Odysseus and the Cyclops

Odysseus was returning home to Ithaca from a ten-year war with Troy.  The story of the Odyssey follows his voyage and recites his many confrontations and escapes with the mythology of ancient Greece.  One of these being a cyclops.

When Odysseus went spelunking into the cyclops’ cave, a rather exciting event followed.  The cyclops ate one of Odysseus’ men every day that they stayed in the cave.  Because of this, Odysseus, together with his men, devised a cunning plan to escape from the monster’s clutches.  Since the cyclops rolled a huge stone to block the entrance of the cave between times of letting his flock of sheep out to graze and herding them in again, Odysseus had to trick the monster.

Odysseus had with him some extremely powerful wine which he gave to the cyclops.  After taking a nice long swig, the giant almost immediately fell over from the effects of the drink.  Odysseus and his men seized a log and furnished its end to a sharp point.  They then roasted the tip until it was blazing hot and proceeded to jam the weapon straight into the eye of the cyclops.

During the expanse of time that the weapon was lodged in the monster’s eye, the attackers twisted and wrenched their weapon until the blood of the giant’s eye boiled, and then, with a loud cry, the cyclops blindingly flailed and screamed.  His neighbor cyclopes rushed into the cave and asked what had happened, but not before Odysseus and his men retreated back to a safe distance.

The giant had earlier been misinformed by Odysseus, thinking that his name was Nobody.  The cyclops told the others that Nobody had hurt him.  The other cyclopes then turned away, confused.  The first phase of the men’s plan had succeeded.  Now that the monster was blinded, he felt every sheep that passed through the entrance of the cave, to make sure none of the men escaped.

But Odysseus was too clever for the giant and before the flock of sheep were about to be released out to graze, he and his men got up under the sheep.  They clung to the wool coats so that they were completely out of sight from above.  The cyclops felt every sheep exiting the cave just as always.  Because of the cunning plan of Odysseus, he and his men escaped the cave and fled to their ships not far away.

When Odysseus and the others were on their ships seemingly safe from the grasp of the giant, he called out to the giant and taunted him saying that it was Odysseus, not Nobody, that had outsmarted him.  The cyclops, upon hearing this, sped out and through massive rocks in the direction of the voice.  Some just barely missed, sending huge waves pushing the men out to sea.  One of the rocks actually hit the rudder of the ship.  It was then that the other men pleaded with Odysseus to cease his taunting.

Odysseus once again escaped through devious and clever tricks.  And he continued his journey to return back to his home where his wife Penelope was waiting for him.



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