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Audiences find Euripides's Hecuba unremittingly bleak, and critics find its composition confused. I argue that the play has an aesthetic integrity throughout its composition that derives from Euripides's use of the Odyssey's Cyclops episode, and that a study of the several ways in which Homer's symbolism is used reveals the play to be a profound examination of the nature of justice and injustice, vengeance and barbarism. Euripides exposes the "barbarian" in the heart of every character: it is the Cyclops within, a Cyclopean tendency in the soul that has brutal but also sophisticated expressions. He even indicts his audience.