Day 1, Completion of Rough Draft

Hello, I have a rough draft for Day 1. It is 340 pages and will probably be the shortest Day.

When I use the term Day, think of a giant Act that lasts an entire day. There are three Days total.

The Day 1 plays, in order, as of now, and I am starting to use some of my original titles: THE BACCHAE, ION, OEDIPUS, MEDEA, IN COLONUS, HIPPOLYTUS, SEVEN AGAINST THEBES*, THE SUPPLIANTS, and ANTIGONE.

The over-arcing epic journey of Day 1 is starting to take shape. Still needs a lot of ironing. (This part might get boring for for all the non Greek geeks that might happen to be reading.) It tells the story of the Leaders of two cities, Athens and Thebes, mostly focussing on Theseus and Creon. If curious you can click any of the links to see Wikipedia explain a character, or the plots of any play.

Aside from the basic plots, I have added a few elements.

Tiresias is a woman, which is part of his myth any way. She gains her blindness and prophet ability through the events of THE BACCHAE, she is also the Priestess in ION, and she constantly appears in all the Theban plays; including IN COLONUS, which is not in the original Sophocles.

I have added a young Jocasta and Creon to THE BACCHAE, where they briefly discuss what it means to be a leader. I think this helps establish the conflict and confusion over Theban rule, as well as add to the depth of their personal journey. I was afraid this would feel a little too manufactured and impede too much on the narrative of THE BACCHAE, but it feels okay. It still needs some working out.

I have turned up and augmented the connection of Ion to Theseus, who are distantly related, but not of direct lineage. At the end of ION, Tiresias portends that Aegeus will be born from Ion‘s stock (fabrication) and rule Athens. Then when Aegeus appears in MEDEA, and bemoans not being able to conceive with his wife Aethra. In exchange for asylum in Athens, Medea uses charms to help Aegeus and Aethra conceive Theseus. I think this connection between Ion and Theseus needs to be augmented a little more, to help with the over-arcing narrative.

Aethra, Theseus‘ mother takes on a fairly large role. The only original plays in which she only appears in THE SUPPLIANTS by Euripides, but I have added her to MEDEA, IN COLONUS, and HIPPOLYTUS as well. I became very interested in her relationship to her son, Theseus, and thought if she assumed roles usually assigned to minor characters, it would create one of the strongest relationships for the day.

*SEVEN AGAINST THEBES is the first combination play, where Euripides’ THE PHOENICIAN WOMEN became melded to Aeschylus’ THE SEVEN AGAINST THEBES. In other Days, there will be more plays that get melded, because the basic plots deal with the same narrative story. For the rough draft, I worked hard trying to combine elements from both playwrights, I am not sure what will survive over the extended editing process.

In SEVEN AGAINST THEBES, I have added Haemon, to establish his romantic relationship with Antigone. Because their wedding is featured heavily in ANTIGONE. I have also altered the focus of Tiresias‘ prophecy that Creon‘s son must die in order to give peace to Thebes, from Menoeceus to Haemon, and I have cut Menoeceus‘ noble suicide, to leave the hanging the threat of Haemon‘s death over ANTIGONE.

Also, in SEVEN AGAINST THEBES, Jocasta reappears, as she does in THE PHOENICIAN WOMEN. In the Euripides’ original Jocasta does not kill herself during the events of OEDIPUS REX. I am still keeping Jocasta‘s suicide in OEDIPUS, and she appears as a shade to her sons in my version of  SEVEN AGAINST THEBES.

In THE SUPPLIANTS, I have assigned the role of the general chorus of mourning Argive mothers to Lysimache, mother of one of the fallen Argive soldiers, Hippomedon. She is also the mother of the King of Argos, Adrastus, who is a major character in THE SUPPLIANTS; Adrastus feels guilt about allowing his soldiers, under persuasion of Polynices, to die at Thebes. It works well having his mother, Lysimache present.

I cut Evadne and Iphis from THE SUPPLIANTS. I assigned the role of Evadne to Argea, who is Polynices’ wife, and Adrastus‘ daughter; she is the main reason Adrastus allows the Argive soldiers to attack Thebes. So I found her more dramatically helpful than Evadne. I also do not have her kill herself. I am usually excited to explore these suicides on stage, but it just seemed forced, and sadder to make her survive.

In THE SUPPLIANTS, I also added Creon, he comes to see Theseus rather than a Theban Emissary. I liked the relationship between Theseus and Creon from IN COLONUS, and was excited to continue that. Instead of a war between Athens and Thebes, that happens over a short choral ode in the Euripides’ original, I added a bargain between Theseus and Creon to secure the proper burial of the Argive soldiers. Theseus must turn over King Adrastus to be executed in Thebes. Which he does, and Creon releases the dead Argive soldiers. I am also toying with the idea of Thebes relinquishing the buried body of Oedipus back to Thebes. I like the idea, but it is not fully formed yet.

I think that is all. I can’t imagine any one read all of this. But if you did, thanks.

Have a great day. Sean

One thought on “Day 1, Completion of Rough Draft

  1. Yeah, I basically did the same thing over the weekend. This sounds about right.

    Keep it up buddy! This is intense!!

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