The Attack on Polyphemus

The Odyssey, book 9

Odysseus Adventure on the Cyclops Island

After sacking the land of the Cicones, Odysseus and his men ventured to the island of the cyclops, Polyphemus, and continued their reign of terror. The crew entered the cave of Polyphemus, at first unnoticed, but were soon discovered. Polyphemus was not pleased with his unexpected visitors and kept them captive, eating them two by two for meals. Odysseys made a plan to escape, knowing they could not just leave due to the giant boulder blocking the entrance to the cave. They presented the cyclops with a very strong wine causing him to become drunk. As part of the plan, Odysseus, when asked his name, said he was Noman. The crew stabbed the cyclops in the eye with an olive stake, blinding him. Polyphemus called out to the other cyclopses on the island saying "Friends, Noman is murdering me by craft. Force there is none." (Homer, pg 87). Because of Odysseus's crafty trick, the other cyclopses assumed that their was nothing to do if no man was harming him. The next day, when the cyclops let his herd out to pasture, the men hid under them, not to be found by his petting the tops for riders, and they escaped from the cave.

Odysseys Ventures On

As the men left the cave they got back to the ship and began to leave. Cocky Odysseus, full of himself as he was, felt the need to boast of his clever escape. Angered by this, the cyclops threw a boulder into the sea, making waves causing the ship to return to shore. Eventually Odysseus and his men were able to get off of the island and continue on their journey home.