Odysseus vs. Kyklops — Laws of Civilization?
Lingqi Huang (Frank)
Although Odysseus invaded the Kyklops’ home and assaulted him, those “laws of civilization” (Essay prompt) did not apply to him anymore, under the special situation he met; because the “laws of civilization”, can only restrain and guide the behavior of civilized people, on a limitary scale. Among many confining factors, the applicable region and preconditions are the most significant ones.
In the home of Kyklops, when Odysseus made the first greeting, Polyphemos replied, “We Kyklops care not a whistle about for your thundering Zeus or all gods in bliss; we have more force by far.” (Odyssey, IX, 153). However, far from their homeland, on an island full of mystery, maybe exhausted and starving, when the Odysseus’ crew walked into the cave home of Kyklops, they still “burnt an offering”(Odyssey, IX, 152). This comparison gives the reader a strong impression of their opposite values towards gods. In the eyes of Kyklops, Odysseus seemed to be a coward, but on the other hand, Odysseus may think Polyphemos barbarian. Thus, when they met, in their clashing of values, there had been no precise ruler to measure…show more content… By describing “in one stride he clutched my companions and caught two in his hands like squirming puppies to beat their brains out, spattering the floor” (Odyssey, IX, 153), Homer shows Polyphemos’ mercilessness and the threaten to Odysseus is in the passage without any doubt; Clearly, Odysseus and his men were badly in need of “self-defending”, while the best way Odysseus could bring up with was attacking Polyphemos’