The Facts On File Companion To Classical Drama (Facts on by John E., Jr. Thorburn PDF
By John E., Jr. Thorburn
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Additional info for The Facts On File Companion To Classical Drama (Facts on File Library of World Literature)
Alcestis was the final play of a TETRALOGY that included Alcmeon in Psophis, Cretan Women, and Telephus, three plays of which only fragments survive. The drama’s setting is PHERAE, a small town near the coast of northeastern Greece. The play opens with the departure of APOLLO from the house of ADMETUS, the king of Pherae. Apollo tells the audience that had been forced by his father, ZEUS, to become a servant to Admetus, because Apollo had killed some of the CYCLOPES, the giant one-eyed creatures who make lightning bolts for Zeus.
In Ajax, Menelaus now enters and declares that Teucer must not bury Ajax. Menelaus explains that because of Ajax’s attempt against their lives, his body will be left for the birds to pick over. Menelaus then talks about the need for people to yield to authority and the law. He concludes by warning Teucer not to bury Ajax; if he does, he too may be killed. Teucer argues that Menelaus has no authority over Ajax and that he will not obey Menelaus. The argument between the two continues, and no compromise or solution is reached.
Heracles declares he will ambush Thanatos and rescue Alcestis from him. Just as Heracles departs to the gravesite to rescue Alcestis, Admetus returns from the same site (perhaps a problem for the staging of the play because the two men would presumably pass one another). When Admetus returns, he laments the loss of his wife and expresses the realization that his continued existence will be painful. Soon, however, Heracles returns from the burial site with a silent young woman (Alcestis) whose face is not visible to Admetus.
The Facts On File Companion To Classical Drama (Facts on File Library of World Literature) by John E., Jr. Thorburn