Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Mythology Wednesday - Polyphemus versus Nobody

Mythology Wednesday - Polyphemus versus Nobody 

Hey all! Welcome to our second Mythology Wednesday! Every Wednesday, both Erika from Books, Stars, Writing, and Everything in Between and I will be summarizing a myth or legend that is relevant to the current book in our read-along! 

Erika’s topic this week is Sirens. Make sure to check it out! :) 

Polyphemus vs. Nobody
So. Odysseus went on a lot of adventures, as you probably already know. The gods made him do all sorts of crazy things - fight Laestrygonians (giant cannibals), visit the witch-goddess Circe, encounter Sirens, survive whirlpools, got stuck on Ogygia... and had to escape from Polyphemus, a cyclops. 

What happened with the Cyclops? Well, Odysseus and his group found an island, on which there was a cave. They decided to settle in the cave for the night. Some time later, Polyphemus came to the cave. Turns out it was his home. 

Now, Polyphemus was a shepherd - he had a bunch of sheep on his island, and would bring them back inside the cave at night, and would move a huge boulder in front of the entrance to the cave to make sure none would escape at night. When he closed the ‘door’ that evening, and noticed Odysseus and his group... well... let’s just say he wasn’t happy. Enraged, he took two of the men and ate them. The others, seeing Polyphemus’s enormous strength, decided against doing anything. 

The next morning, Polyphemus ate two more men before letting his sheep out. By that time, Odysseus and his group had devised a plan. They were going to dress up as lady cyclopes to buy time and help the others escape.  They sharpened a log, and kept it hidden. Polyphemus, as a not-super-generous host, had asked Odysseus what his name was. His reply? Outis (“Nobody” in greek). Later, Polyphemus came back in, and fell asleep. As he was sleeping, the group took the pointed log, heated the tip, and plunged it into his eye, blinding him. 

Obviously, the pain woke him up. He roared in pain so loudly that other cyclopses heard him. They rushed over and asked “Who is hurting you?” Polyphemus replied “Nobody is hurting me!”. Incredibly confused about the situation, and thinking that what was happening might be a punishment from the gods, the others ran away. 

Now that he was blind, Odysseus and the others could easily escape. The next morning, when Polyphemus let the sheep out, they held on to the sheep’s stomachs, so that the cyclops could not feel them walk out. They went to the boat and managed to escape. Before they could be too far away, Odysseus called out his real name. When he realized he was tricked, Polyphemus started trowing rocks to the ship, missing every time. 

I hope you enjoyed this little greek mythology post! :D 
Make sure to comment any thoughts! C: 

Have an amazing day! 


  1. Loving the causal strikes-out line there. I don't know, dressing up as lady cyclops sounds like a great idea in life-or-death situations, no? XD
    I can't help but notice that Percy and his friends went through everything Odysseus went through...sirens, Circe's island, whirlpools, and such. Ogygia comes at a later book, but it's still there!
    This was so neat, I had no idea about what Odysseus did except escape Polyphemus! My knowledge has grown, which I'm sure will be very helpful if I find myself stranded on his island!

    1. Hehehe thanks! I thought I should mention it ^-^
      And yes it’s an absolutely amazing idea, right?!
      I noticed the same while writing it! I was like “oooh well now I see where the inspiration came from for some of his adventures!”
      Thanks so much! C: I’m glad I gave you some escape ideas!

    2. I keep wondering whether or not the other books are loose retellings of someone's journey? It could very well be, just that we don't know it, since it's set in the modern context...
      Yes, these are excellent escape ideas! I'm pretty sure they'll work all the same anywhere. As long as the monsters are gullible enough, you should be able to make it out alive! :D

    3. I dunno, I guess we’ll have to see! :D

  2. What a great idea for posts! I absolutely love mythology. It's just so.. unique and mysterious. And it makes you wonder; just what did inspire those stories?

    Unfortunately, I only made it up to Sea of Monsters in the Percy Jackson series before I took a break. It's been a year or two; I so need to get back into it. I loved what I did manage to read.

    Loved your retelling, Caroline. I'll have to go check out Erika's as well, because Sirens are nifty.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    Edge of Night

    1. Hi Eve! Thanks so much! :) They’re really only for this read-along, though. Mythology has always been one of my favorite topics as well, especially greek. I wish I could go back to those times and see the writing of the stories!

      Feel free to read the next three along with us! :D It’s really worth it :)

      Thank you so much!! C:


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