How would you relate the Cyclops incident to the theme of search for identity?Book 9


The Odyssey

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gbeatty's profile pic

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A fine question. There are several ways that this relates. First, look at the fact that Odysseus and his men have to hide their identity to escape. They do this first through blinding the one-eyed giant, and second through hiding under the sheep, so they can pass. To survive, one must sometimes hide one's identity. Second, Odysseus lies about who he is, telling the Cyclops he is "Nobody." This both shows the role of hiding one's identity in adventure/survival, and is a kind of object lesson: if you can't figure out that someone's lying to you, you deserve to be blinded. Third, look at how Odysseus' real character/identity reasserts itself as they are escaping: he taunts the Cyclops, and almost dies for it. You can't really hide who you are in the end.


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