Study Guide

Scylla - Monster-Human Alliance

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Monster-Human Alliance

This group is all about promoting peace and understanding between monsters and humans. But like a lot of the other members of this clique, Scylla isn't the most successful member. As soon as they start to make progress toward peace, one of Scylla's many heads starts snacking on someone, and then the whole club looks pretty bad.

The Cyclopes

These giants have one eye smack-dab in the middle of their foreheads. Like Scylla, this monstrous race also pops up in the Odyssey. When Odysseus makes a pit stop on a Cyclopes-inhabited island, several of his men get devoured by a Cyclops named Polyphemus, before the hero manages to jab a stick in his one eye. (Ouch.)

The Minotaur

This angry guy is half-man, half-bull, and spent most of his life locked up in the mysterious Labyrinth on the island of Crete. Like Scylla and the Cyclopes, the Minotaur is known for munching on a person or two every once in a while. His people-noshing ways didn't last long, though; the Athenian hero, Theseus, came and stuck him with a sword.


Yep, Medusa is considered "the pretty girl" in this club. She was a Gorgon, a snake-haired creature so ugly that she turned people to stone whenever they looked at her. Medusa, who was said to be a sister of Scylla, was killed by the hero, Perseus, who—you guessed it—chopped off her head.


In the Odyssey, Homer describes Circe, a beautiful sorceress with a tendency to turn men into animals when they venture onto her island. She's an immortal woman with magical powers who—after turning his men into pigs—convinces Odysseus to stay with her on her island for one year. It might sound like she's got it made, but she's pretty lonely. In fact, Circe vanishes into thin air when Odysseus announces that he's going to leave her and continue his journey homeward. (Note: According to some, Circe is also the sea witch who turned Scylla into a monster.)

Grendel and Grendel's Mom

In the epic Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf, Grendel is a man-eating demon that lives in the land of the Spear-Danes and attacks King Hrothgar's mead-hall every day. Although he can't be harmed by the blade of any edged weapon, Grendel finally gets taken down when the Geatish warrior Beowulf beats him in a wrestling match.

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