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ULYSSES AND THE CYCLOPS - Class 10 1st Language English Textbook Solutions



 I. About the Author

Charles Lamb was the youngest son of John Lamb and Elizabeth  Field,  born  in  1775  at  Crown  Office  Row, London,  where  his  father  was  clerk  to  Samuel  Salt,  a Bencher  (senior  member  of  the  Inns  of  Court)  of  the Inner  Temple.  He  had  an  older  brother,  John  (1763– 1821),  and  a  sister,  Mary  (1764–1847).  He  was educated at Christ’s Hospital in Newgate Street, where he was a contemporary of Coleridge, as recalled in his essay, ‘Christ’s Hospital Five and Thirty Years Ago’.  Lamb  spent  vacations  at  Blakesware,  a  country  house in  Hertfordshire,  where  his  grandmother  was housekeeper. It was here that he met his first love, Ann Simmons, but her rejection of him in 1795 was such a shock  that  it  precipitated  a  fit  of  insanity.  By  now  he had  begun a  long career with the East India Company (1792–1825),  which  kept  him  in  his  office  for  nine hours a day, six days a week. He was always to regret not  having  gone  to  university,  but  he  suffered  from  a stutter  that  made  it  impossible  for  him  to  pursue  a career  in  the  church  (the  usual  destiny  for  men  of  his class and  background). Instead, his  ‘university’ would be  his  beloved  London,  where  he  was  surrounded  by his favourite things: old books, theatre, drink and good conversation.     

IV. Question & Answers  

 1. Who was Cyclops?  
Ans:  - 
The  Cyclops  was  giant  shepherds  who  lived  on the steep heads of mountains in caves.   

2.  Pick  any  5  details  to  show  that  they  were  not civilized.  
Ans:  -
  The  Cyclops  neither  sowed  nor  ploughed,  but the  earth  untilled  produced  for  them  rich  wheat  and barley and grapes. They had neither bread nor wine, nor did they know the arts of cultivation, not cared to know them.  They  lived  each  man  to  himself,  without  laws  or government  or  anything  like  a  state  or  kingdom.  Their dwellings  were  in  caves  on  the  steep  heads  of mountains, every man's household governed by his own caprice  or  not  governed  at  all.  They  did  not  have  any ships  or  boats,  no  trade  or  commerce  or  wish  to  visit other shores.   

3. Why did Ulysses and his men enter the habitation of the Cyclop?  
Ans: -
Ulysses, with Chosen party of twelve followers, landed,  to  explore  what  sort  of  men  dwelt  there, whether hospitable or friendly to strangers or altogether wild and savage.   

4. How strong was the Greek wine?  
- The Greek wine was  so strong that no one ever drank it without an infusion of twenty parts of water to one wine, yet the fragrance of it even then so delicious, that  it  would  have  vexed  a  man  who  smelled  it  to abstain from tasting it; but whoever tasted it, it was able to raise his courage to the height of heroic deeds.  

5. How did Ulysses introduce himself and his group to the Cyclop?  
Ans: -
Ulysses said that they came  neither  for plunder, nor  business,  but  were  Grecians,  who  had  lost  their way,  returning  from  Troy.  He  added  that  they acknowledged him to be mightier than them, and hence prostrated themselves humbly before his feet.   

6.  What  horrid  response  did  the  Cyclop  give  to Ulysses; request for hospitality?  
Ans: -
The cyclops replied nothing, but gripping two of the nearest of Ulysses' followers as if they had been no more  than  children,  he  dashed  their  brains  out  against the  earth,  and  tore  in  pieces  their  limbs,  and  devoured them,  yet warm and trembling,  making a  lion's  meal of them lapping the blood.  

7.  What  prevented  Ulysses  from  attacking  the Cyclop with his sword?  
Ans:  -
  When  the  Cyclop  slept  among  his  goats, Ulysses wanted to draw his sword and thrust it with all his  might  into the  bosom  of  the  sleeping  monster;  but wiser  thought  restrained  him  because  he  realized  that he  would  need  Polyphemus  alive  as  only  he  could have  removed  the  mass  of  stone  which  he  had  placed to guard the entrance.   

8.  How  did  Ulysses  prove  that  "manly  wisdom excels brutish force'?  
  -  Ulysses  hatched  a  plot  to  incapacitate  the Cyclop  and  escape  from  the  cave  alive.  He  chose  a stake  from  among  the  wood  which  the  Cyclop  had piled up for firing, in length and thickness like a mast, which  he  sharpened,  and  hardened  in  the  fire;  and selected  four  men,  and  instructed  them  what  they should  do  with  his  stake  and  made  them  perfect  in their parts.  

9.  What  'gift'  does  the  Cyclop  offer  Ulysses  in return for the wine?  
Ans:  -
  The  Cyclop  took  the  wine  and  drank  it,  and vehemently enjoyed the taste of wine, which was  new to  him,  and  swilled  gain  at  the  flagon,  and  entreated for more; and prayed Ulysses to tell him his name, that he  might  bestow  a  gift  upon  the  man  who  had  given him  such  brave  liquor.  When  Ulysses  says  that  this name  is  Noman,  the  Cyclop  promises  Ulysses  that  he will eat him after he has eaten all of Ulysses' friends.   

10. How do the brave Greeks blinded the Cyclop?  
Ans: -
Ulysses waited for some time while the Cyclop lay  insensible; and  heartening up his  men, they placed the  sharp  end  of  the  stake  in  the  fire  till  it  was  heated red-hot;  and  the  four  men  with  difficulty  bored  the sharp end of the huge stake, which they heated red-hot, right into the single eye of the drunken cannibal.   

11. Why didn't the fellow Cyclops help Polyphemus when he cried out for help?  
-  When  the  fellow  Cyclops  came  flocking  from all  parts  to  inquire  what  trouped  Polyphemus, Polyphemus  answered  from  within  the  cave  that Noman  had  hurt him  and Noman was with  him  in the cave. The other Cyclops thought that Polyphemus was alone  in  the  cave  'and  no  one  had  hurt  him  but  he himself.  So  they  went  away,  thinking  that  some disease troubled him.   

12.  How  did  Ulysses  help  his  men  escape  from  the cave?  
Ans: -
Ulysses  made knots of osier twigs upon which the  Cyclop,  commonly  slept,  with  which  he  tied  the fattest and fleeciest of the rams together, three in a rank; and under the middle ram he tied a man. Thus the man  could  escape  from  the  cave  along  with  the  ram which was moving towards its accustomed pasture.  

13.  How  did  Ulysses  himself  escape  from  the  cave?
Ans: -
Ulysses wrapped himself fast with both his hand in the rich wool of a ram, the fairest of the flock. As the sheep passed the doorway of the  cave, the Cyclop who was sitting there at the threshold,  felt the back of those fleecy  wools,  without  realizing  that  they  carried  his enemies under  them.  When  the  last  ram  came  with Ulysses under it, the Cyclop stopped the ram and felt it, and had his hand once in the hair of Ulysses, but did not recognize it.   

14. How did Ulysses introduce himself to the Cyclop at the end of the story?  
Ans:  - 
Ulysses  introduced  himself  as  'Ulysses,  son  of Laertes;  he  was  called  the  King  of  Ithaca  and  a  waster of cities'.                                 
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