Polyphemus Purpose In Odysseus In Homer's Odyssey

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Polyphemus’ purpose in The Odyssey is to show the two sides of Odysseus – the clever hero and the rash idiot – by providing obstacles for Odysseus to overcome. The way that a person responds to a challenge says much about the person themselves.
Polyphemus asks: “But tell me, / Where did you leave your ship? Far / Down by the coast, or close? I’d like to know” (Odyssey.9.274-276), not out of the goodness of his heart, but because he wants to destroy their ship. Odysseus, ever the quick thinker, realizes this, and instead of replying with the truth, which would leave him with no ship to sail back home with, he lies and says, “My ship? Poseidon smashed it to pieces / Against the rocks at the border of your land” (Oddysey.9.275-276). By not disclaiming
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Later in his interaction with Polyphemus, Odysseus again displays his characteristic cleverness by using the few materials available to him and fashioning a stake with which he and a few of his men would “lift that stake and grind it in his eye / While he was asleep” (Odyssey.328-329). Despite the lack of options he had, Odysseus still came up with a clever plan that he performed perfectly. He even elaborated upon the scheme during the execution of it, despite the fact that the adrenaline must have been running high and there wasn’t time to stop and think: he said, “Noman is my name. They call me Noman” (Odyssey.9.364), instead of giving his real name, with which Polyphemus could invoke the name of the gods and curse him with, or call for help from the neighboring Cyclopes. The final time Odysseus displays his cleverness during his interaction with Polyphemus is when he escaped with his men by “hanging on for dear life” (Odyssey.9.433) to the underside of Polyphemus’ sheep. However, that is where Odysseus’ cleverness ends.
Odysseus lets himself be influenced by the high of victory, and begins to make rash decisions that he hadn’t thought through what the consequences would be. He says that “when we were offshore but still within earshot, / I called out to the Cyclops, just
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