2 3 live&learn&rejoice: the bed of procrustes

April 8, 2011

the bed of procrustes

saw the bed of procrustes on the new books' shelf of the library & wondered what it meant. here goes from brittanica.com:

procrustes had an iron bed (or, according to some accounts, two beds) on which he compelled his victims to lie. Here, if a victim was shorter than the bed, he stretched him by hammering or racking the body to fit. alternatively, if the victim was longer than the bed, he cut off the legs to make the body fit the bed’s length.

the “bed of Procrustes,” or “Procrustean bed,” has become proverbial for arbitrarily—and perhaps ruthlessly—forcing someone or something to fit into an unnatural scheme or pattern.

Procrustes. (2011). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/477822/Procrustes

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