The Passiveness Of The Cyclops In Homer's Odyssey

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The Cyclops are not immediately introduced as detestable monsters. Homer first describes them as “high and mighty” but also “lawless brutes,” both a positive and negative attribution. While having “no meeting place for council, no laws either, …” might have been an abhorrent to Greek culture, living “not a care in the world” would have undoubtedly appealed to outdoorsmen who prefer the untamed wilderness. Beyond that, we don’t know if the entirety of these Cyclops are belligerent or passive. The only insight that exists is of a loner Cyclops that lives apart from the entire community. The island they alight upon would be a perfect trading post or utopian oasis, the only issue being the archipelagoes are populated by Cyclops. Because the focus of the epic is on Odysseus and from his point of view, his actions are considered heroic and his adversaries obstacles to overcome.…show more content…
Homer foreshadows the ruler of the island is “a savage deaf to justice, blind to law, ” and oh what a surprise! Polyphemus ignores the gods and is a terrible host. With vivid imagery, “snatching two at once, rapping them on the ground he knocked them dead like pups” he eats a total of four sailors. All characterization reveals him as a savage monster, but he does have a soft side. Polyphemus tends a massive herd and has the capacity to attend their needs. With “large flat racks loaded with drying cheeses” and “squatted to milk his sheep and bleating goats,” he is good with animals–something the audience might appreciate. One trait, however, Polyphemus portrays is naivety, in which after eating two sailors, “he slept in his cave, stretched out along his flocks”. Who falls asleep with strangers in the same room? While interesting, the overall vividness of this chapter prevents Polyphemus from being a likeable

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