Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies

Articles

Polyphemus and Tepegöz

C.S. Mundy

The story of Tepegöz is the eighth of the twelve surviving tales of the medieval Turkish cycle of Dede Korkut. In language and style it is uniform with the remainder of the cycle, but in character it differs considerably, being composed largely of incidents common to the folktales of many peoples. Its most striking feature, and the one which has attracted most attention, is the variant of the story of Polyphemus which it contains. But besides this the story has a peculiar interest of its own. It is not a mere chance retelling of an old tale. Its narrative has been based upon a traditional wording which goes back to a time before the various incidents, of independent origin, were welded together in the present complex story.