Research Paper: Odysseus and the One-Eyed Cyclops
Length: 5-typed pages (double-spaced, with one-inch margins; MLA Guidelines)
Format: 12 pt. font; Times New Roman; 1 inch margins on each side; top and bottom, MLA Format
1. Introduction with your thesis statements
2. Supporting Paragraph(s). Each paragraph must start with a sentence that defines your
discussion in the paragraph below
3. Conclusion: Not merely a summary of what you discussed above but a larger discussion of
your original thesis.
Theme: Analysis of art telling the story of Homer’s Odysseus and the One-Eyed Cyclops
Part 1: Read the following excerpts from Homer’s The Odyssey (Book IX) to give context to the scenes telling the story of Odysseus confrontation with the One-Eye Cyclops, Polyphemus
Poetry in Translation website: Homer’s The Odyssey
Part 2: View three works of art
You are to view the following three works of art that depict scenes from Homer’s The Odyssey retelling
the events of Odysseus and his encounter with the One-Eyed Cyclops. You may search the works of art
from the Getty website (There is information to be located here):
- Pithos with Lid (The Blinding of Polyphemus), (Unknown, Etruscan, 650 – 625 B.C., Terracotta)
Attic Black-Figure Column Krater (Mixing Vessel with Odysseus Escaping from the Cyclops Cave),
(Unknown, Greek Attic, second half of 6th century B.C., Terracotta)
Statuette of Odysseus under a Ram, (Unknown, Greek Sicilian, 525 – 500 B.C., Terracotta with paste and
Part 3: Write your essay comparing the poem to the works of art.
Here are sample questions to consider in your discussion once you have read the poem and viewed the
works of art (You may choose your own questions when evaluating the literature to the artworks.):
• How can you relate the poem to the scenes depicted on the works of art? Is the narration depicted
on the works of art in way different than what you read in the poem? If so, provide a brief description
of what sees different in
• How has the artist chose to illustrate these scenes of the story?
• In your opinion, which artwork best illustrates the scenes depicted, the vases or the statuette?
• How would you describe Odysseus? How does he react to the situations he finds himself in? Odysseus
is known as the “quick-witted” and “wily” one. Does this story support his nickname? Why or why
Important: For this assignment, you are composing a formal essay: your paper should have an
introduction, body and conclusion.
For help with this assignment, you may wish to consult the College’s Writing Center and/or
http://owl.english.purdue.edu. Outside information that you quote directly or information that is not
“common knowledge” (what you glean from the museum, your textbook and class lectures) must be cited
in the proper MLA format. The mere inclusion of a “Works Cited” page or bibliography is not acceptable.
Include proper citations within the body of your paper to show evidence of your research.