Euripides (c.480–c.406 BC), translated by Theodoridis, G., (contributor-contact-email)

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Euripides’ Cyclops, likely written towards the end of his life, is the only surviving satyr play from Ancient Greece. It was originally part of a four-play series presented in 5th century BC Athens, and is an adaptation of an Odyssey episode. Set in Sicily at Mount Aetna, the play introduces Silenus and his sons, enslaved by the Cyclops Polyphemus. As Odysseus and his men arrive, seeking food and water, Silenus considers trading the Cyclops’ provisions for wine.

The play unfolds with Odysseus trying to avoid capture and consumption by the Cyclops. Despite his efforts, the Cyclops, deceived by Silenus, plans to eat them. Odysseus intoxicates the Cyclops and plots his blinding, with the chorus of satyrs expressing willingness to assist. Eventually, the Cyclops emerges drunken and blinded, allowing Odysseus and his men, along with the satyrs, to escape. The Cyclops’ declaration that he worships only his appetite reflects a theme of human-centred morality, of significant interest for fifth-century Athenians.

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Theodoridis, G.,

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