Nobody is Attacking Me!

“Odysseus and his crew sharpened a stick and hardened it in the fire. In the evening, Polyphemus killed two more men. Odysseus offered him some very powerful wine, and his host asked his name: “Nobody” (Outis in Greek), said Odysseus. Polyphemus grew drunk on the wine, and the men gouged out his eye with the sharpened stick. Screaming in pain brought the other cyclopes to Polyphemus’s aid, but when they shouted through the closed entrance, all Polyphemus could respond was “Nobody is attacking me!” and so the other cyclopes returned to their own caves.

The next morning when Polyphemus opened the cave to take his flock out to the fields, Odysseus and his men were secretly clinging to the underbellies of the animals, and thus escaped. With a show of bravado, when they reached their ship, Odysseus taunted Polyphemus, shouting his own name. Polyphemus threw two enormous boulders at the sound of the shout, but could not see to make his targets. Then he prayed to his father Poseidon for revenge, asking that Odysseus never reach home, or failing that, that he should arrive home late, having lost all of his crew, and find trouble at home: a prophecy that did come true.”