Procrustes

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Procrustes

(prōkrŭs`tēz), in Greek mythology, cruel highwayman. He forced passersby to lie on a very long bed and then stretched them to fit it. Some said that he also had a very short bed; to make passersby fit this he sawed off their legs. Using Procrustes' own villainous methods, Theseus killed him.

Procrustes

 

in ancient Greek mythology, a giant robber who forced travellers to lie down on a bed, cutting off the feet of those who were longer than the bed and stretching out those who were shorter to make them fit the bed’s length; hence his name, which means “he who stretches.” Metaphorically, a “bed of Procrustes,” or “Procrustean bed,” is any artificial means of measure that has no relation to the real meaning of a phenomenon; any forcibly imposed limitation.

Procrustes

robber; stretches or amputates limbs of victims to fit his bed. [Class. Myth.: Zimmerman, 221]

Procrustes

made travelers fit bed by stretching or lopping off their legs. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 221]
References in periodicals archive ?
The subtitle, Comedies of Defiance, seems to promise such a theme but is only treated in the introduction; I was actually relieved not to see such a disparate group of writers crammed into a single Procrustean bed.
Then, too, there is a Procrustean bed aspect to Rubin's use of the EEA.
by trying to force fields new to them into the Procrustean bed of their own discipline;
Given the fact of refrain of "continuity" advocated by President Musharraf finance minister Shaukat Aziz as well as the international financial institutions supplemented by various policy moves in recent months, will not the new government find itself in a sort of Procrustean bed or tight leash having little space or room for manoeuverability in response to people's demands such as combating unemployment?
XML, designed as a Web standard to replace HTML, was intended to give every Web page the ability to define its own tags, breaking free of the Procrustean bed of presentation-only markup.
They don't necessarily squeeze, bend, hack, and torture their subjects' lives to fit the Procrustean bed of their preconceived theories.
Poetic careers do not always fit the Procrustean bed of a century.
While she shows skill in conveying atmosphere--tension, jubilation, fear, pride--she is a clumsy story-teller, trying too often to strap the facts onto a Procrustean bed of underscrutinized theory about the South's resistance to assimilation and cultural change.
While therapy must never be a Procrustean bed with overly rigid criteria for health and disease--the human being is granted by nature the freedom, denied all other animals, for a diverse and varied existence--evaluating the human condition is a value laden enterprise.
But it is also an unproductive line of argument, since it forces the rich archival resources into a Procrustean bed.
Ford understood something that those who would squeeze the presidency into a procrustean bed of institution leave out.
He or she knows the difference between selling out and business- labor cooperation, and seeks ways to insure that technology is understood as a tool of workers and society rather than an instrument to which people must refashion themselves as in a Procrustean bed.