Odysseus' Brutality - Right or Wrong

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Some modern scholars have argued that Odysseus is too brutal with the Cyclops, Polyphemus, and that he earns the ‘wrath of Poseidon’. Do you think that this interpretation has any justification within the text of Homer’s Odyssey? Within the text of Homer’s Odyssey it is possible to find justification that Odysseus whilst, admittedly, displaying too much curiousity and arrogance, was not too brutal with Polyphemus. Rather the text would tend to indicate the …

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…of his companions. It is important to remember that the Cyclops has already killed several of Odysseus’ companions, unprovoked to violence. Is his sight worth more than the lives of Odysseus’ men? It is important to note that Odysseus did not harm Polyphemus in any way until after the Cyclops had killed and eaten six of his companions. Polyphemus is far more brutal than Odysseus and therefore Odysseus does not deserve the wrath of Poseidon.