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In Greek mythology, a Cyclops. He was the son of Poseidon and the nymph Thoösa. When Odysseus and his companions were cast ashore on the coast of Sicily, Polyphemus imprisoned them in his cave with the intention of eating them. Odysseus got the giant drunk and then blinded him by plunging a burning stake into his single eye. When Polyphemus opened his cave in the morning, Odysseus and the six men the giant had not yet devoured made their escape by clinging to the bellies of sheep let out to pasture.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Polyphemus, visit Britannica.com.