In Book 9 of The Odyssey, who asked a prayer for assistance and what did the prayer ask for?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is Polyphemus the Cyclops who asks for assistance through prayer in Book 9 of "The Odyssey".  Cyclops prays to his father, Poseidon, and entreats him with these words,

"Hear me, great Poseidon!  If I am indeed your own true begotten son, grant that Odysseus may never reach his home alive; or if he must get back to his friends at last, let him do so late and in sore plight...after losing all his men let him reach his home in another man's ship and find trouble in his house" (Book 9).

Odysseus ventured onto the island of the Cyclops, with the intention of exploring and then stealing cheese and livestock.  Odysseus, however, desires a gift from Cyclops, and so challenges the one-eyed monster personally to grant him the traditional gift a host must profer to a visitor.  The malicious Cyclops responds by eating some of Odysseus's men, but eventually, he is outwitted by Odysseus, who puts out his single eye and then taunts his victim as he sails away with his plunder.  Powerless and enraged, Cyclops prays to his father Poseidon to avenge him with a curse upon Odysseus, and as a result, Odysseus is not able to return home for ten long years.  

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The Odyssey

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