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The Odyssey
Interactive Literature Selections

Page 12.

1. How do the Cyclopes’ lives differ from those of civilized people?

Page 12.

2. What force helps the Greeks reach a safe harbor?

Page 12.

3. Where do the Greeks spend the night?

4. What does Dawn do?

5. Notice that the description in line 68 is similar to the one in line 50. Why might a poet who composed his work orally use stock phrases, or formulas, again and again?

Page 12.

6. To what is the Cyclops compared?

Page 12.

7. What does Odysseus bring along to offer to the Cyclops?

8. What mistake does Odysseus make? What is foreshadowed, or hinted at, in these lines?

Page 13.

9. How strong is the Cyclops? How do you know?

Page 13.

10. Why doesn’t Odysseus tell the Cyclops the truth?

11. How large would you estimate the Cyclops to be?

12. To what is the Cyclops compared?

13. Why can’t Odysseus kill the Cyclops?

Page 13.

14. How big is the Cyclops’s club or staff? What does Odysseus do with it?

15. What does Odysseus plan to do with the stake?

Page 13.

16. What “gift” does the Cyclops offer to Odysseus in exchange for the drink?

17. What parts of the description of the Cyclops show him to be monstrous and revolting?

18. What do Odysseus and his companions do to the Cyclops?

Page 13.

19. Why do you think Odysseus told the Cyclops that his name is Nohbdy? What mistake is made by the other Cyclopes when they hear this name?

Page 13.

20. What is Odysseus’s plan?

Page 13.

21. What do the Greeks do with the Cyclops’s sheep?

22. How has the Cyclops paid for not honoring his guests?

23. What happens as a result of Odysseus’s taunts?

Page 13.

24. Who is Polyphemos’s father?

25. As it turns out, it takes Odysseus ten years to get back home. Why might this be so?

Page 14.

26. What offering does Odysseus make to Zeus? Is his offering successful?

27. Why are Odysseus and his companions sad despite the fact that they have escaped with their lives?

Page 14.

28. Of what has Circe warned Odysseus?

29. What does Odysseus ask his men to do? Why doesn’t he want to be free to move when he hears the Sirens’ song?

Page 14.

30. Why does Odysseus stop the ears of the sailors with wax?

Page 14.

31. How does Odysseus try to communicate with his crew? Why do they ignore him?

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