Cyclops

Cyclops

by Euripides

Brimming with lusty comedy and horror, this new version of Euripides' only extant satyr play has been refreshed with all the salty humor, vigorous music, and dramatic shapeliness available in modern American English.

Driven by storms onto the shores of the Cyclops' island, Odysseus and his men find that the Cyclops has already enslaved a company of Greeks.

When some of Odysseus' crew are seized and eaten by the Cyclops, Odysseus resorts to spectacular stratagems to free his crew and escape the island.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Plays
  • Rating: 3.58
  • Pages: 96
  • Publish Date: April 19th 2001 by Oxford University Press, USA
  • Isbn10: 0195143035
  • Isbn13: 9780195143034

Read the Book "Cyclops" Online

A pesar de su estilo tiene aspectos serios al ser un drama, no es totalmente una comedia lo que la hace una pieza un poco extraña y sin mucha intensidad.

Satyr plays are basically plays that would be performed after a trilogy of tragedies, and tended to be a lot more light hearted. Okay, Im not suggesting that the Cylops is anything like Dumb and Dumber, particularly since these plays probably wouldnt be all that suitable for children (not that they actually had ratings back in the days of the Ancient Greeks). Needless to say these satyrs tend to also be pretty crude, you know the big phallus and all that, though this is not necessarily mentioned in the play, it is just that we are pretty well versed in what went on Greek plays, like Shakespeares plays, didnt have the details stage instructions that many of the plays today have. Of course the cyclops, whom we arent supposed to sympathise with, you know with the killing and eating of Odysseus men and all that, argue that laws only exist to protect the weak from the strong.

This play could be read as a comedy but really in strict Greek drama terms it is a satyr, the one that exists in its complete form. The first one of the two big differences between Homer and tale of Cyclops are the action of Odysseus men happen off-stage are reported by Odysseus. This is the second book Ive read to help me understand Homers The Odyssey better; Langs Tales of Troy: Ulysses, the sacker of cities was my first one.

Euripides' luckily-saved satyr play is, as you may have guessed, a retelling of the famous episode from The Odyssey where Odysseus fools the Cyclops and gets half his crew eaten in the process. (Context: Polyphemus the cyclops gets Silenus the satyr drunk and then rapes him.) Not because it's unusual - Greek drama is chock full of rape, both jokey and not - just because, I guess. Arrowsmith wins, although Roche's having ten plays in the same volume is still a pretty big advantage.

How else can fledgling theatre historians draw any tangible connection to the satyr play style if "Cyclops"--our one link to this world--is left off the required reading list? (Most people know about Odysseus, right?) Focusing on the titular character, I couldn't help but draw a connection between Euripides' "Cyclops" and John Gardner's depiction of the Dragon in "Grendel." Both characters live in solitude, spurn such societal institutions as religion and government, and opt to satiate what they consider the only truly worthwhile god: their appetite. However, in both cases, the author creates gobs of ironic humor by upending readers' expectations of how such "monsters" would behave; the reader comes to the text assuming the Cyclops and Dragon will act as brutish as their infamous reputations' dictate, only to find the characters pontificating eloquently on such issues as law, religion, government, and human desire.

This makes me wish there were more surviving Satyr plays.

Cyclops makes me wish more than one Satyr play was extant.

More of his plays have survived than those of Aeschylus and Sophocles together, partly because of the chance preservation of a manuscript that was probably part of a complete collection of his works in alphabetical order.