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Skylla Twelve Legs Six Heads and Three Themes When Homer wove the characters of The Odyssey into a story he undoubtedly left room for interpretation of their actions The characters most of whom are dynamic colorful and three dimensional are used by Homer to give a fun but truthful commentary on the Ancient Greeks and their way of life The actions of one figure the man-eating monster named Skylla are particularly interesting when viewed in the context of the rest of the story Though her contribution to the plot is minor Skyllas actions are important in that they are characteristic of several themes found throughout the poem These themes include the role of the female in Odysseuss struggle the hunger figuratively and literally of the characters in The Odyssey and the commentary Homer makes on the individuals who live lawlessly In The Odyssey Homer introduces many female characters some play significant roles some are in the background Regardless of their importance distinctions can be made as to their roles in the story that is some put forth effort to help Odysseus and the other men--Arete Athena Nausikaa and Eurykleia are examples--and others whom he encounters on his voyages home lead to the delay or destruction of them Skylla plays the role of the latter as do Kalypso Kirke and the Seirenes Although none of these women actually harm Odysseus each poses a deadly threat to him on his voyage Odysseuss experience with Skylla is by far the most deadly and disturbing Whereas the other women succeed only in enticing and delaying the crew the encounter with Skylla has lethal consequences Even though he decides to take the sea route that passes near her lair it seeming to be the least dangerous of the three options he wants nothing to do with the monster Yet instead of passing unscathed six of his men are taken XII 294-7 as the boat sails through the channel
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