Odysseus, Polyphemus, and Cyclops: Research Paper Assignment

I choose to write about Cyclops, Odysseus, and Polyphemus for my research paper assignment. Both Odysseus and Polyphemus of Cyclops are the opposite of each other. From the book Odyssey, both Polyphemus and Odysseus did not like each other. In the story, Odysseus was considered to be a hero of a hero among the Greeks. The story between these two characters shows a battle between what is right and what is wrong.The story also has many teachings that can be useful in the life of many individuals today. The paper shows the comparisons between Polyphemus, Odysseus, and Cyclops.

Odysseus is the main character in the story, which makes him the center of the book as he tries to recover his kingdom and his home. He is the father to Telemachus and the husband to Penelope. Odysseus is quite the character (Homer, 2015). He is deceitful, cunning, wise, intelligent, impulsive, courageous and prudent. Odysseus is different from the other characters since his mental skills are as excellent as how his physical strengths are. Many times Odysseus is lauded as godlike and praised for the many qualities that he has.He is goddess Athena’s favorite and an enemy of Poseidon. The leadership and the prowess that Odysseus had made him a legend among his people.However, the Greek hero had some flaws, which led to his failure. However, the poet does not look down upon the many negative traits portrayed by Odysseus.

Polyphemus, on the other hand, is seen as a monster with one eye from Cyclopes. Polyphemus is the son of Poseidon. Polyphemus was in love with Galatea which led him to kill her lover Acis (Homer, 2015). Polyphemus is the reason for the cruelty that Odysseus and his Greek men face. Odysseus encounters Polyphemus as he was trying to return home. When the Greek leader and his men come across a cave with food, they decide to enter the cave; a cave which belonged to Polyphemus. Polyphemus seals the entrance to the cave so that no one would escape and grabs two Greek men who he eats (Homer, 2015).

The two characters Odysseus and Polyphemus are the polar opposite of each other. Polyphemus is an arch-villain who shows the worst behaviors and characteristics of physical beings. He also indicates overconfidence, ignorance, and credulousness while Odysseus shows virtues of intelligence and knowledge. Even though the king of the Greek is strong, his strength is nothing compared to the power of the monster Polyphemus. However, Odysseus is not scared of him regardless of his strength and the fact that he has killed and eaten many of his men (Homer, 2015). The encounter between Odysseus and Polyphemus shows that even non-physical abilities are more powerful than physical strength.

As a warrior, Odysseus can defeat Polyphemus by the use of the intelligence that he has already mastered. Because of the trick that Odysseus uses on the monster, it is right to say that Cyclops is foolish. He did not think that there were other ways which could be used to harm him. Odysseus gives Cyclops big wine which made him fall into a deep sleep and then later stabbed his one eye making him blind.Odysseus is shown as a fellow with strong moral fiber, unlike the Cyclopes who is cruel and not respectful. Another difference is that the Cyclops fed on other human beings, which was not the case for the Greek men. The Cyclops had one eye, and their names meant rounded eye.

After the incidence at the cave; the blinding of Polyphemus, Odysseus pride makes him reveal his true identity to Polyphemus. Polyphemus devours the ship of the Greeks with a rock, nearly causing it to capsize. Polyphemus seeks help from his father Poseidon, who is a god of the sea. Poseidon does not like Polyphemus for many reasons, blinding his son being one of them. The grudge between Poseidon and Odysseus had begun way back during the Trojan War where Odysseus decided to side with the Greeks (Homer, 2015). Poseidon wastes no chance in making the return journey for Odysseus very hard. Odysseus' actions to provide might have severe implications. However, the Odysseus was similar to the Cyclops and Polyphemus in that they all wanted revenge.
The manner in which Odysseus' introduces himself to Polyphemus represents the cultural values of ancient Greece. The mode of introduction was extremely formalized in Homeric Greece. He wants to conform to the people that he is the one who has performed the great deed of blinding Polyphemus. Odysseus believes that he will only get glory if he spreads his name abroad.  Along with his travel back home, Odysseus meets his first love Circe, who turns all his men to pigs (Homer, 2015). She, however, lifts the curse after Odysseus agrees to sleep with her.


Odysseus, the Cyclops, and Polyphemus had a lot of differences and some similarities. The Cyclops and Polyphemus were giants while Odysseus and his men were human beings. Polyphemus and Odysseus sought revenge for each other. They pleaded for both pleaded for help where Odysseus asked for help from Aeolus and Polyphemus from his father. The army of Polyphemus was the fellow Cyclops while the army that Odysseus had were his men.



Homer, H. (2015). The odyssey.Xist Publishing.

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