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Polyphemos is the Kyklops (Cyclops) son of Poseidon and Thoosa. He was the leader of the Kyklopes (Cycopes) and was blinded and tricked by Odysseus.

Myth

Galateia

Polyphemos (or Polyphemus) was a man-eating Kyklops (Cyclops) giant with a single orb-shaped eye set in the middle of his forehead.

He loved the sea nymph Galateia and wooed her with song, but she spurned his advances. When he discovered her in the arms of another, Akis, he crushed the boy beneath a rock.


The Blinding of Polyphemos

In the Odyssey, Polyphemos is holding Odysseus and some of his sailors captive in his cave. He eats Odysseus' men (crushing their heads on the floor) and throwing them in his mouth. Polyphemos promises to eat Odysseus last and asks him what Odysseus' name was. Smart Odysseus tells Polyphemos that his name was "Nobody." Polyphemos eats Odysseus' men and Odysseus gives him wine to get him drunk. When Polyphemos becomes drunk, Odysseus and his men get an olive tree branch, scorch it in fire and plunge it into Polyphemos' eye. Filled with pain, Polyphemos screams and yells making the other Kyklopes run to his cave. The Kyklopes asked Polyphemos what was wrong, and Polyphemos replies with (something along the line): "Nobody is hurting me!" The other Kyklopes, although confused, went away with a shrug.

Gallery

Head-of-polyphemos-museum-of-fine-arts-boston

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