ReContoured: She Muses Euripides' Andromeda, Act I

THE PERSONS

 

Euripides
Cratinus, A Ghost
Cepheus
Andromeda, an adolescent, curvacious, barefoot Princess
Perseus, a young man, athletically slender
Echo, an offstage voice
Cetus the Monster, an offstage voice
Chorus of adolescent, curvaceous, barefoot Virgins
Servants of Cepheus

 

THE SCENE IS A ROCKWALL, ON A PLATFORM OF ROCK, FACING THE AUDIENCE

 

Euripides entersfrom stage left and crosses the stage to the right, where
he takes a seat; having brought with him a scroll and an ancient pen
which which he begins to write. As soon as this process commenced,
the ghost of Cratinus enters.

 

CRATINUS: You are subversive or you are insane
to want to write these caricatures of
your fantasies. We do not want to see
performed, or read, these hollow images
of fulsome women whose curves lead your lines
astray. I thought you were a great poet,
but this swerve from your usual postings
disconcerts me; most disappointing, this.CRATINUS
EURIPIDES: Perhaps in your existence, severed from
the flesh, you may yet learn that certain thoughts
that might occur to you from time to time
(if you can be said to construct a thought)
may be just for yourself, and need not be
announced, posted, or otherwise expressed
on stage or scroll. Begone now---I must write
this poetry I call Andromeda.

 

 

Cratinus withdraws. After the pause of a moment, Cepheus, Andromeda,
the Chorus of Virgins (who stay to one side) and the Servants of Cepheus
enter. Andromeda is very noticeably barefoot; and her gown must be
such to emphasize her voluptuaous curves.


CEPHEUS: Confine her to this rock, as offering
to Cetus, that most ravenous monster.
He should enjoy the thick meat on bones.

 

The Servants bind Andromeda to the rockwall. 

 

ANDROMEDA: My very own father would sacrifice
me to a sea-weed clad monstrosity?
Have you no conscious that might question this?
CEPHEUS: Where is your conscience that would have questioned
your own betrayal of your high-born role
as Princess of my realm? Your shape is not,
and never has been, thought acceptable.
We are a slender people, and thus prove
our natural superiority.
To that you add an even worse effect,
you walk about barefoot through the day.
Your dirty, grass-stained soles are an affront
to all the lovely gowns and sandals that
I have bestowed upon you throughout your
handful of---oh, what? sixteen?---years of life.
I tolerated such defiance for
a while, but having heard others' comments---
that they are far too craven to express---
in my august presence---I must remove
your look and shape and habits from my realm.
ANDROMEDA: Well, ask a stupid question, as they say.
CEPHEUS: I will not miss your snide remarks at all.
Come, Servants, let us hurry from this place.
Cetus may not be satisfied with just
Andromeda---although one might assume
that girth of hers should fill its rumbling gut,
and should become a soft, huge pile of waste
that will sink quckly to the sea's deep floor.

 

Cepheus and the Servants exit.  The Chorus begins to leave.

 

ANDROMEDA: Oh, please, do not abandon me right now.
I cannot bear to wait here, all alone.
ECHO: Oh, please, do not abandon me right now.
I cannot bear to wait here, all alone.
CHORUS: Your father and his servant have withdrawn
for fear of Cetus' mighty appetie.
ANDROMEDA: Yes, that is true. And I apologize
for my fierce selfishness. I am afraid
to spend my last moments alone. But you
should flee to some safe place, but I cannot
join you for one more frolic in the sun.
My echo will stay here for company.
CHORUS: BLess you for your concern for our safety.

 

The Chorus leaves slowly, obvious reluctant to exit.

 

ECHO: I am still here. I do not fear Cetus.
ANDROMEDA: I do not have words to express my fear.
ECHO: But I have some idea how fierce it is.
ANDROMEDA: What have I done, what laws did I defy,
for my own father to deal with me thus?
ECHO: i think violated his long held,
stern prejudices to which he cannot
give reconsideration. He believes
life is a role, and his role must be played
as he interprets it, nor can allow
least variation to persuade him now.
Your curves are beautiful, and the right man
would fall upon his knees to worship you,
and at the same time offer to Heaven
his ardent thanks, perhaps with joyous tears
to be admitted to your pulchritude?
ANDROMEDA: My pulchritude? That is a profound word.
ECHO: Thank you, I try to echo what I hear,
EURIPIDES: You also echo what I write for you.

 

The Chorus returns, their pacing more quick than when the existed.

 

CHORUS: We have returned to wait with you. When we
departed we could hear your words echoed,
and that convicted us that we should not
put our fears first, but stay with you until . . .
until . . .
ECHO: My work is done:  I can withdraw.
ANDROMEDA: Thank you for lingering a little while.
CHORUS; Perhaps we should distract you with some thought
of earlier experience of joy.
ANDROMEDA: I often think about that special day,
a couple of short months ago when we
gathered together by a covert pool
shaded and shielded by a copse of trees
and high ferns thriving thickly in that soil.
CHORUS: And in the slanted light that filtered through
the multitude of leaves, we felt such warmth
that we removed our tunics from our breasts.
Bare, underneath our long skirts' ground length hem,
and bare above the waists, we looked upon
each other with deep satisfaction. All those ample curves
would have impressed an old geometer
and may have raised his dangling plumb line to
a less flacid angle for a new thrill.
ANDROMEDA: But also, we intended to practice
our kissing skills, and to perfect them for
the boys that you still hope to meet in love.
Our kissing line provided us many
slow variations: tongues and lips, even
bared breasts tips' and bared toes met and caressed
each other---not from lust but innocence,
and adolescent exploration's surge.
And by the end of that warm afternoon,
we found ourselves intensively prepared
for boys whom gracious Love might bring our way.

EURIPIDES:  That ought to rock the ghost of Cratinus.

 

Author's Notes/Comments: 

This is a first draft; therefore subject to change.  This is my attempt to imagine a lost play, ascribed by scholars to Euripides, but slanted toward the theme of this series of poems.

 

I apologize that I posted this first draft with some stupid typos in it.  I have corrected them.

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patriciajj's picture

You certainly have some

You certainly have some versatile talent! This delightful script has all the elements of a compelling drama: intense conflict with equally intense passion, a fascinating milieu and classic, polished dialogue. Intriguing work. 

Starward's picture

Wow!  That comment sure

Wow!  That comment sure energizes me for the second and third acts, and will make the writing of them a lot easier.


Starward

word_man's picture

great story,reminded me of

great story,reminded me of the mid evil days of king arthur and lions eating people for sport

Starward's picture

Thank you very much for that

Thank you very much for that comment, much appreciated.


Starward

word_man's picture

you`re welcome

you`re welcome