My dear Kacvey,

To divert your mind a little bit from the political misery completely fabricated by the autocracy to murder for the nth time Cambodia’s democracy, freedom and human rights since the beginning of September, here is the story from the play “Cyclops” as written by Euripides.

Cyclops was gigantic, one-eyed monster (a single eye in the middle of his forehead) and considered cannibalistic in that he included humans in his diet, led a lawless life, possessing neither social manners nor fear for the gods. Cyclops was also the subject of stories by both Homer (Book Nine of “Odyssey”) and Virgil (Book Three of “The Aeneid”); in both stories, cyclops was named Polyphemus.

In Euripides’s Cyclops, Mount Aetna in the island of Sicily was the setting of the play. At the time the play was written and performed, Sicily was considered home to a sophisticated Hellenistic culture, but it also was seen as a place that contained Greek and non-Greek. In this play it was portrayed as a barbaric place that was hostile to both man’s laws and religion.

Here is the story line extracted from Wikipedia:
“It begins with an opening monologue by Silenus, who tells the tale of how he and his satyrs, who are his off-spring and followers, have been victimized by the giant cyclops (named Polyphemus in the Odyssey). The satyrs are now enslaved to work for the cyclops and shepherd his flock. The satyrs are prevented from their usual life as playful and lusty faun-like spirits of the woods, who sport and play while protected by Bacchus or Dionysus. Odysseus, who has lost his way on the voyage home from the Trojan War, arrives with his hungry sailors. They meet Silenus and offer to trade wine for food. Being a servant of Dionysus, Silenus cannot resist obtaining the wine despite the fact that the food is not his to trade. The Cyclops soon arrives and Silenus is quick to accuse Odysseus of stealing the food, swearing to many gods and the Satyrs’ lives (who are standing right beside him) that he is telling the truth. His son, a younger and more modern Satyr, tries to tell the truth to the Cyclops in an attempt to help Odysseus.

“Odysseus has a lively debate with the cyclops; he argues against his brutality, and in favor of morality, laws, justice, and hospitality. The cyclops debates in support of personal advantage and pleasure. The cyclops considers the idea of social justice a fraud created by the weak as protection against the mighty. The cyclops claims that the only thing worthy of worship is wealth. After this argument, the Cyclops brings Odysseus and his crew inside his cave and eats some of them. Odysseus manages to sneak out and is stunned by what he has witnessed. He hatches a scheme to get the Cyclops drunk and burn out his eye with a giant poker after the giant has passed out from inebriation.

“The Cyclops and Silenus drink together, with Silenus attempting to hog the wineskin for himself. When the Cyclops is drunk, he says he is seeing gods and begins to call Silenus Ganymede (the beautiful prince Zeus made his immortal cup bearer). The Cyclops then steals Silenus away into his cave, with the implication that he is about do something sexual to him. Odysseus decides to execute the next phase of his plan. The Satyrs initially offer to help, but later become afraid and offer a variety of absurd excuses when the time for action actually comes. The annoyed Odysseus gets his crew to help instead, and they burn out the Cyclops’ eye.

“He had told the Cyclops earlier that his name was ‘Noman’ or ‘Nobody’ (Greek outis or mētis), so when the Cyclops yells out who was responsible for blinding him, it sounds like he is saying “No man blinded me”. In addition to this pun, there is a less easily translated joke based on the fact that the form of “no man” (mētis) is identical to the word for cleverness or art. The Satyrs have some fun with him over it. Odysseus makes the mistake, however, of blurting out his true name as a result of his big ego. Although he successfully makes his escape, the rest of the troubles Odysseus faces on his voyage home are related to this act, as he then faces the wrath of Poseidon, the father of the Cyclops.”

Kacvey, by the way and once again, many thanks for your endless input in our twitter account!