The Cyclops

Term Paper Assignment #2 (100 points): 

Your task for paper #2 is relatively “simple”: to decide upon a reasonable date for Euripides’ satyr play “The Cyclops” and to support that date from your reading of this play in conjunction with known historical events (hint: the Peloponnesian War/s) and the evidence drawn from the other plays of Euripides & Aristophanes.

The object of this assignment is for you use what you have learned about how to read in our literary examination of Homer’s The Iliad, then to apply it to Euripides’ play “The Cyclops”.  As noted in your textbook (Euripides, Ten Plays, trans. Roche), the date for “The Cyclops” is not known. And while different scholars may have argued various dates for this play, their conclusions are irrelevant for the purposes of this assignment (so don’t bother looking on the web, it won’t help your grade at all). Your task is to decide upon a date based on your reading of the play and your knowledge of other events and plays from this period.

You must complete and use the following underlined thesis statement in your paper:

In this paper I shall demonstrate that Euripides’ satyr play “The Cyclops” must have been written and performed [choose one: in/around/after] the year [fill in the date] BCE. I have chosen this date because [state your rationale here in a very brief form]. To support my position, I shall draw primarily upon known historical events as well as other evidence in Euripides’ plays [list the plays hereand in Aristophanes’ plays [list the plays here].

Your paper will then present a clear, coherent, and carefully argued position in support of your chosen date.

Resources & Sources

You are to use ONLY these textbooks as your primary sources: Euripides, Ten Plays (trans. Roche) and The Complete Plays of Aristophanes (trans. Hadas) – all references must be to page numbers from these editions.  For additional sources, you may use The Iliad and The Odyssey (Fagles translations only) as well as any material posted in the Unit I and Unit II folders on Angel LMS.  If you have any doubts about the suitability of something, please check with me first.

APA format style

Please do not alter or change this assignment in any way without explicit written permission from me. (To do so will result in a “zero” for the assignment.) Any form of academic dishonesty will result in an “F” grade for the course. There are no exceptions to this, so don’t ask.


Your grade will be based on 1) your ability to follow the directions of this assignment, 2)your demonstrated understanding and insight on the topic, 3) the critical support / evidence you supply for your reading of “The Cyclops” and any other plays of Euripides and Aristophanes that you cite, and 4) the clarity, organization, and presentation of your argument.

All grading is on the zero scale, thus it is possible for a very poor paper (e.g. one containing fewer words than this assignment sheet or a plagiarized paper) to receive a “zero”.  If you really don’t want to write this paper, then don’t; no one is forcing you. Trying to slap something together from the Internet just to “earn” a few free points will end up working against you.

Please follow the instructions on Angel to submit your paper to – and upload it into the folder for paper #2. Use the originality report feature of to review and resolve any potential plagiarism problems on your paper. Think of as a (potentially) course-grade-saving service.

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