In "The Odyssey", what survival qualities does Odysseus exhibit in his conflict with Polyphemus?

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amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Well, for one thing, Odysseus shows wit.  He listens and learns about the responses Polyphemus gives his brothers, "No man bothers me" or "This man bothers me."  Odysseus then tells Polyphemus that is name is, in fact, "No Man".  Because of this, the brothers do not think that Polyphemus is being harrassed by a particular person or individual, and therefore, Odysseus has only the one Cyclops with which to deal.  He is also able to put out the eye so that the Cyclops is blinded, making it easier for Odysseus to slip away from the giant, but not before losing six of his men in the fray.  His conceit also possibly puts the rest of his men in danger when Odysseus, before leaving the cave for good, properly identifies himself as "Odysseus."  It stands to reason, that protected by the gods or not, Polyphemus and his brothers will eventually want a little revenge for the treatment they have received at the hands of the famed warrior.

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The Odyssey

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