- Homer's Odyssey (radio)
“Homer’s Odyssey: Tale of the Cyclops” is a radio program from the American radio anthology series
Radio Tales. The anthology series adapted classic works of American and world literature for the radio. The series was a recipient of numerous awards, including four Gracie Allen Awards from the Foundation of American Women in Radio and Television (in 2004, [ [http://www.awrt.org/press-releases/2004/Press_Release_%20Announce_Winners.pdf "AWRT Press Release"] AWRT.org. Accessed March 21, 2008.] 2003, [ [http://www.npr.org/about/press/030402.gracie.html "NPR Productions Win Gracie Allen Awards"] NPR.org. Accessed March 21, 2008.] 2001, [ [http://web.archive.org/web/20011126020253/www.awrt.org/awards/2000GracieWinners.html "2001 Gracie Allen Award Winners"] AWRT.org, as indexed by the Internet Archive at Archive.org. Accessed March 21, 2008.] and 1998), a New York Festivals WorldMedal, [ [http://web.archive.org/web/20050207122048/http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/res/pdf/2004RPwinners.pdf "2004 Winners, Radio Programming and Promotion, New York Festivals"] NewYorkFestivals.com, as indexed by the Internet Archive at Archive.org. Accessed March 21, 2008.] and a Golden Reel Merit Award. [ [http://web.archive.org/web/20010802161539/www.nfcb.org/2001reelsinfo.html "NFCB Announces 2001 Golden Reel Award Winners"] NFCB.org, as indexed by the Internet Archive at Archive.org. Accessed March 21, 2008.] “Homer’s Odyssey: Tale of the Cyclops” was an adaptation of the epic poem by Homer.
The Radio Tales production of “Homer’s Odyssey: Tale of the Cyclops” was first broadcast via NPR on January 4, 2000 [National Public Radio: "NPR Quarterly Edition Winter 2000". NPR Marketing, Jan. - March 2000, Vol. VI, No. I] . The program encompassed two half-hour installments that were distributed to NPR member stations as part of the
NPR Playhousecultural series. Since November 28th, 2002, the entire Radio Tales series has aired in reruns on the Sonic Theater channel (163) of the XM Satellite Radioservice [ [http://www.xmradio.com/onxm/features/sonictheater.xmc "Sonic Theater"] XMRadio.com. Accessed May 22, 2008.] . “Homer’s Odyssey: Tale of the Cyclops” debuted on XM Satellite Radio on April 12, 2003.
The program was produced and script edited by series producer
Winnie Waldron, who also served as the on-air host [ [http://www.winifredphillips.com/wp_bio.html "Winifred Phillips Official Site: Biography"] Winifredphillips.com. Accessed May 19, 2008.] . Composer Winifred Phillipscreated over fifty-six minutes of music for the program, and also performed as the featured actress [ [http://www.mninter.net/~jstearns/nprPH.html#top "NPR Playhouse - January - March, 2001"] MNinter.net. Accessed March 21, 2008.] . “Homer’s Odyssey: Tale of the Cyclops” was part of the fifth year of Radio Tales on NPR Playhouse [National Public Radio: "NPR Quarterly Edition Winter 2000". NPR Marketing, Jan. - March 2000, Vol. VI, No. I] .
The Radio Tales production of “Homer’s Odyssey: Tale of the Cyclops” has been available in numerous formats and venues, including burn-on-demand CDs manufactured and distributed by MP3.com [ [http://web.archive.org/web/20031129193548/artists.mp3s.com/artists/33/npr_radio_tales.html "MP3.com: Radio Tales"] MP3.com, as indexed by the Internet Archive at Archive.org. Accessed
July 15, 2008.] and Ampcast.com [ [http://web.archive.org/web/20060212003627/http://www.ampcast.com/music/25229/artist.php "Ampcast.com: Radio Tales"] Ampcast.com, as indexed by the Internet Archive at Archive.org. Accessed July 15, 2008.] . Beginning in 2005, programs from the series, including “Homer’s Odyssey: Tale of the Cyclops”, have been available for download via the Audioville.co.uk web site [ [http://www.audioville.co.uk/store/view.php?Id=585&ProductCategoryId=59 "audioVille | Stor>>Fiction | Radio Tales | Download Audio Books, Podcasts and more in MP3. Comedy, Fiction, sport, news, science, drama."] Audioville.co.uk. Accessed September 14, 2008.] .
The story begins after the sacking of Troy, as the legendary hero Odysseus guides his fleet on the long sea voyage to their homeland of Ithaca. First, the fleet stops to sack the city of Ismarus as retribution for supporting Troy during the war. While Odysseus and his warriors are at first very successful, they make the mistake of staying too long, allowing their enemies time to gather allies and mount an attack. Suffering many casualties, Odysseus and his warriors escape Ismarus and continue on to the isle of the Lotus eaters. While exploring the island, some of the crew are introduced to the intoxicating Lotus flower, and become quickly addicted. Odysseus is forced to tie them up in order to get them away from the island.
Continuing on their journey, the fleet arrives at the land of the Cyclopes – legendary shepherds of enormous stature and only a single eye. Knowing little else about them, Odysseus resolves to go investigate, taking with him a large supply of fine wine, and twelve of his best men. They explore a cave belonging to one of the Cyclopes, and hide themselves within when the one-eyed giant returns with his sheep. The Cyclops sets an enormous rock at the mouth of the cave once he and all his sheep are inside. Odysseus attempts to talk to the Cyclops, describing himself as a respectable traveler who must be treated fairly according to the laws of the gods. But the Cyclops says he cares nothing for these laws, and to prove it he grabs two of Odysseus’ men and eats them, then turns over and falls asleep on the floor of the cave.
Unable to move the boulder blocking the door, the warriors of Ithaca are trapped until morning, when the Cyclops awakens and eats two more of Odysseus’ men for breakfast. He then drives the sheep out of the cave, replacing the boulder behind him too quickly for any escape to be attempted. But Odysseus has seen the Cyclops’ enormous staff of green wood in the corner, and it has given him an idea. While the giant is away, Odysseus and his men cut a length of the staff and sharpen it to a point. Then, after the giant returns, Odysseus offers him the fine wine that he had brought with him from his ship. The Cyclops accepts, drinks heavily, and asks Odysseus for his name. Odysseus replies that his name is “Noman”. Soon after, the Cyclops collapses into drunken unconsciousness. Odysseus and his men plunge the now-sharp end of the staff into the fire until it glows, then drive this weapon into the monster’s eye. The Cyclops shrieks in pain and blindness, calling out for help and saying that “Noman” is attacking him. Hearing the shouting, other Cyclopes come to stand beyond the boulder blocking the cave entrance, but when they hear that ‘no man’ is attacking him, they advise him to pray to his father Poseidon to cure him of his apparent illness, and then they leave.
Groping blindly, the Cyclops takes the stone from the mouth of the cave and then sits in the entrance with his hands stretched out to snatch anyone who might try to run past him. Odysseus uses the fibers from the giant’s sleeping mat to tie his men beneath the bellies of the sheep, so that when they walk out the Cyclops will only feel the sheep and will let them pass (with the men tied beneath them). Thus Odysseus and his men escape, driving the sheep before them to their ships. Quickly they set sail, but when they have gone a safe distance from the island, Odysseus begins jeering and ridiculing the Cyclops. In so doing Odysseus reveals his true name. The monster emerges from the cave and hurls huge rocks at their ship, but with frantic rowing they are able to avoid the missiles, and at last the Cyclops raises his voice to his father Poseidon and curses Odysseus, asking Poseidon to ensure that Odysseus loses all his men in his journey home, and finds trouble in his house when he reaches Ithaca at last.
* [http://www.audioville.co.uk/store/view.php?Id=585&ProductCategoryId=59 Homer’s Odyssey page on Audioville.co.uk]
* [http://www.radiotales.com/ The Official Radio Tales® Web Site]
* [http://www.audioville.co.uk/store/view_productcategory.php?Id=59 Radio Tales® Full Catalog on AudioVille]
* [http://www.xmradio.com/onxm/channelpage.xmc?ch=163 XM Satellite Radio's Sonic Theater Channel]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.