In The Odyssey, what are two unpleasant characteristics that Odysseus used to describe Polyphemus that Polyphemus could also use to describe Odysseus?

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Deceptive: Both can be considered deceptive because they keep very important facts from each other that affect one another. First, Odysseus fails to reveal his name, and the location of his ship. Then Odysseus continues to use cunning deception to get Polyphemus drunk enough to be attacked. Polyphemus on the other hand waits until the end of the section to reveal that his father is Lord Poseidon.

Abusive: The beginning of the selection regarding the Cyclopes reveals that Cyclopes deal out rough justice to their wives and children. This means that they beat them. Odysseus, likewise, dealt out a sort of rough justice to the Cyclops by stabbing him in the eye with a hot iron which burned him blind.

Lacking in tribal ways: The Cyclopes have no meeting or muster. They don't get together to decide how they will operate as a society, they just live. At this point in the story, Odysseus is bound to no human law. He is just living to try to make things work for he and his men. Thus, he ended up trying to steal from the Cyclops which is an immoral act of a man.

Living off the land: Odysseus, at this point, is not in his home working as the king he is, nor is he at war. To eat for himself and his men, he steals water and food from whatever lands they arrive on. This is how Odysseus described the Cyclopes at the beginning: they just eat of the fruitage of the land without planting any new crop.

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