38 pages 1 hour read



Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 422

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Lines 519-709Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Lines 519-623 Summary (Third Episode and Third Stasimon)

Odysseus continues giving Polyphemus wine to make him drunk. He praises Dionysus, the god of wine, as “best of all in blessing the lives of men” (523). Polyphemus, enamored of his discovery of wine, wishes to share the drink with his friends, but Odysseus and Silenus convince him to keep it all for himself. Polyphemus then asks Odysseus who he is, and Odysseus answers, “Nobody is my name” (549).

Silenus, serving as Polyphemus’s server, is meanwhile trying to steal some of the wine. Polyphemus catches him and orders Odysseus to take his place as server. Polyphemus, delighting in the pleasures of wine, has a vision of the gods in heaven. He sees himself as Zeus and Silenus as Ganymede, the mythical cupbearer of the gods—a beautiful young man kidnapped by Zeus. He grabs Silenus and enters the cave (the “comical” implication is that Polyphemus will rape Silenus).

Odysseus summons the satyrs, telling them to prepare themselves to put their plan into motion as soon as the Cyclops falls asleep. Odysseus prays to Hephaestus and the gods for luck in their endeavor. The Chorus then sings the third stasimon, calling on each other to blind their captor so that they can return to Dionysus.