As Odysseus cautiously prepares to enter the straits plagued by Charybdis and Scylla, he encourages his crew by referring to his earlier success against the Cyclops (Od. 12.208-12). This article argues that the Odyssey constructs the Scylla adventure as a tale of heroic failure in contrast with the Cyclops episode. Special attention is paid to narrative paradigms that underlie the Scylla episode and emphasize Odysseus' inability to defeat the monster. I further show that the Cyclops/Scylla contrast serves both as an argument presented to Odysseus' internal Phaeacian audience and an interpretive key for the external audience.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language
- Literature and Literary Theory