Illustration of Odysseus tied to a ship's mast

The Odyssey

by Homer
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What do you think of Odysseus's plan for escaping Polyphemus?

Odysseus's plan is brilliant. Although it involves his men facing great peril, they are able to escape safely and turn the tables on their giant foe. Thank you for your question!

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I think Odysseus's plan to escape Polyphemus is pretty ingenious.  He first considers killing the Cyclops by stabbing him in the liver while he sleeps, but then Odysseus correctly realizes that they need Polyphemus to roll the stone away from the door because it is too big for his crew...

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I think Odysseus's plan to escape Polyphemus is pretty ingenious.  He first considers killing the Cyclops by stabbing him in the liver while he sleeps, but then Odysseus correctly realizes that they need Polyphemus to roll the stone away from the door because it is too big for his crew to move.  If he kills the monster, there will be no one to let them out of the cave and they will all perish.  Despite the danger they're in, Odysseus still exercises rationality and forethought and cunning.

Therefore, when Odysseus comes up with the idea to blind Polyphemus so that he can still roll away the stone door, it is quite shrewd and intelligent.  He gets the monster really drunk, he and his men plunge an olive stake into his one eye, and then they ride out of the cave tied underneath the sheep so that Polyphemus will not be able to feel them.  Further, Odysseus had told Polyphemus that his name was "No man," so that when other Cyclopes came to check on him, he would have to tell them that No man had hurt him.  Hearing this, they left him alone. 

Finally, the plan succeeds, and all but the six men Polyphemus ate escape the cave, so it must have been pretty sound!

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