors that the Homeric Greeks learned about and kept abreast of what was happening in the world beyond their local areas. Hospitality, or the lack of it, affects Odysseus throughout the epic, and the reader can judge civility by the degree of hospitality offered. Odysseus' own home has been taken over by a horde of suitors who crudely take advantage of Ithaca's long-standing tradition of hospitality.
Telemachus and Penelope lack the strength to evict them, nor can they hope for much help from the community because the suitors represent some of the strongest families in the area.
In his wanderings, Odysseus receives impressive help from the Phaeacians and, initially, from Aeolus. Circe is of great assistance after Odysseus conquers her, and the Lotus-eaters might be a little too helpful. On the other hand, the Sirens are sweet-sounding hosts of death, and Cyclops Polyphemus makes no pretense toward hospitality.
In fact, Polyphemus scoffs at the concept and the gods that support it. Zeus himself, king of the gods, is known as the greatest advocate of hospitality and the suppliants who request it; yet even he allows the sea god Poseidon to punish the Phaeacians for their generous tradition of returning wayfarers to their homelands. The most striking example of loyalty in the epic is, of course, Penelope, who waits faithfully for 20 years for her husband's return.
Another example is Telemachus, who stands by his father against the suitors. Odysseus' old nurse, Eurycleia, remains loyal to Penelope and her absent master. Eumaeus, the swineherd, and Philoetius, the cowherd, are exemplary in their loyalty to their master and his possessions. Also an excellent if humble host, Eumaeus makes his king proud as he speaks respectfully of the royal family and abhors the invasion of the suitors. In contrast are goatherd Melanthius and maidservant Melantho.
Father-Son Relationships in The Odyssey by Jessica Randolph on Prezi
Melanthius has become friendly with the suitors and insults Odysseus while the king is still in disguise. The loyal servants are rewarded; those who betray their master are dealt with more harshly.
This issue, however, can be complicated because many of the people from whom Odysseus expects loyalty are actually his property. Even his wife, Penelope, literally belongs to her husband. As abhorrent as that may seem to a modern reader, possession is part of the justification for a double standard when it comes to sexual fidelity.
Penelope is expected to be absolutely faithful to her husband.
Given the account of the battle in the hall at the end of the epic, one might well imagine what would happen to her upon Odysseus' return if she were not. Odysseus, on the other hand, is not bound by the same expectation of fidelity. Penelope and Odysseus especially embody the theme of perseverance. One of the reasons that they are well matched is that they are both survivors. Odysseus has been absent for 20 years, 10 at the Trojan War and 10 more in his journey home.
According to the most aggressive of the suitors, Antinous, Penelope has persevered against the invaders for about four years 2. Odysseus' perseverance is legendary, especially in the section of the epic involving his wanderings Books Through the use of guile, courage, strength, and determination, he endures. Perhaps the most difficult test of his perseverance as well as his loyalty is the seven years he spends as Calypso's captive, a situation he can neither trick nor fight his way out.
Even when the beautiful goddess-nymph tempts him with immortality, Odysseus yearns for home.