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In Book 9 of Homer's Odyssey, the title character tells about his adventures in the land of the Cyclopes. As he begins his narrative, he relates that the Cyclopes are a lawless people, which should alert the audience that this will be a peril-filled adventure.
After a successful hunting episode provides Odysseus and his men with lots of meat, Odysseus decides that he wants to explore the Cyclopes' land further. Odysseus tells his comrades:
“The rest of you loyal friends stay here, while I and my crew take ship and try and find out who these men are, whether they are cruel, savage and lawless, or good to strangers, and in their hearts fear the gods.” (A.S. Kline translation)
With these words, Odysseus and twelve of his men head out to explore. They come upon the cave of a certain Cyclops named Polyphemus. The monster is out tending his flocks and so Odysseus and his men wait for Polyphemus to return home. Odysseus' men do not wait willingly because their instincts tell them that the Cyclops is a dangerous creature. Odysseus' companions urge him to leave the cave, but Odysseus is stubborn and also curious about the Cyclops:
"But I would not listen, though it would have been best, wishing to see the giant himself, and test his hospitality. When he did appear he proved no joy to my men." (A.S. Kline translation)
Eventually, the instinct of Odysseus' men proves correct. When the Cyclops returns, he kills and eats six of Odysseus' men. Ultimately, Odysseus and the rest of his comrades manage to escape, but Odysseus' curiosity about the Cyclopes has cost him and his men dearly.
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