Polyphemus Picture



Polyphemus is the infamous man-eating cyclops son of Poseidon. In his youth, Polyphemus was an extremely handsome young man by cyclops standards. His looks were only rivaled by his exquisite singing voice and musical skills which could swoon the heart of any maiden be they cyclops or not. Despite his wondrous attributes which could ensnare any fair lady, Polyphemus only had his eye on a sea nymph by the name of Galatea. For many a day and night, he would sing lovely songs to her, as well as lavish her with the finest cheese and wool made from his flock of sheep, in hopes of gaining her affection. But alas, Galatea's own heart belonged to a simple human shepherd boy named Acis. When the two lovers were caught embracing one another affectionately by Polyphemus, the young cyclops went into a fit of jealousy and rage. Enraged that the lovely Galatea would choose a mere human of no renown over him, Polyphemus threw a boulder at his rival and killed him, an act of which only earned him the eternal scorn from the grief-stricken Galatea. For his crime, the sea nymph swore to never forgive him and forever left him.

As wicked as Polyphemus' tale was, it did not end there with that debacle. For in spite of having forever lost the love of his life, Polyphemus refused to learn from his mistake. Instead he choose to shift the blame towards humanity itself, citing that human men like Acis were actually deceivers who stole maidens that rightfully belonged to beings such as him. Swearing to treat such men the only way that they deserved to be treated, he began tricking human men into his own abode under the guise of being hospitable. Under such disrespectful false pretenses, he would murder and eat his guests, justifying his heinous acts as his right against these so-called deceivers. At first, it was merely human men who were unlucky enough to become his guests that he murdered and ate. However as he grew older and more bitter, it slowly didn't mattered to him what race or gender the guests that he murdered were. He was just short of becoming a full-fledged cannibal when he was finally ostracized by vote from his fellow cyclopes for his misdeeds and forced to leave their colony. Shunned by his kin, Polyphemus became a recluse who lived in the farthest outskirts of their territory.

Polyphemus' disrespect for common hospitality ultimately caught up to him when he decided to play host for a certain man and his wayward crew. Initially, Polyphemus thought he had caught a mighty bounty when he trapped the lost sailors within his cave. However, his heinous inhospitality was soon repaid with a burning stake in the eye driven by his supposed prisoners when he slept. When this happened, Polyphemus tried appealing to his fellow cyclopes to aid him. However as the man responsible for the deed named himself as "Nobody" when Polyphemus started gnawing on some of his crew, many of Polyphemus' kin thought he had finally gone completely mad when he started shouting, "Nobody has blinded me!" Some of the wiser cyclopes may have realized what really happened, however due to Polyphemus' barbarism that appalled even them, it was likely they merely played dumb. Unaided, blinded, and enraged, Polyphemus tried keeping his prisoners from escaping as best as he could. However through further guile aided with some wool sheared off from Polyphemus' own flock, they escaped. Having been completely outwitted and humiliated by this incident, Polyphemus fell into utter despair. His only flicker of light however was when "Nobody" foolishly revealed his true name as he boastfully left the cyclops to wallow in his own self-pity. With this name completely memorized, Polyphemus prayed to his father to avenge this great wrong that had been done to him despite the fact it was Polyphemus' own fault to begin with. Suffice to say, Polyphemus' prayers were answered in the form of one of longest legendary voyages known throughout antiquity.

After what happened to Polyphemus with that man, it's not known what happened to the cyclops himself. Some say that his father took pity on him and brought him to paradise despite the many wrongs the cyclops did. It's more likely though that Polyphemus died bitter and completely alone as in such a blinded state he could not properly care for his sheep, the only things he probably truly cared and respected throughout his miserable life.


• Combined two myths about Polyphemus as well as expanded on his overall story.
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