Polyphemus is the villain of the piece in Handel’s Acis and Galatea, based on a story in Ovid’s mythological masterwork Metamorphoses from the 1st century AD. He is a one-eyed giant demigod or a cyclops, one of the race of Titans that first appeared in Greek mythology in the 8th century BC. Apparently, the idea of one-eyed beings is intriguing to storytellers; they are found in literature, drama, comic books, movies, TV shows and video games through the ages. Not only mythological earth creatures, they appear to be common on other planets as well. Some of today’s popular representations include the following:
Marvel’s Cyclops, X-Men
Marvel’s Basilisk, X-Men
Mike Wazowski, Monsters, Inc.
Plankton from SpongeBob SquarePants
Spaceship Captain Leela from Futurama
Leela is a departure from mythological tradition; a cyclops could only be male – which begs the question, where did other cyclops come from?