Polyphemus Monstrosity In The Odyssey

639 Words3 Pages
Following comes the story of “The Odyssey”, where Homer presents the character of Polyphemus, the Cyclopes who devours Odysseus’s men. When Polyphemus ingests the men of Odysseus open their arrival, Homer gives readers a commentary on the barbarity linked to cannibalism. As with the proceeding stories, had Homer wished to portray Polyphemus as a mere brute or simple monster, he would have written Polyphemus as a murderer or oppressor. However, in order for readers to grasps the gravity of his monstrosity, Polyphemus not only kills his victims, but devours them as well. There exists a boundary within this story between the civilized and the barbarous, a line that distinctly becomes crossed in the act of Polyphemus eating the flesh of another human. Though Polyphemus is not categorized as entirely human, he is…show more content…
In fact, Polyphemus may exist as the truest form of evil amongst the stories due to his level cognizance. In each of the proceeding accounts, one party does the killing while another party does the eating. Though the former group intentionally serves the human flesh, they do not partake in the consumption themselves. Likewise, the latter group does the consuming, however does so indiscriminately. Polyphemus on the other hand, intentionally kills and intentionally eats other humans, making him more liable. Furthermore, to highlight the savagery, Homer goes to great lengths in order to iterate Polyphemus’s transgressions. In Visser’s essay she claims, “As social beings cannibals must inevitably have manners. Whatever we may think to the contrary, rules and regulations always govern cannibal society and cannibal behavior” (6). However, Polyphemus does not appear to abide by this assertion. In his cannibalistic acts, he consumes Odysseus’s men without any semblance of humanity, but instead eats them raw, chasing them with milk and cheese. The uncooked components of his meal along with the rotting elements accentuate Polyphemus’s
Open Document