Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program

Polyphemus

ADDPMP130

Polyphemus is the one-eyed giant son of Poseidon and Thoosa in Greek mythology, one of the Cyclopes described in Homer’s Odyssey. His name means “abounding in songs and legends”. Polyphemus first appeared as a savage man-eating giant in the ninth book of the Odyssey. The satyr play of Euripides is dependent on this episode apart from one detail; for comic effect, Polyphemus is made a pederast in the play. Later Classical writers presented him in their poems as heterosexual and linked his name with the nymph Galatea. Often he was portrayed as unsuccessful in these, and as unaware of his disproportionate size and musical failings. In the work of even later authors, however, he is presented as both a successful lover and skilled musician. From the Renaissance on, art and literature reflect all of these interpretations of the giant.

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