Lecture 6 Jan 25th 2011
Lecture 6 - Men, Gods, Beasts
Is it possible to live a life of “nothing in excess”? = question that the Bacchants asks
teaches sophrosune by break breakingApollo’s commands
In Cyclops explores human identiy by contrasting humans with monsters and non-humans
Odysseus -> human with all the ideal characteristic
Cyclops’s -> glutinous excess
Wine was the most important gift to man from Dionysus
Is ambiguous just like the God it came from
City Dionysian = Three day festival in honour of Dionysus
Civic and religious festival: teach the audience how to be a good man and a good citizen
3 tragedies then 1 satyr drama
Have the satyr drama after the 3 tragedies for comic relief so that you could leave the fest-
ival in a happy mood
Cyclops’by Euripides is the ONLY satyr drama that has survived but there is evidence of other
Satyr drama based on mythological theme just like tragedies BUT was hilarious, obscene and had
a happy ending kind of like a comedy. The chorus was always composed of satyrs.
Had close ties to Dionysian religion (via satyrs, wine, chorus sings often)
Men and young boys dressed up as satyrs (wore a beard, animal ears and a loincloth) and
dressed. Women entered a state of frenzy as if they were really bacchants. By dressing up
can experience the excess that was being displaced in the play
Desire for balance might be created by denying that same balance....
Odysseus is moderate
Cyclops and satyrs are excessive
Iliad and Odyssey = adventure of Odysseus who is on his way back home from the Trojan war;
written by Homer
Were very important texts to Greeks -> were taught to teach literature and etc
By basing his story on an important story in Greek culture, just like tragedies Euripides
connects the satyr drama to tragedies (both are based on well known myths).
So audience will know what changes were made and what effects these changes had on the
overall play -> more dramatic irony
Action of drama = takes place outside BUT in a poem takes place inside the cave
Presence of satyr is a big change
These changes make Odysseus’decisions less morally ambiguous. By giving Odysseus a
legitimate reason for Odysseus to stop at the island make the audience feel bad for him, in
no way did he bring his fate on himself
Euripides defines Odysseus against the Cyclops and the satyrs thus enabling to define him as hu-
man with all the ideal characteristics of the greek man
Cyclops = lawless loner brute; consumes too much; very large monster, has one eye.
We don’t know how the cyclops looked on play.
Satyr= half man half horse, were HYBRID creatures => had human and animal character-
istics. Have an unsatisfiable taste for sex and wine Lecture 6 Jan 25th 2011
May be grotesque sex-fiends BUT they are connected with the signs of civilization
-> play music (flute or lyre) and are are connected w/ the creation of wine (“grapes
are tamed by the creation of wine”).Are a key part of Dionysus’entourage
Odysseus = defined as human by comparing his political, religious and social identity vs
the other beings.
Cyclopes do have milk NOT wine => don’t have the infrastructure to make wine
=> which is a hallmark of Greek.
No system of hospitality (Xenia -> exchange gifts) which is very important in the
Homeric world of Odysseus. Instead of giving gifts, Cyclop ate humans (“I will not