Cyclops is a figure in the Greek mythology, a giant of a man who happens to have only a single eye, but many referred to Cyclopes as a group of one-eyed giants who were also outlaws. The most famous, Polyphemus, ate men. He was a bully who enjoyed being feared, but Odysseus took care of him by blinding him.
Homer, Hesiod, Euripides, Callimachus, Theocritus, and Virgil all wrote about Cyclops, so he’s a pretty popular character.
I’ve culled my character, Cyclops, from his brothers, so that he may stand alone and stand out. According to Hesiod, Cyclopes are strong, stubborn, and abrupt. This description reminded me of a certain man I know. I felt as though I knew this character very well before I ever wrote a single sentence about him.
My Cyclops is a real sweetheart, a hard-working man who forged lightning bolts for Zeus. Although he’s a great big man, he is a gentle giant who can’t grow a beard to save his life. He smells like chocolate-chip cookies. Who could be afraid of someone who smells so delicious? We should use more than our sense of sight to determine someone’s character. It is my hope that the kids from Kansas will do that with Cyclops.
Cyclops often appear grumpy and who can blame him if he’s been pounding thunderbolts against an anvil all day, working in mind-blaring heat? But even grumps need to have a sense of humor; otherwise, they would be D-U-L-L. If there’s anything worse than being boring, I can’t imagine what it would be.
So I made Cyclops a wordsmith, as well as a blacksmith. However, he sometimes gets his phrases confused, which is called ‘malaprops.’ If you’ve ever bothered to learn a foreign language, (and you should—you really, really should) you will discover people can have the same idea but express it quite differently. Now imagine that you’ve lived through 3,000 years of civilizations, coming and going. How could you keep up with all changes in dialect and slang?
Well, Cyclops tries, but he’s not always successful. But aren’t we glad he makes the attempt!