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In the ninth book of Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus and his crew find themselves in the land of the Cyclopes. Odysseus and several of his men go ashore and come upon the cave of the Cyclops Polyphemus. The Cyclops is not there because he was out shepherding his flocks. Odysseus’ comrades advised their leader to take some of Polyphemus’ cheeses and his livestock and then return to the ship. Odysseus, however, confesses, “But I would not listen, though it would have been best, wishing to see the giant himself, and test his hospitality” (A.S. Kline translation).
Odysseus’ decision to stay at Polyphemus’ cave proves disastrous. When the Cyclops returns, he kills several of Odysseus’ men and eats them. Odysseus manages to escape, but his blinding of Polyphemus, who was a son of Poseidon, has terrible consequences. When Odysseus finally reveals his true identity to Polyphemus, the monster prays to his father for vengeance. This prayer brings about Poseidon’s persecution of Odysseus and in Odysseus’ return from Troy being significantly delayed.
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