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Despite Odysseus being portrayed as a hero, his actions seemed to prove otherwise. The conflict began when Odysseus and his men arrived at the land of Kyklopes and upon discovering Polyphemus’ cavern, they entered uninvited and rudely ate his food. When Polyphemus arrived, Odysseus lied and threatened him if he failed to treat his ‘guests’ properly. Odysseus should be sued for the damage he created while trespassing in Polyphemus’ home because he took advantage of Polyphemus and violated a breaking and entering law.
While Odysseus and his men were trespassing in Polyphemus’ home, they took advantage of Polyphemus in many ways. First, Odysseus tricked Polyphemus, “Kyklops, try some wine” and waited for “fuddle and flush to come over him” (Homer 155). By offering Polyphemus wine and proceeding to serve three large bowls of the intoxicating liquor, Odysseus intended to confuse a drunk Polyphemus, and that is precisely what he did. Odysseus and his men then took a hand spike and “rammed it deep in his crater eye” after successfully drunkening Polyphemus (Homer 156). Not only did Odysseus assault Polyphemus, he also took advantage of his unconscious state to harm him. When Polyphemus abruptly awoke, Odysseus foolishly taunted him, “My name is Nohbody….everyone calls me Nohbody” (Homer 156). This was another example of Odysseus taking advantage of Polyphemus because he cruelly deceived Polyphemus into believing his name was Nohbody and when Polyphemus called on his fellow Kyklopes for help, he was made to sound ridiculous, proclaiming ‘Nohbody’ had attacked him.
In addition to Odysseus taking advantage of Polyphemus, he and his men also violated his privacy by breaking and entering his cavern. After confirming that Polyphemus wasn’t home, Odysseus refused to leave, proclaiming, “I wished to see the caveman, what he had to offer” (Homer 151). Despite Polyphemus not being home, Odysseus expressed to his men that regardless the situation, he was entering the cavern uninvited simply because he wanted to confront the Kyklops when he returned. In fact, Odysseus and his men “took some cheese to eat” while waiting for Polyphemus to return (Homer 152). Odysseus acted improperly by taking food from Polyphemus without permission. Furthermore, when Odysseus escaped, he “rounded up his sheep to take aboard” (Homer 159). Not only did he steal Polyphemus’ food, Odysseus also stole his beloved flock of sheep.
While it may be argued that Polyphemus is to blame because he devoured some of Odysseus’ men and refused to allow Odysseus and his men to leave, Odysseus created the entire conflict by foolishly remaining on the island and entering Polyphemus’ home. If Odysseus hadn’t trespassed and eaten his food, Polyphemus would never have had the need to eat his men for meals or prevent Odysseus and his men from escaping. Odysseus is being rightly accused and he should be sued for the damage he created in Polyphemus’ home and for his inhumane acts of cruelty. Instead of choosing to wait for the Kyklops or leaving his land, Odysseus and his men walked straight into danger by breaking and entering Polyphemus’ cavern. Odysseus also cruelly deceived and took advantage of Polyphemus while in his home. All of Odysseus’ actions were far from heroic and he created much more trouble for himself by angering the Kyklops.
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