Uncivilization In The Odyssey

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Introduction to Theme A theme is a meaning that goes beyond the plot, something less about events and more about significance, and it allows people to draw a conclusion from a book or story. The theme I will be focusing on is Monsters, which seeks to identify key data connected to the stories of monsters to identify characteristics of a monster within Greek myth. Monsters in Greek myth are often uncivilized, meaning that they exude behaviors which are savage and inappropriate. Monsters which are uncivilized are present in The Essential Homer, but I will specifically be focusing on uncivilized monsters in “Book 9” of The Odyssey. Furthermore, uncivilization in Monsters is present in a painting called The Cyclops Odysseus Series by Romare Bearden,…show more content…
The Odyssey in The Essential Homer In “Book 9” of The Odyssey, Odysseus and his men arrive at an island across the land of the Cyclopes. Odysseus became curious about the Cyclopes, so he decided to take his crew over to the land of the Cyclopes. According to Homer, they are giant creatures with only one eye that lived as lawless savages. Cyclopes have been compared to the people of the Golden age because the gods gave them everything they need, but they are more savage and uncivilized than the people of the Golden age. As they arrived, Odysseus saw a cave and described the owner of the lair as a huge, manly creature who pastured his flocks by himself, lived apart from others, and knew no law. This represents uncivilization in Monsters because civilized beings socialized with friends and family and lived according to the law; opposingly, the Cyclopes did the exact opposite of that. Odysseus ordered some of his men to stay on the ship and told 12 of his best men to come with him to the cave. They then arrived at the cave of the Polyphemus, a Cyclops, and saw that he lived with his lambs and their kids. This represents uncivilization in Monsters because civilized beings did not live in a cave…show more content…
Therefore, this painting takes place before six men in Odysseus’ crew were devoured by Polyphemus. I know that Odysseus’ ship is going toward Polyphemus because the Cyclops’ eye is perfectly fine, meaning it has not yet been gouged in by Odysseus and a few of his men. This painting represents uncivilization in Monsters because it shows that the monster, otherwise known as the Cyclops, lives in a cave. This is different from civilized beings, who live in houses. Furthermore, Polyphemus is pictured happily alone without any neighbors, which represents that the Cyclopes did not socialize with each other. Monsters, and in this case they Cyclopes, are uncivilized because civilized beings were social with friends, family, and neighbors. Opposingly, Cyclopes lived alone and preferred it that way. Polyphemus is pictured staring at the men with his tongue out as if the men are tasty, foreshadowing that he is going to eat them later on. Furthermore, the Cyclops is much larger than the ship that Odysseus is sailing in, giving the viewer an idea of how large the Cyclopes really

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