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In The Odyssey, what "laws" of behavior and attitude does Polyphemus violate in his...

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cute121212 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 29, 2009 at 8:26 AM via web

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In The Odyssey, what "laws" of behavior and attitude does Polyphemus violate in his treatments with the Greeks?

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troutmiller | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted January 29, 2009 at 7:51 PM (Answer #1)

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When Odysseus and his men arrive, Polyphemus is supposed to follow the "hospitality" rule.  He is supposed to offer them food and drink, and then ask questions later.  The reason for this is that the stranger(s) could be a god or goddess. However, instead, he grabs several of Odysseus' men and eats them.  He says that he doesn't have to follow any rules.  His father is Poseidon, and he can do whatever it is he wants.  His race is in a position where they don't have to work that hard to get what they need.  Everything is pretty much given to them.  So his attitude is selfish and he answers only to himself. Any other person who would act this way would be cursed by the gods.  But since he is the son of Poseidon, he gets away with it.

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