The Cyclops | Study Guide


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Course Hero. "The Cyclops Study Guide." December 6, 2019. Accessed January 28, 2022.


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The Cyclops | Character Analysis



Odysseus is shrewd, brave, loyal, and resourceful. Though he's physically outmatched by the Cyclops he uses intelligence and planning to escape the island. He emerges as the hero of the play, especially since he's surrounded by comically outrageous characters. He has a strong moral code and expects his host to honor the Greek tradition of hospitality to strangers. He also wants to be known for his heroism—leading him to reveal his real name to the Cyclops, a potentially unwise move.


Silenus is an elderly satyr who enjoys wine, dancing, and revelry. He was shipwrecked during a journey to rescue Dionysus from pirates and remains loyal to the god. He is a comic buffoon throughout most of the play. Though he's initially friendly with Odysseus, he later lies to the Cyclops and claims Odysseus stole the monster's flocks. He shows little interest in defeating the Cyclops, instead getting drunk on Odysseus's wine.


The Cyclops is greedy, selfish, and proud. As the son of the sea god Poseidon, he feels his divine lineage makes him invincible. He's used to a wild, lawless, and uncivilized world. While the Cyclops has physical strength, his mental capacities are not as strong; he is ignorant and easily deceived.


The Leader is enthusiastic but simpleminded. Like the other satyrs he loves wine, dancing, singing, and sex, and he frequently makes lewd jokes. He encourages Odysseus to defeat the Cyclops but is too cowardly to help with the plan himself.

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