In The Odyssey, by Homer, is Polyphemus a god?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

    The one-eyed Polyphemus is one of the great Cyclops encountered by Odysseus in Homer's epic, The Odyssey. Odysseus eventually is blinded by Odysseus after capturing the great Greek warrior's crew and eating several of his men. Odysseus escapes as Polyphemus blindly hurls boulders at his tormenter's fleeing ship.
    Polyphemus is the son of Poseidon, god of the seas; and the sea nymph, Thoosa. Thoosa herself is the daughter of the primordial sea god, Phorcys, and his wife, Ceto, whose offspring are collectively known as the Phorcydes. Nevertheless, Polyphemus is not considered a true god, but instead

... a member of a lawless race that does not acknowledge the gods.

Polyphemus ("famous") is a monster and a cannibal.


readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Polyphemus is a said to be the son of Poseidon. In the light of this, I suppose, he is partially divine. He is also a cyclops. According to Hesiod, the archaic poet, the race of the cyclops came about through the union of Uranus and Gaia. This also suggest that they are semi-godlike.

They also are said to make the thunderbolts of Zeus. And when we read about Polyphemus and the race of Cyclops in Homer's Odyssey, we can say that they are extremely powerful.

In view of all these point, we should probably conclude that they are not gods, but godlike.

scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

He is not a god even though his father (Poseidon) is a god.  He is similar to Hercules in regards to his origin (son of a god and mortal), but neither character is considered a god by the Greeks, mainly because neither has inherent immortality.

Polyphemus is a monster because of his appearance and size, but he is different from many of the other Greek mythological monsters because of his ancestry.