In The Odyssey, Odysseus tells the Phaeacians the story of his adventures and misadventures as he journeys home to Ithaca from the Trojan War. He explains how he and his men landed on the Island of the Cyclopes and how they sought assistance there. Instead of offering them hospitality, the Cyclops Polyphemus actually eats six of Odysseus’s crew members. Odysseus devises a plan to blind the monster and then escape from his cave hanging from the belly of a ram, and the plan works. Earlier, Odysseus had told Polyphemus that his name was “Nobody,” so when Polyphemus cries out in pain and the other Cyclopes run to help him, he yells from inside his cave, “Nobody’s killing me now by fraud and not by force.” So the others tell him to pray to his father, Poseidon, if “nobody” is hurting him. It’s a cunning trick on Odysseus’s part.
However, as Odysseus and his men sail away from the island, he shouts back at the monster in anger and pride: “Cyclops— if any man on the face of the earth should ask you who blinded you, shamed you so—say Odysseus […], Laertes’ son who makes his home in Ithaca!” Thus, Odysseus reveals his true identity and thus makes himself a target of Poseidon, Polyphemus’s father. Polyphemus then prays, “Hear me— Poseidon […] — come, grant that Odysseus […] never reaches home. Or if he’s fated to see his people once again […], let him come home […] a broken man—all shipmates lost […] — and let him find a world of pain at home!” Poseidon hears this prayer and takes his revenge on Odysseus.