The reason why Odysseus does not kill Polyphemus is because he has mercy on him. He is a giant but he is a man too, and Odysseus does not want to kill someone who does not deserve to die.
Odysseus shows his mercy by allowing Polyphemus to live even when he has the chance to kill him. For example, when Odysseus escapes from the cave and tries to escape by sailing away in his boat, Polyphemus blocks his path by throwing rocks at him. This could have been an opportunity for Odysseus to kill Polyphemus, but instead he decides to spare his life in order to show mercy on him.
Furthermore, when Odysseus gets back home after escaping from the cave using the help of Athena (the goddess of wisdom), he tells King Alcinous about how he escaped from Polyphemus’s cave. When King Alcinous asks him if he harmed any other Cyclops besides Polyphemus during his journey through Sicily, Odysseus replies: “I did not hurt any other one; I only blinded this one so that.
Last modified: August 11, 2022