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It is more of a ³cover,´ in the tradition of the musical cover bands redoing the classics, with their own twist. I started with the Robert Fagles translation, my favorite due to its clear style and direct narrative. However, I have updated the story to reflect modern concerns and issues. For me, the questions of fate and free will have never been as important as they are today. Where Oedipus and his parents were driven by the oracle at Delphi, my characters are driven by the Delphi consulting group. Scientists and doctors, in consultation with his parents, wanted to use modern genetic engineering techniques to create the kind of child they wanted, with qualities that could make him an effective leader. Unfortunately for all of them, instead of creating a strong leader with good decision making skills, something went awry. My contention (and I am not alone in this) is that as science and technology progress, parents will have more power over what their children will be, will look like, and will think, before the children are even born. I understand that many readers will scoff when I suggest that in the future, parents who are engineers, for example, may want to snip out that ³poetry gene´ before their children have a chance to experience or aspire to poetry. I¶m oversimplifying, of course, but within 5 years, I believe I won¶t be that far off. The same goes for ³poet´ parents as well, it should be noted. The desire to control our children, especially ³for their own good,´ is not restricted to any group. We did a dramatic reading of (O) edipus Wrecks on our university campus about a year ago, and a female student from the audience came up to me in tears after the reading. She said to me, ³That was my father.´ She had changed her major from engineering to sociology, and her
father basically told her she was wasting her life. In fact, if she hadn¶t been so close to graduating, he said, he would have cut off her education tuition. She had no doubt that if he could have made some kind of adjustment before she was born, to ensure her interest in engineering or the sciences, as well as an aversion to poetry and sociology for example, he would not have hesitated for a minute. Her story is not unique. I have heard from countless students, no matter where I have taught, the same kind of tale: parents who basically force²or try to force²their children into a particular major or career path. Some students are fortunate to have parents who at least discuss the options with them, but many others find themselves trapped, their words, into pursuing something they have neither the aptitude nor the interest in following. Naturally, the classic question of free will vs. predetermination is still relevant for them, and by extension, for all of us. I have taken some additional liberties with the story, placing it in a modern setting and introducing additional concerns around global climate change, but those concerns are not inconsistent with the plague and its devastating effects on the population in the original. In my version, humans have caused it, and are the only ones who can fix it. I have also included coverage and commentary by TNN, Thebes News Network. Perhaps in my next iteration I¶ll add some bloggers. Maybe Oedipus can tweet in the next version, and link to his Facebook page. I end this version with a trial. I hope to stimulate discussion about genetic engineering and other areas of medical/scientific research, among other things. I don¶t believe these kinds of moral/ethical subjects should be left to scientists and the government, or any single group for that matter. One of my mantras for many years has been that we would have better doctors, lawyers,
business people, engineers, parents, and human beings in general if they all read more literature, from short stories to novels to plays to poetry. At the same time, I believe people with primary interest in the humanities, or just everyday people, should read more about science. We need more dialogue, and we need more shared community. I have seen evidence time and again in my classes that while people may disagree on the issues and interpretations of the work, and I urge them to disagree whenever they want, we all learn from the discussion. As we see in politics, for example, when we only talk or listen to those we already agree with, not much progress is made. Polarization increases. So I end my version with a trial. In an ideal scenario, some audience members (random choice?) would be given a Jury Summons, sample included, to appear in the jury box after the play is over. I include a sample script for the judge and the two (or more) attorneys. I have tried this in several classes with great success. Some ³evidence´ can be provided if desired, such as the speech Oedipus gives to Jocasta about what happened where the three roads meet. Current (and/or famous) trials can be referenced, as well as legal/psychological/ethical precedents, for additional context. The main idea is to generate discussion about the issues, including the questions of guilt, responsibility and ³proper´ parental roles. These are not trivial, and they are not benign, as we have seen in the news over and over again. There are infinite subjects possible. The goal is to discuss, analyze and debate. There may even be a verdict, and in some venues that might be a requirement, demanding additional skills and pragmatic discussions around the law and its consequences. Perhaps we might discover how a democracy can work, if all are committed to the process. I believe that it is only through these kinds of intense discussions that we can really examine policies, or lack of same. As we have seen many times in the not very distant past, there 3
or choosing not to act when we do know. and in private? The play is just the beginning. 4 . and what other tragic flaws are yet to be played out in public.are dire consequences of not knowing. What has hubris in public figures cost us.
2009 5 .0 Steven K.(O)edipus Wrecks: A Play in One Act and a Trial An adaptation and interpretation of the Robert Fagles translation Version 6. Steinberg September.
Rulers of nearby land Antigone and Esmene. wife of (O)edipus Laius. sons of (O)edipus and Jocasta Messenger Servants Guards Priests and other Holy People Miscellaneous Doctors. brother of Jocasta Jocasta.CHARACTERS (O)edipus. daughters of (O)edipus and Jocasta Eteocles and Polynices. including the Delphi Group 6 . Scientists and Experts. former ruler Tiresias. ruler/leader of the country Priest/spokesperson Chorus Chorus and Leader/Narrator Creon. blind prophet Merope and Polybus. couple who raised (O)edipus from birth.
A procession of news people and ordinary citizens files onto the stage. Now. Guards move to both sides. a new and even more terrible plague has befallen Thebes. (O)edipus strides out right behind them. The Narrator/Chorus will comment on the activities and let audience know what has really happened. As was customary. also now known as taking control in the absence of a true leader. electronically and through other means. What brings you here on this beautiful day? I know there are a number of things that might be on your mind. betraying very little evidence of his characteristic limp. heads down but glancing somewhat surreptitiously toward the podium with some hope. The doors open. the air. the waters and the people. the TNN (Thebes News Network) news will scroll/crawl across the stage. Jocasta and they have had four children. (O)edipus: Good afternoon my fellow citizens. He walks directly and decisively to the podium. They all have earpieces and dark glasses. Large white double doors dominate the entrance. his only obvious physical flaw. breaking the plague¶s stranglehold on the population. Most seem quite despondent. I want to hear what you think are the facts instead of getting it second hand from the others who 7 . Nobody could figure out how to make it go away until (O)edipus arrived on the scene. He solved the riddle of the Sphinx. Thebes was beset by a terrible plague. There is a podium with all shapes and sizes of microphones. as the king had disappeared. Narrator: (Gives background and begins the story for those who haven¶t read it recently. considering some of the problems we have been going through.TIME AND SCENE: Outside the main residence. he wed the queen. Many years ago. Periodically.) Greetings. Several years have passed since (O)edipus came to power by figuring out the riddle of the Sphinx. killing many. to stand in front of the podium. looking anxiously at the crowd and at the audience. who I think of as my extended family. which may or may not correspond to what the crawl says. Behold as the narrative unfolds. It has affected all the crops. and was rewarded with leadership of Thebes.
Pointing to one of the older members of the city/press. Our air is thick with poisons and the weather is increasingly chaotic. races. Our energy sources are being depleted at an alarming rate with nothing to replace them. Poverty is increasing. Speak up. I am (O)edipus. genders. I would be blind not to see that the situation is not what it should be. Then drought for months. So please. Our meat supply is tainted. You are the best of us. Our crops are being destroyed by pests we cannot control. even worse than the last time. we have a good cross section of people here. jumping boundaries and we have no idea how to control them. your military might. your famous charisma. pests that seem to be resistant to all our known methods to eradicate them. Trees have all kinds of insects and fungus. you must be able to help us like you did before. Spokesperson: Thank you sir. I know you¶ve been around and can speak for the others. Our waters are polluted seemingly beyond repair. We have come to tell you that the ship of state is on the verge of sinking. The whole world has come to know me. We know that you can¶t do miracles. Hungry children and women with strange diseases. Only 8 . You all know me. exactly. The genetically engineered crops are taking over others. all of your great powers. and of course they don¶t even agree with each other about what is going on. my advisors have been telling me all kinds of things. Lightning and fires. Our country is in deep trouble.have their own agenda. parties. Plus. Driving rains one week. All ages. It is like having 10 plagues at once. Even our birds are starting to get sick and infect the people. Why are you actually here? I want to do everything in my power to help. slowly dying. don¶t hold back. but with all of science at your disposal. Speak up. So we have come to pray to you to help us. People are dying. As you can see. in varying degrees of respect and fear.
There is some activity over there. Spokesperson: Your words give us hope. believe me. If anyone can figure it out. but don¶t you think we should go inside to the Sit Room. my wife¶s brother. I was telling the folks here about your trip to see the illustrious and well-respected Delphi Group. they can. I think he¶s coming. (O)edipus: My people. So I want to let you all know that I have sent Creon. pest control. He has been gone for days and I expect him to return any time with some news about how to solve our problem. (O)edipus: (not replying to their comments about the Delphi Group. We don¶t usually conduct our business outside in the light. though we understand that same group may have been involved in some way with most of the food and crop engineering.you can save us. chemicals and other genetic experiments that have gone wrong and caused many of our problems. We were just talking about you. I have been thinking of little else for weeks. Creon: I have lots of news. But let¶s see what Creon has found out. Though it might not look like it to you. business people and national religious leaders in the land. most trusted of my advisors. It is comprised of the best scientists. In fact. I feel your pain. medical people. not sure what course of action would be best. my children. He hurries to the podium. I know you are sick. Who knows who might be 9 . I sure hope you have some good news. Enter Creon with armed guards. but none of you is as sick as I am. to meet with the prestigious think tank called the Delphi Group.) Creon.
Basically.listening or watching. (O)edipus: Yep. their conclusion was quite clear. After looking at all the evidence. The Delphi Group as you know is the smartest group of people in the world. Laius. we need to solve his murder. I remember hearing about him. if we want our country to be safe and healthy again. A murder was involved somehow. You¶re the boss. Creon: You never seemed that curious at the time. I care more about the people than I do for my own safety. though I never heard the whole story. He disappeared right before you took power and we never found out what really happened. 10 . (O)edipus: No. (See TNN news crawl«) Creon: If you say so. There is no other way to get rid of the plague. let¶s do it right here. We have many enemies. (O)edipus: Well that¶s fine. he disappeared and the Delphi Group said that if we want peace. especially in these times. except I have no idea what you¶re talking about. An eye for an eye. Get it out of the soil. but they did say that it might be some kind of terrorist activity in revenge for the disappearance of the previous leader. So what is the problem? Creon: It seems that the cause of this whole thing was some kind of crime. the roots. They have a number of divisions and the Apollo division met specifically about our problem. And the most interesting thing is. they think the killers are still here in town. Well anyway. they said we need to get rid of all the corruption in the land. They were a little hazy about that part. What corruption? We don¶t have any corruption. I¶ve said it before. the air.
you came along right about then and were able to take control of everything. (O)edipus: OK. They must have had inside intel and help to pull off something like that. they may be responsible for all the troubles we¶re having. This guy just barely escaped with his life. with all kinds of high-tech weapons. Possible civil war with no leadership to handle it.(O)edipus: Here? Where? Right in our fair city? How can that be? How much do you really know about what happened to Laius. Let¶s roll. 11 . But he did tell us that our leader had been ambushed by a sophisticated band of assassins. There was only one witness to what happened. We have a lot of work to do. and didn¶t really get a good look at any of them. I will be the avenger. How come you couldn¶t catch them? I mean. The Delphi Group is right. what¶s to stop them from coming after me? In fact. If these people killed the previous leader. Outside threats. but we had a lot of stuff going on right around then. Some place underground. But you ought to know that I have my own reasons besides the obvious. (O)edipus: Well that sure sounds like a conspiracy to me. I am sick and tired of others not doing what they should be doing anyway. needless to say. your leader was killed and your investigations didn¶t turn up anything? Even with all your secret electronic surv«never mind that for now. and he wasn¶t in very good shape himself. Creon: All we know is that he left one day for a meeting with the Delphi Group and never returned. Luckily. until we make sure what we are facing. You may have to stay in a safe hidden place for a while. I guess it¶s up to me again. Creon: I know it sounds bad.
I¶m going to start solving this thing right now. We need to pray. Listen. Citizens/Protesters: What in the world are we going to do? Our leader doesn¶t really listen to us. Creon. God Bless you all and all the good people of our country. Pray to the gods and the spirits. I¶ll pray too. (O)edipus: Why are you praying to others? Now as you all know. Exit (O)edipus. Just at that moment. and pray harder. another group of citizens enters. We can¶t be safe anywhere we go or anything we eat. He¶s always running off to different parts of the world to help others but not us. They have not heard the exchanges between (O)edipus. but in this case don¶t waste your time.Turning directly to the crowd. Listen up. we will prevail in this matter. He addresses them as he did the earlier group. and would never go back on my word. I¶m going to take care of it. You have my word. Children are hungry and dying. The gap between rich and poor is wider than it has ever been. Pray to others in the government who might be more sympathetic to our cause. Pray to the media and the interest groups who have lobbied on our behalf before. You all know I¶m a fair man. (O)edipus continues: My fellow citizens. So I¶m going to give four chances to solve the problem and avoid a bloody showdown with the evil doers. As they exit. Violence is escalating. but meanwhile I¶ll grant your prayers. the guards and the Groups. maybe more. The environment is more polluted and the so-called experts can¶t even agree with each other about anything. People are dying. We have to pray. (O)edipus comes out of the building and hears them. I am as religious as the next fella. Creon and the Chorus/crowd. 12 .
When we finally catch the evil-doer. Nobody does. drive out the corruption that the Delphi Group has clearly identified. a foreigner with a funny name. Each of you will be called upon to drive him out. Silence. written and sealed with my own signature and seal. hear what will happen. I order you to step up to the plate and tell the truth now. some murmuring.First. Let me be clear. women and children. No one comes forward. a non-citizen. a stranger from another land. 13 . If any of you knows that the murderer is an alien. which should be fine for you since you obviously hate all of us and our way of life. your previous leader. A freedom medal and my personal thank you. He will be forbidden to have any contact with any of our citizens. silence. speak up. with you by my side. (O)edipus waits for a reply. Maybe cufflinks with my seal. I am fighting for you and to avenge your murdered leader. I personally will reward you. I will officially banish him from this land. Once again. with this third proclamation. no matter what cave he might hide in. and reject my generous offers. with money and fame. if any of you know who murdered Laius. If you know the perpetrator. OK. There must be no more innocent people. Hear me well. someone to come forward. I¶m not too surprised considering the kind of people we¶re dealing with. whether friend. family member or enemy. Even a signed autographed photo. no matter where might go. sick or killed. never be named out loud. Second. Speak up. Nothing will happen to you except getting kicked out of the country.
and under different circumstances. or close to me in any way..Fourth and finally. Those are your orders.if by some ridiculous chance he is close to our house or family. from your commander in chief. I¶m confident you approve of my actions. Nobody knows where he gets his information. One way or another. I sleep in the same bed as he did. but that¶s water under the bridge now. (O)edipus: Creon suggested we bring him in to chat.. I put my personal curse on the murderer. and I¶ve already sent an armored 14 . if you believe that kind of thing. He also has contacts in science. Do you have any questions or suggestions? Leader: We have one suggestion. a lone devil or part of a conspiracy. I promise that he will live out his life in pain. I am in charge now. I will stop at nothing to find the men responsible for his death. may the curse I just put on him hit me. We don¶t really need to vote on it. whoever he is. strike me to the core. (O)edipus: Let¶s hear it. medicine and politics. So I pledge I will fight on his behalf as if he was my father. But fate stepped in and he was cut down in his prime. He is modern day prophet. pain in every step. we might have been related by blood. but it¶s almost like the gods talk to him. I don¶t really understand why you never went after them before. Leader: There is an elderly respected gentleman who seems to know everything about our past. I put the curse on myself also.
terrorists probably. The Delphi Consulting Group told us that our problems can only be solved if we find the murderers of Laius and put them to death. The highest calling for any person is to help others. (O)edipus: I¶ve heard. Tiresias (to himself): What a nightmare. We¶ll track them down. hold nothing back. Tiresias. interpreting the signs others can¶t. or exile them. I have to find the truth. We all know of your skills. He sees all and knows all. our homeland defense against the terror we face. Please. you see more than anyone. the blind prophet. Leader: They say Laius was killed by ruthless travelers. no matter what. He stops a few feet from (O)edipus. I can¶t believe I came here. just like before. I know you can feel what our community is going through. The truth can only cause pain for those who see it and I¶m the only one who can. I¶m surprised he isn¶t here yet. Leader: If anyone can convict him. though. help us. He alone has the truth. but nobody really knows. They can¶t hide forever. Whatever means you have. I knew it in the back 15 . Women and children are dying. You know my public philosophy. So it looks like we are on the same page. whatever resources we can provide.limo for him. In fact. help rescue us. (O)edipus: Welcome Tiresias. most learned of men. So I beg you. enters. We have tried other means. this is the man. led by a young escort and guards. Even though you are blind. You are our shield.
don¶t turn your back on us. to say the least. Tiresias: Listen. A blind man. (O)edipus: What the hell kind of answer is that? It¶s unpatriotic. including your own. Tiresias: You have no idea. kept you safe. no matter what you ask. I¶m pleading the fifth. I don¶t want people to say the same about me. down on our knees. kill us all? Tiresias: I just don¶t want to cause grief for you²or me. but somehow«. Not a clue. and I will never reveal these terrible secrets. Just send me home.of my mind. Now you withhold the answers? Tiresias: Your most recent proclamations contained words that were not particularly well-timed. Don¶t bother asking anymore. Are you saying that you know and you won¶t tell? Are you trying to betray all of us. If you know something. (O)edipus: For god¶s sake. 16 . This is the state that has taken care of you. I¶ll not say anything. (O)edipus: Let me get this straight. we beg you. tell us. (O)edipus: What¶s the matter? Why are you so grim? You know what we need to know. all of us. Do us both a favor. You deal with your problems and I¶ll deal with mine.
much as I would hate to do it. (O)edipus: OK then. Tiresias stays silent. And it won¶t be pretty. I hate to do it. Tiresias: It really doesn¶t matter what I say. Don¶t let your bad temper make things worse for you.) Otherwise. Even the most recent polls support the use of torture for good reasons. Isn¶t anything important to you? I have the means to force you to talk. (Pointing to a black box a short distance from them both. even if I try to hide it all. 17 . You are required to do so. can¶t you? Tiresias: You are insulting my temper«how ironic«totally oblivious of your own. Things will happen that are meant to happen. so sacrificing one old man is worth it. Tell us what you know. but our whole society is at stake. (O)edipus: Anyone would get mad listening to you as you turn your back on your state. You can overcome that trait. The rights of one citizen can¶t take precedence over the safety of all. Get as angry as you want. I will have to resort to stronger measures to get the truth from you. clearly disturbed but determined not to speak. Do what you will. on your community. Tiresias: I don¶t think so. Especially if that so called ³citizen´ acts like a traitor. I¶m taking the fifth again. on your people. You and your big words. right now. I have my rights also. This is your last chance.(O)edipus: What? You are the lowest of the low. You know I¶ve done it before. What will happen? You must tell me that. to protect the state.
I just didn¶t get it.Ok. Maybe I¶ll get your real meaning this time. (O)edipus: Who put you up to this? Who are you working with? Tiresias: You forced it out of me. That¶s it. You are the very corruption of the land. stubborn«. Now I get it. You are the curse. Otherwise maybe you would have done the whole thing yourself. wasn¶t it? (O)edipus: Then say it again.aren¶t you ashamed of yourself to make up such a story? You think you can get away with crap like that? Especially to me? Tiresias: The truth is in me. Tiresias: You arrogant. You were one of the conspirators right from the beginning. Not the citizens or the press or even me. If that¶s how you want it« I challenge you yourself to submit to your own proclamation. Torture was next. You may not have been in on the actual killing----only because you can¶t see. (O)edipus: You motherf«.(O)edipus: I have great rage in me. 18 . You know how I can be---Wait a minute. you should never speak to or see anyone else again. Tiresias: Are you joking? You didn¶t get it? Or is this another trick get me to say more? (O)edipus: No. From this day on.
Go for it. You can¶t hurt me or touch me in any way. the one you are searching for. 19 . Tiresias: You have no idea«. Dammit. (O)edipus: That disgusting lie again. Blind. Tiresias: You think you¶re mad now? You want me to say more so you can really snap? Everybody knows you are not accustomed to anyone around you saying anything you don¶t want to hear. but not for you. Notorious forever. I am saying that you are the murderer. You and those closest to you will live in history. Tiresias: Yes.Tiresias: Let me spell it out for you. What terrible things you have done. You are deaf as well as blind. though your legacy won¶t be the one you intended. but all your senses have left you. if there is any justice in the universe. (O)edipus: Blind. (O)edipus: There is. You have no idea how guilty you are. Your words mean nothing. Not only are you blind. (TNN crawl«. you¶ll pay for it. (O)edipus: I can¶t believe you keep saying these things and expect no consequences.But let me tell you. Tiresias: I feel sorry for you. Blind. insulting me with the very insults others will be shouting at you soon.) (O)edipus: Sure.
to take over. You with all your mumbo-jumbo and fakery never got it. do you? By the end of this speech (O)edipus can barely contain himself. Your fate is in the hands of others. Me. the one I trusted most. I figured it out. If you weren¶t so old I¶d beat the crap out of you myself. walks on two legs in the afternoon. You don¶t even have a constituency anymore. You who are supposed to be the master of all secrets. Blind.Tiresias: That is true. Come here you phony bastard. (O)edipus: Is this Creon¶s conspiracy or yours? Tiresias: Creon is not and will not be the cause of your downfall. It was left to me and my intelligence to solve it all. (O)edipus: I just don¶t get this kind of envy. Plotting. you are the one. To save lives while you kept silent. You will not fall because of me. I never really wanted this leadership²it was put in my lap. plots against me with this charlatan«. but not so blind to the opportunities they might grab. No. 20 . Even my most fundamentalist religious followers would never do that. And for this. Profiting at our expense. This phony fortune-teller. No. Do you honestly think that you will be Creon¶s trusted right hand man if you get rid of me? I promise that you will pay for this blasphemy and character assassination. Creon. my most loyal friend. and three in the evening? You still don¶t know. A coup. How come you couldn¶t solve the riddle I had to solve to save the city? What crawls on four legs in the morning.
and I don¶t need Creon to speak for me. even though we are not yet in a court of law. I will tell you this. I have the right to reply to my accuser. free of charge. Soon you will come to know that you are the most cursed of all. what you¶ve done. your family. I am not less than you. since before you were even born. The one in charge. The commander in chief. They seemed to be suggesting a solution to our problems. Perhaps we should revisit the suggestions by the Delphi Group. maybe you should calm down a bit. You make fun of my lack of sight. your marriage. But as a citizen I am equal to you in one way. spoken in fear or anger. to be sure. as you keep reminding us. You could be nothing other. even if we can¶t totally trust them. Disappear. Get away from me. Tiresias: (O)edipus. I¶d guess. 21 . Go ahead and insult me. the day you find out the truth about who you are. There was nothing you could do but what you had to do.Citizen/Leader: Sir. my blindness. Maybe yours were a bit rash also. insult Creon and any others. you are the leader. Soon you will be screaming in agony. (O)edipus: That¶s enough filth from you. His words were hasty. Tiresias: I wouldn¶t have come if you hadn¶t summoned me. Get out. Well. (O)edipus: Who knew you would spend all your time with those absurd obscene rantings. the house you live in. and right now we need calm reason. your children. Do you really know who your parents are? You are the curse and have been cursed. Hence. fated for this from before the beginning. you with your so-called vision are totally blind to how corrupt your life has been.
and cause of all your grief and suffering will be revealed. I¶ll be leaving now.Tiresias: Your parents didn¶t think I was so absurd. (O)edipus: What do you mean. You will be reborn yet again only to« (O)edipus: Yeah. More of your riddles and hocus pocus. Listen to me very carefully. Tiresias: Well. (He turns toward the doors stage rear.who is my father? Tiresias: Today will be your new birth and your destruction. They thought I was quite sane. didn¶t I. (O)edipus: I saved the country. my parents. (O)edipus: Yes. once I am finished saying what I was brought here to say. yeah. Fake.. will you. The murderer. That¶s all that counts in the end. please get him out of my sight. aren¶t you the man world famous for solving riddles? (O)edipus: You can make fun of me all you want. More games. It made my fame.) Tiresias: I am going. Out of sight out of mind. and home. The man you have been searching for is here. Tiresias: If you say so. all in one. You will uncover 22 . Tiresias: How often the very thing that makes us famous also causes our downfall. (to the escort): Take me out of here. You can¶t frighten me in the least. We control everything. Wait a minute.
Tiresias: It will all be revealed. now wealthy soon a beggar. Able to see. The riddle of father and brother. We can neither confirm nor deny what he has said. he will be blind. No. husband and wife---all one. Not being able to do anything about it. We are questioning all of our sources at this time but we can¶t make any definitive statements. 23 . Everything will be overturned. spilling the blood of his father. Narrator/Chorus/Leader: (in serious if not grave tones. perhaps for the right reasons at the time. Who is responsible for the blood and the curse? He seems doomed on earth and in Heaven. Decided before he was even born. much less find him. Meanwhile (O)edipus has exited through the doors. on or off the record.the truth but you will take no joy in that fact. There was no way for anyone to know. Not even any conclusive poll numbers. Not knowing. He is our leader. Tiresias exits with escorts. but so clearly wrong in hindsight. We don¶t even know what might have started this blood feud. nothing that sticks. Who can know the truth? Can any mere mortal? But we have seen the goodness and strength of our leader. disappearing from view. we can never go against him. There is no real proof. his intelligence and honor under the worst of circumstances. like Brokaw/Williams) Who is the mystery man? He has been denounced by many but no one can name him. The most respected Dephi Group identified him and the most revered prophet has almost revealed the darkest of secrets. if indeed there is one. mother and son.
that¶s more or less what he said. I have just heard that our leader. but« Creon: Do you think he was sober when he said those things? Was he in his right mind? Did he stumble more than usual in his speech? Leader/Narrator: It¶s kind of hard to say. I had to come back from my hid²security location to answer his baseless charges and defend my good name. Heard the sound bites. loyal to the end. What else is there to say? Leader/Narrator: Well. has made some horrendous accusations about me. (O)edipus. He basically said I was in cahoots with Tiresias and was responsible for telling that prophet to spread lies about him. My reputation. Fellow citizens.Creon enters. as all of you know. Creon: Ladies and gentlemen. Creon: Didn¶t he make his statements in public? I saw them on all the broadcasts. but maybe he didn¶t really mean it. He¶s angry and you know how he can be. Leader/Narrator: We know. We never look or listen that closely to those in power. and there is nothing worse than to be called a traitor to my country and my people. 24 . I am shocked and saddened beyond words. I have done nothing to cause these attacks. is as a patriot.
Creon: Have you come to believe that mindless stubbornness is such a great trait for a leader? If so. (O)edipus is clearly enraged. Just don¶t deny that you are the killer. Creon: Just listen to this one thing. that I would never be able to figure out your conspiracy? Did you think I would not be able to defend myself? Are you that jealous of my power. (O)edipus: Fine. my intelligence? You quest for more power. though your words may hide your real danger.The big doors open and (O)edipus enters. You. Maybe we can find out the truth. 25 . plotting to kill your leader. (O)edipus: You are here? I can¶t believe you have the nerve to show up here. Trying to take power for yourself. Do you think I¶m an idiot. and then you can judge the facts for yourself. Leader/Narrator: Here is he now. (O)edipus: Ok Creon. your sense of balance is gone. the traitor. to kill me in cold blood. money and influence? Creon: Are you quite done? Now how about if you listen to what I have to say.
(O)edipus: And way back then. 26 . at least when I was around. if you are referring to Tiresias. logically and reasonably. Creon: It was many years ago. did he ever mention me by name? Creon: Not to my knowledge. and I¶d do it again in a heartbeat. Was murdered. (O)edipus: At that time. So tell me. And how long has it been since Laius« Creon: (interrupting) What does he have to do with anything? (O)edipus: Disappeared. was that bogus prophet in business? Creon: Even then Tiresias was known and respected for his craft.(O)edipus: Is that so? If you think you can attack one of your kin and get away with it. Creon: I would agree with that. Did you or did you not suggest that I send for that phony fortune teller? Creon: Yes I did. what is it that you think I have done to you? (O)edipus: Let¶s look at the evidence. (O)edipus: Fine. then you are the one who is crazy.
(O)edipus: What a great piece of journalistic investigation.(O)edipus: I know you must have investigated the murder. (O)edipus: Go ahead. You married my sister. would there? Creon: That¶s what he said? Well«. and you¶ll give it if you have integrity left. correct? Creon: We did what we could. (O)edipus: It¶s actually quite an easy one. (O)edipus: Well. Shoot. under the circumstances. Creon: Let¶s see. never accused me.. If I know. Typical these days. And when I don¶t know something. married into our family. Creon: Ok. But now let me ask you some questions. I¶ll say. You¶ll never come up with evidence to convict me of murder.I guess you know better than anyone. (O)edipus: So this great and talented seer. there never would have been any talk about my killing Laius. Obviously 27 . I keep quiet. If the two of you had never plotted together. at least in some small way. you will know the answer to this next one. didn¶t you. did he? Why do you suppose he didn¶t? Creon: I don¶t know the answer to that. but found nothing. as you have asked me.
lobby for my vote. Why. Have all the anxiety and all those extra tasks nobody really wants to do. working behind the scenes. Would any sane person prefer to be a leader during these unsettled times. Who would trade? Nobody with an ounce of self-control and balance. be a target for all the crazies. You give me anything I want or need. I have an enormous amount of power and influence also. going against family and kin. Creon: That¶s where we disagree. That makes your betrayal all the worse. rather than being able to sleep at night? I have all the power and influence I could possibly want. you¶ll see what I mean and look at it my way. They know I screen everything. I ask you. The pomp and ceremony you love²and the headaches Now. to get and stay on my good side.it¶s true. Ponder this for a moment. wouldn¶t you agree? (O)edipus: Indeed I would. It¶s no secret. But if I took your place. and if you think about it rationally. Creon: And I. Those who want things from you come to me. all praise me since I only do things I want and let them see what I want them to see. Nobody with true self-esteem and sense of identity. I¶d be a target. (O)edipus: That¶s true. considering your relationship. You don¶t have that luxury. and I have no fears of any kind. I have no motive for the kind of treason or 28 . calmly. so they all try to influence me. You are visible. would I trade all of that for the aggravation of the title? What would I gain by getting rid of you? Anyone would agree with me. She usually gets what she wants from me. Creon: She has quite a bit of power and influence of her own.
(He pauses briefly. Let¶s not jump to any hasty conclusions. family are involved. the hard intelligence they gave me. (O)edipus: I don¶t have the luxury of waiting around for my enemy to act again. or else the enemy prevails. but we need to be right 100% of the time. especially when kin.conspiracy you have accused me of. sir. Creon: So do you want me to leave. Don¶t mix good and evil without strong evidence. Or at least act like we are. Leader/Narrator: That sounds like good advice. Do you want or need more proof? Go and talk to the Delphi Group yourself. Creon: A grudge is an ugly thing to watch. they only have to be right once.. Time is all we have. and you still think the two of us plotted against you. Sometimes it¶s difficult to figure out who is really innocent. I¶d like you dead. never while growing up. I never had any desire for power or control. never to return? (O)edipus: Actually. You should all know we can¶t let down our guard. We must take the offense and act decisively. See Dr.) Don¶t rush to judgment on this. Apollo for yourself. If after you meet with them. have me arrested or have me ³disappear´ in some black ops maneuver as you¶ve done in the past with other so-called traitors. and not now. though a criminal is often easy to spot. How can you? Take some time to find out. 29 . Remember. See if I have delivered the message.
my responsibility. my community. A few seats short of a full house. I must lead. gentlemen« Jocasta enters from the two doors. Off base entirely. That is my job. (O)edipus: Surely you jest. (O)edipus: On the contrary. what if you are absolutely wrong.(O)edipus: Don¶t you take me seriously? Creon: To tell the truth. Can¶t worry about it. (O)edipus: My fellow citizens. since you are the leader and Supreme Commander in Chief of all of us. I am quite sane. No looking back. Creon: Not if how you rule is illegal or unjust. do you hear this guy? Creon: These are my citizens too. Creon: Aren¶t you concerned about my rights and interests too. The one who wants to kill me and take my place? Creon: Just for the sake of argument. (O)edipus: That¶s not important. Doesn¶t really matter. No apologizing. I think you are nuts. especially in terms of my own interests. 30 . Leader/Narrator: Please.
Give it a rest. (O)edipus. Creon: It¶s terrible. to be airing your dirty private laundry is worse than ridiculous. Maybe she can help you two to reach some kind of understanding and stop the arguing. such illness and corruption. Not to mention low class. (O)edipus: That is exactly right. for the sake of all your loyal citizens. Creon: Will you knock it off already? I¶ll be damned if I had done or planned to do any of those things you accused me of. Go home will you. plotting to stab me in the back. Do you hear yourself? Your arrogance? Jocasta: Come on. Jocasta: I really can¶t believe the two of you. but your husband seems obsessed with punishing me in some way²forcing me from our homeland or even having me killed. fighting in public like this with all that is going on around us. With the land in such turmoil. Then Turning: And you. Creon. 31 . You¶re my sister and all.Leader/Narrator: Here comes Jocasta. Why are you making so much of this foolishness? It¶s nothing. literally and figuratively. swearing the truth. whatever that means. Listen to him for my sake. Speaking directly first to (O)edipus Why don¶t you go inside for now. I have virtually caught him red-handed. can¶t you see? He¶s just in one of those moods he can¶t really control sometimes. He sounds sincere.
But I am sick inside. We think we do. He is your friend. Chorus: How can you even think that? Let me be struck dead right here if that thought ever---or could ever--. Don¶t disgrace him like this. Give in this time. Spit it out.The Chorus/News people speak out as one: Chorus: How µbout it (O)edipus? Think logically and sensibly. as our land is sick. (O)edipus: That sounds to me like you want me as dead as he does. (O)edipus: Do you really understand what you are asking of me? Chorus: Yes. and he swears to god he is telling the truth.cross my mind. your trusted right hand. Exactly what do you want me to do? Chorus: Don¶t throw him aside. our leader. (O)edipus: Ok. Your word is so powerful. There is no real evidence of his guilt. (O)edipus: So what you¶re saying is that you want me to give in? Admit I was wrong? Concede? Apologize? Chorus/News people/Narrator: You know. we do. your kin. 32 . He is swearing under oath. Creon¶s been right before.
I pity you. But you are so wrong. Rage. even if that leads to my own death or my own banishment forever. Creon leaves. Chorus/Leader/Narrator: All kinds of wild talk. Creon: Look at you. These citizens know that. poetic justice it will be. The Chorus looks over at Jocasta and speaks to her: Chorus/Leader: What are you waiting for? Why aren¶t you urging him to go in? Jocasta: I want to know what is happening first. well. I don¶t care about his words. (O)edipus: Yeah. made me feel your pain even more.and now it is even worse as I listen to the two of you. So be it. Jocasta: Did they both feel that way or only one? 33 . One day you will go too far. Let him go. filled with rage. I will always hate him anyway. in every way. Wherever he goes. Creon: I¶m leaving. Get out of my sight already. pouting as you give in. People like you can never forgive themselves. know that I¶m right. Suspicions. They punish themselves even more than they would others. (O)edipus: Alright. Grief grows upon grief. Your words have convinced me. Feelings of injustice.
Why are you so angry? Inflexible? Is it just pride? (O)edipus: I will tell you. me. Always such a high alert level. what I am. Let¶s just leave things as they are. in my position. Please. (O)edipus. Don¶t let pride get in the way. What they might call hubris or arrogance. You set us back on course when there was real danger of our sinking. the one I love and trust. guide us through this terrible danger. to be sure. Tell me. Chorus/Narrator/Leader: Sir. The Chorus moves away. I¶ve said it before. Jocasta: Be specific. (O)edipus: (to the Leader/Chorus): That should teach you all what happens when you try to ³fix´ things. What exactly was said? Leader: Isn¶t it enough already? Our country has been undergoing such turmoil as it is. of course. as our commander. I call confidence and responsibility. the one who saved us before.Chorus/Leader/Narrator: Both. you above all of them. not like the rest of this bunch. Just trying to defuse my so-called anger. 34 . who I am. I¶d be crazy to go against you. leaving (O)edipus and Jocasta standing next to each other Jocasta: God help us all. and it bears repeating.
how did all this start? (O)edipus: He says. shall we say. Laius was killed by total strangers. But as the story has been reported. She pauses for a moment. All that looking into the future mumbo jumbo. Jocasta: Explain to me. our son. Jocasta: How did he find out? Was there some kind of secret intelligence. He is plotting against me. at a place where three roads meet«my son--he was barely three days old when Laius had him taken away. or just rumor? (O)edipus: He sent his fake prophet to do his dirty work. Creon is behind all of this. given to one of his men to«dispose of him. that I murdered Laius²somehow I am guilty. One of those fortune-teller types came to Laius one day and told him that he would be killed by his own son. keeping his own hands clean. yet eager to reveal. without any doubt. (O)edipus: I¶m telling you. Jocasta: His prophet? Well. my child didn¶t murder his father any more than Laius died at the hand 35 . I have news for you that should make you feel better. he claims.He looks briefly toward the Chorus/Leader then back to her. I can prove it. So you can see. as clearly as you can. as if remembering. No human can really see into the future. murderous thieves. New age crap.
and then«well then you showed up and took control. Exactly when did this happen? Jocasta: Let me think for a moment. I think. I could have sworn you said Laius was killed at some place where three roads come together. to be sure. Jocasta: That¶s the story that was reported. Why are you so uptight suddenly? (O)edipus: I must have misheard you. and nobody can know before. It¶s a distinctive location. I feel like I¶m on drugs or alcohol or something. (O)edipus: Ok then. People still talk of it. That¶s how wrong these ridiculous charlatans are. The news reports aired. What happens. hearing you just now«my mind went to some strange place.of his own son. happens when it is supposed to. Jocasta: You look like you¶ve seen a ghost. Don¶t trouble yourself about this any more. (O)edipus: (distractedly): How weird. thoughts I can¶t seem to control. One branch comes from the direction where that think tank is located. Be as precise as you can. 36 . (O)edipus: (Very carefully enunciating): Tell me now. It¶s kind of a traffic crossroad. Then tell me this. Ok. Exactly where did this supposedly take place? Jocasta: It was a place called Focis.
with hair just starting to go gray in that sophisticated way men used to get before we could control those things. His body«. Can¶t stop. (O)edipus: When he was traveling. what kind of entourage did he have? Many escorts? Heavily armed SUV¶s? Flags flying or less obvious. (O)edipus: (to himself) No no no no no«I had no idea. I have to ask though I don¶t really want to. Jocasta: What are you talking about? It gives me the creeps to look at you like that. I think I cursed myself. I can¶t say yet. My god. What did Laius look like? I¶ve never seen any picture.(O)edipus: No. Jocasta: Go for it. what are you doing to me? Jocasta: What in the world is wrong with you? You seem«possessed. I¶ll answer the best I can. I¶ll know after this one last question. maybe for security 37 .was similar to yours actually. This can¶t be. I suspect that old blind fortune teller saw more than I could possibly have known. I cannot believe this. Jocasta: He was kind of dark. Freaked out as I am at this moment. (O)edipus: No. unknowingly. I am compelled somehow. (O)edipus: I have a very bad feeling about this.
(O)edipus: Could he still be around. without attracting too much attention. As soon as he got back and saw you in charge and Laius gone. by some chance? Jocasta: Afraid not. Jocasta: Then we¶ll find him and bring him to you. I have a right to know 38 . for some reason. I just have to see that guy. but why? (O)edipus: I think I¶ve said too much as it is. They wanted to move quickly. Jocasta: There was only one survivor who miraculously escaped. (O)edipus: Is there any way to contact him. he begged to be able to quit and leave. I can see it as if it was yesterday. We never found out why.. to bring him back quickly. but he had only a small party with him. How did you find out the details as you know them? Who told you? Where was it reported? I have to know. But even so.purposes? Jocasta: I don¶t remember why. (O)edipus: (increasingly agitated but trying to stay calm): Holy Sh. Jocasta: Shouldn¶t be a problem. Maybe five or six guards. He¶d been quite loyal to that point so I granted him his wish. Laius and his driver in a separate car.
out of the blue. You know I have no secrets from you. the accusation still kept niggling at me. others continued to pass around the rumor. of all people. I was considered a prince there. My father is Polybus.what¶s driving you crazy. and some drunken idiot yelled out ²and he was quite drunk---that I was not really my father¶s son. Needless to say. some kind of damage control. (O)edipus: And you will. then the wire services picked it up. Who else could I. while I was mollified somewhat by their reaction. There was a political fundraising banquet. The next day. On top of that. but nevertheless. in the old sense of the term. I couldn¶t seem to control it no matter how I tried. first the bloggers. I could hardly keep from decking him but somehow I held back. A bastard. it did. would I turn to. 39 . I knew I had to do something. heir apparent to their power and prestige. leader of Corinth. if not you? Let me tell you a story. I went to my parents and asked them point blank about what this asshole had said. though. but still. Anyone would have punched his lights out if he hadn¶t already been so out of it. You know how much you mean to me. especially since I am now in this dark place. My mother is Merope. Yet. in due time. they went ballistic at the guy---wanting to string him up. Maybe it shouldn¶t have bothered me as much as it did. No sources named. Then something strange happened.
He just looked at me. Any child would have done the same. so I asked him calmly as I could what he meant by that horrible story. Or at least I tried to speak to him and get some answers about my DNA and other screening tests they had developed. in fact. He said that. like a doctor might look at a patient when the treatment has gone wrong or isn¶t working. to find out who I was. crazy as it was. where I came from. (He takes a deep breath. but not saying any more. could never. he stopped me and said he felt obligated to tell me something.) Now. But as I got ready to leave. The Delphi Group. Prior agreements. I wanted. I also wanted that full body/mind scan they had. here is the terrible part. and I ran blindly for the door. wanting to escape. though he wouldn¶t or couldn¶t tell me more. My heart was pounding. Apollo we keep hearing so much about.I decided to visit one of those think tanks specializing in medical. never looking back. As I fled. but I needed to hear the exact words. Spoke to that Dr. Some (holding up his fingers in the universal air quotation marks sign) ³security need to know´bullshit. so that his predictions. his terrible pronouncements. to run away as far and as fast as possible. a meta-fur I think he said. bringing children into the world that people would pity for as long as humans exist. ethical and political issues. but he said they couldn¶t do it. still sealed. with a certain kind of look. fearful. He said I might think of it as symbolic in some way. never come true. in effect. he was predicting that under the right conditions. barely having control of my heart and 40 . plus the functional MRI results. plenty agitated. I didn¶t understand or care about their so-called reasons. no I needed. I thought I heard what he said. I could kill my father and marry my mother.
I was furious. Hear me now. As I approached that place where three roads meet. came right at me. would be married to the very man who killed your husband. Jocasta is transfixed. I wasn¶t getting out of the way fast enough---why should I---so the driver swerves directly into my path. shuddering. if there is any relationship between those two. as if to force me off the road into a ditch. So. killing them all before I knew what I was doing. and the old man swung at me with some kind of staff or pointed weapon. 41 . and took them both out in a rage. He takes another deep breath. I had my old hiking stick with me so I swung at him. The first one. I killed them all. Even my own base would turn against me for what I have done. the man you just described and a driver. Jocasta. but I know he was aiming at my head. Just a couple of cars. Wasn¶t that difficult. I soon reached that very spot you were just talking about. I could make out two occupants as they went by. I saw a small caravan. accident or not. brought down by my own curse. the place where the great Laius was murdered. Laius and this man.mind. When the next car skidded to a stop. And you. It was over in seconds. with some flags I couldn¶t see clearly. Couldn¶t see too clearly. touching you with these blood-covered hands. actually. as anyone would be. The car started to skid. I was on them before they could react. who alive could be in worse trouble than I? Who would be more hated by heaven and all those on earth? I would be the one banned and ostracized. Well. They never had a chance.
we are in fear listening to you. It is crucial to hear from him. I can¶t. But let¶s not jump to conclusions until we hear from the alleged witness. I don¶t understand any of it. kept me fed. I can¶t accept that. Take his place. Polybus. or the land I love. I¶m off the hook. the man who raised me. I won¶t see that. If I don¶t.I feel like I was born for this horror. What did I say that you felt was so important? 42 . Any rational man would look at what has happened and conclude that all of this must have been planned before I was born. I must be sent from here. Jocasta: Actually. I don¶t get it at all. What are men without choice? I can¶t accept that. Now I know what that really means. like I am fulfilling some kind of fate. anyway? (O)edipus: Don¶t you get it yet? If his version of the events is the same as yours. readied me to take his place some day. I seem doomed to sleep with my mother Merope and kill my father. I am a freak of nature. Look at me. Somehow I have escaped that terrible fate. That I had no real choice. Freud was right. never to see anyone I love. of science. Leader/Narrator: Sir. Jocasta: And what do you expect to hear from him? What do you intend to do then? What¶s the hurry. (O)edipus: Indeed.
You know how it is with witnesses. was quite clear. Let¶s wait inside for him. That¶s how accurate predictions can be. for the sake of argument that he changes his story a little. All the networks. And let¶s say. No riddles there. I know it must be so. Jocasta: I¶ll send for him right away. Jocasta: The words I told you were precisely his words. my love. Plural²a whole gang of them killed Laius. so that only one man was responsible. if he recants his story.(O)edipus: When you were telling the story. I must see that servant. hand in hand. On the other hand.disappeared before anything like that could happen. somehow. the prediction. it couldn¶t have been me. Worthless. 43 . Please send for him and bring him to me immediately. He«. not just one crazed man. My son was fated to kill my husband«my son. how unreliable they can be. He couldn¶t have killed his father. Yet. then I must be the killer. They enter the doors together. What¶s the real difference between one or a couple? And besides. well he was an infant when he«went away. you said that there were thieves. the original prophecy. So I have to hear it from him. I have to know. Logically one is one. How could he change them at this point? It was in all the papers. (O)edipus: Granted. changes it. and one cannot equal more than one. If that¶s true.
Of course it is done for their own good. Cosmetic surgery is performed on virtually every body part.Narrator/Leader/Chorus: Fate. Pride impedes our logic and our good sense. but that is how it works now. and not everybody can afford it all. They started prescribing performance enhancers for athletes. Not everyone agrees this has been a good idea. Modified foods got into the food chain though we were told that could never happen. Everyone espouses good intentions. Then they did those experiments and found that the genetically modified seeds traveled for a hundred miles. To find answers to questions without answers. They even talk about cosmetic surgery for the soul. Or that engineering personality. There was a time when some argued against genetic engineered plants and foods. No real scientific proof. some said. Researchers beg for one or two more years of stronger brain activity. It helps us to strive against forces that want to crush us. We are told by the experts and we believe that we can choose our children. Lives depend upon it. as the parents say. Global warming helped to wreak havoc despite protestations from some scientists who insisted nobody could prove anything about it. We will not 44 . choose their characteristics. We are proud of many of these things. Things we have no control over and things we believe we control. Things we never knew. Or they argued that all the modified plantings and agriculture could be controlled. not just the mile they insisted would be the case. Fate guides us in some ways. Our previous notions may not help. eliminate qualities we deem as negative and enhance those we believe are positive. but who really knows. Now everyone takes them in some form or another. Parents want their children to be perfect. There are immutable laws of science linked to destiny. and that our leader stays strong. But conflict can be healthy. Students take them to do better on tests. We pray we always have healthy struggles. but it also drives us to improve. We have learned so much these past years. But others knew. Get rid of that pesky poetry predisposition. but pride can have its bad side for some leaders and others of their ilk.
go against him. but is driven by too much pride. all that has been said on all sides. not afraid of holy things. ignoring justice and rights of the citizens. then we will never believe in the rule of law. Apollo or the other experts? Those who are supposed to know. somewhat stealthily. and if he gets away with it. somehow. Yet. I feel I have to do something to help my beloved find some peace of 45 . And we seem to prefer it that way. then he must be brought down. I will never bow down to any man again. the Delphi Group. Jocasta: I can¶t help thinking about all that has happened. Never be disloyal. regardless of party or platform. hubris. or if he cannot control himself. Dr. the laws of science. then we pray he will be brought down. Those who claim to know. red or blue. if he is unjust or unfair. Jocasta comes out from the doors. She is carrying various old fashioned religious objects. Are all the old ideas dying? If so. temper his rage and emotions thereby bringing wrath or destruction to the people. no matter what. If he is not fair. to give comfort to the enemies known and as yet unknown. never accept the rulings of any government. purporting to lead us. ignoring the will and best interests of those who put him in power. if a person comes to us. the system as we know it. at least for now. what will replace them? Us? Our leaders make all the decisions. How do we reconcile the words we have heard from the think tanks. If any or all of those terrible things happen. the heavens.
some answers. I try to soothe him every way I can. As you can see.mind. As she does. his body. Apollo and his group for some help. the right answers. What is it you want? Messenger: Greetings and blessings to you. wife of this famous man. to appeal to the more spiritual side of my nature. stranger. but this is his wife and mother of his children. battling for his mind. He is listening to every voice. As if there are two opposing forces in him. Corrupted somehow as if he has no real control of what he wants to do. Messenger: Can either of you direct me to the leader of this land. (O)edipus is not himself. another\messenger enters from the side. Leader/Narrator: This is the place where you may find him. Jocasta: I wish you the same. (O)edipus I believe is his name. I pray they will be able to free us of this torment. free the leader who tried to guide us through our present tragic crisis. He approaches Jocasta and the Leader/Chorus/Narrator. his balance. where (O)edipus grew up. His rational nature. I have my religious paraphernalia and need to pray. and we believed their advice. as if to find the Delphi Group. every poll. is upset. Jocasta seems to be heading offstage. a nearby city. but instead is a messenger from Corinth. They always have the information. I myself will appeal to Dr. but nothing works. especially with such a nice greeting. since they started guiding us from the beginning. What can we 46 . and each drives him to further distraction and fear.. He is inside. his soul. He is not the servant/guard who has been summoned. his very cells at odds with each other.
He just died. Messenger: He is leader no more. Jocasta: Wait a minute. Who sent you? Messenger: Corinth sent me. though there is a tinge of sadness in the news as well. (The aide rushes away. Messenger: Well then. Let¶s hear it. Jocasta turns to an aide Jocasta: Hurry to (O)edipus.) 47 . for all of you. the citizens of Corinth want to elect (O)edipus as their new leader. You should be glad of it. Jocasta: So be it. though it has two edges. Give him this news at once. very good news in a way. Let me be struck down myself if I am lying. Are you saying that the old man is dead? Messenger: Yes. Jocasta: What? Has something happened to Polybus? He¶s been their leader a long time.do for you? Do you have news of some kind? Messenger: I think it should be welcome news. Jocasta: Sounds good.
Messenger: Sir. there are two pieces of information. It was just his time. But now he is dead. (O)edipus: How did he die? Be precise. Not killed by his own son. It¶s true. Do you hear this news? For years (O)edipus has been afraid of this man. (O)edipus (as he comes through the doors): What¶s up my love? Why did you call me? Jocasta (bringing the Messenger closer so they both can hear him): You need to listen to what this man has to say.dead. Was he assassinated? Was it illness? What? Messenger: It wasn¶t anything dramatic. (O)edipus: So it was some kind of illness that gradually brought him down. a natural death. all those predictions were. but since you want that one first. baseless. poor man? 48 . let me tell you. yes that¶s right. He is here to tell you that Polybus is«. You¶ll realize how foolish. (O)edipus: Who is this guy? Just a regular citizen? Why do I care what he says? Jocasta: He is from Corinth.You fortune tellers. afraid that he would kill his own father. Polybus is gone. You fakers. (O)edipus (quickly turning toward the Messenger): What? Let me hear from you.
take serendipity as you find it. All those so-called laws of nature and science. many men dream of such things. I couldn¶t seem to let go of it. I had nothing to do with his death. You might as well live randomly. Let it all go. As for your fears about marrying your mother. prophecies. Do you see. Don¶t dwell on those things any more. All of it. Go on living for the day. No human can see into the future or truly affect it. Freud and his minions certainly got that point across. Those fears are just your shadow self. Sharing the bed of their mother. Jocasta. even if he may not have gotten it all right. All those predictions. My thoughts have been so dark lately. fated to kill my father.Messenger: There was some of that. (O)edipus: But what of the other half? Shouldn¶t I still fear my mother¶s bed« Jocasta: Why should you fear anything? Everything is chance in this world. and many still recognize the truth of his words today. No. All rubbish. Jocasta: Well now it¶s time to move on. unless he missed me so much that he died from that. None of it. pronouncements. Bullshit. Jocasta: See? What did I tell you. but mainly it seemed to be his age. Genetics and heredity. let me tell you. right from the beginning? (O)edipus: Yes. I have to admit you did. I was destined. Tomorrow doesn¶t count at all. as the psychologists have told us. but he died of natural causes. unlike myself. The DSM doesn¶t even recognize 49 . (O)edipus: Well well.
but I miss seeing my parents.your fears so there can¶t be anything really wrong. it¶s Merope. (O)edipus: Yes. So I fled Corinth and for years never even went close to that city. It¶s worked out well. but I still am afraid of her while she still lives. my mother is still alive and well. as if it were sent by the gods or something. wife of Polybus as you know. I can see that. Jocasta: But the death of your father should bring you some joy. a pronouncement made by those who know. (O)edipus: That sounds well and good. Messenger: Why in the world do you fear that old woman? (O)edipus: There was a fearful prediction. old timer. I still have that part to fear. who is the woman who inspires such fear in you? (O)edipus: Well. 50 . in effect. Messenger: If you don¶t mind my asking. should it not? You know what I mean. to sleep with my own mother and kill my father. Apollo and his group told me many years ago that I was destined. Messenger: Can you tell me what it was. Dr. but as you know. My mother. it¶s nothing like that. or is it classified information? (O)edipus: No.
Messenger: That¶s why you never went back to Corinth?
(O)edipus: I didn¶t want to kill my father. Surely even you can see that.
Messenger: Of course, but since I came here with such good news, maybe I can also help you with that.
(O)edipus: If you could do that, you would be well-rewarded I assure you.
Messenger: That¶s basically why I¶m here, sir. If you would come home, I¶d be rewarded for my role in the process.
(O)edipus: I will never go back, never go near my parents, my mother.
Messenger: Well son, it¶s obvious you don¶t really have a clue as to the truth.
(O)edipus: What do you mean, old man? Explain, dammit. Now.
Messenger: If you fled because of them, never going home«
(O)edipus: Of course I did. I needed to make sure the predictions wouldn¶t come true.
Messenger: And if they did, you would be guilt-ridden, from both parents, correct?
(O)edipus: Yes, how could I not? I was, am always afraid.
Messenger: So you really don¶t know. (Pauses) You have absolutely nothing to fear.
(O)edipus: How can that be? If I am indeed their. son, the child of Merope and Polybus«
Messenger: That¶s just it. You are not, never were related by blood to Polybus.
(O)edipus: What do you mean? Are you saying Polybus was not my biological father?
Messenger: He was as much your father as I am. We are equals in that regard.
(O)edipus: How do you mean that? You are nothing to me.
Messenger: Neither was he, at least in terms of blood and DNA.
(O)edipus: (Plaintive and belligerent): So why did he call me his son?
Messenger: He thought of you that way, though you were basically handed to him as a gift. He and Merope couldn¶t seem to have any children of their own naturally. I handed you to him myself.
(O)edipus: Wait a minute. I can barely take this in. I was handed to him? How then could he love me as much as he did, while we were not related by blood«he loved me so much.
Messenger: Yes he did, and all knew it. Maybe because they had gone so long without children of their own«and a son who could inherit the power and leadership, well..
(O)edipus: So how did this all work? Did you pay for me? Did you find me by chance?
Messenger: It was kind of an accident, actually. I happened to be in the right place.
(O)edipus: What were you doing there?
Messenger: I was just kind of hanging out, watching some animals in my care.
(O)edipus: Were you some kind of homeless guy? Begging to get by?
Messenger: I guess you could say that. But I also turned out to be the one who saved you, more or less.
(O)edipus: Was I in pain when you found me? Or anything unusual?
Messenger: You seemed to have something wrong with your ankles. See them now and you¶ll get the idea.
(O)edipus: Yes, don¶t remind me. They have always been malformed, painful.
Messenger: It wasn¶t an illness. They seemed almost tied together, pinned. I freed them. You got your name at that point also, by the way. We don¶t know what it
for someone named Laius. Actually. tell me. (O)edipus: There was another homeless guy? Messenger: No. (O)edipus: Laius. he was a servant for« (O)edipus: For who? Good god.. Jocasta suddenly turns toward him. if I remember correctly«. Messenger: I have no idea. I don¶t think he was homeless. As soon as he says this. if he is still alive? Could you find him and bring him here? 54 . I was not the first on the scene. I believe he said he was working. (O)edipus: Do you have any idea how I got there? Was it my mother or father? Speak up.really was. Messenger: Let me think for a moment. (O)edipus: Do you know. Did a number of different kinds of jobs for him. as they say on the crime shows. unofficial capacity. You¶d have to ask the man who actually gave you to me. the man who was leader of this land years ago? Messenger: Yes. I think that was his name. by any chance. He told me. he worked for someone. He was employed by Laius in some. as I recall..
the one we sent for. the guy we were looking for earlier. Speak up immediately. you¶ll give this up. He was from here. by chance. You know how these old guys are. you can¶t«. I will never give up the search. I think he is the one you were hoping to see earlier.Messenger: These folks would know more than I about that. or so it seems. Leader: Actually. If you value your own life at all. in the name of god. I can¶t seem to be able to« Jocasta: (Frantic) Stop this search. 55 . Even if I wanted to. is he the same man? Jocasta (after what seems like a long pause. all of us. I can¶t. You know how I am. But the one who would know best is Jocasta. I have to get to the bottom of this. Just forget about it. once and for all. It¶s all ridiculous. (O)edipus and the Messenger turn to the Chorus/Leader/Narrator (O)edipus: Do any of you know of this«employee we were just discussing? Have you seen him around? I need that information right now. Let my pain be enough for both of us. disturbed): That particular man? Why trouble yourself. (O)edipus: What are you talking about? What¶s wrong with you? I am trying to figure out who am I. (O)edipus: Jocasta. and there is finally a clue. They never remember anything the right way. She seems distracted.
You are doomed. I beg you please. Jocasta: I have not asked much from you. in fact my mother might have been a servant herself. whatever it brings. to refer to you. (O)edipus: Perhaps. making my blood the blood of commoners. I have to find the truth. (O)edipus (to an aide): Quickly find that servant now. but we¶ll deal with it. (almost jokingly): My wife will be the only one of upper class birth in this household. I must know all of it. Don¶t go any further with this. I want you to stop for your own sake. I always said I married up. Jocasta (shrieking): From now on. You know I have always only wanted the best for you. but I can¶t bear to have the best now. I will only be able to call you. to think 56 . Please. Jocasta: (On the verge of hysteria): I hope. I know that wouldn¶t be great to hear. that you never figure out who you are. Be strong. I pray. (O)edipus: I can¶t listen to you about this. Worst case.(O)edipus: Come on. Jocasta: No. We¶ve made it to this level. I don¶t seem to have a choice. listen to me. Every last bit of the truth. maybe we¶ll find that I have come from the lower classes. but now I¶m begging you. For your own sake. Bring him to me.
(O)edipus: While I have never met him. There is silence and tension. no matter what. I have to know where I came from. It won¶t be that bad. Let come what must come. Whatever my true nature. the scientists. I have often felt under the influence of different forces. no matter how low that birth may have been. He doesn¶t seem to be very happy about this trip. beneath her blood. no matter what. (O)edipus: Don¶t concern yourselves. all of science.of you. the experts. We are all children of the goddess of Chance. as the man of pain and sorrow. (O)edipus is looking off into the distance. but I don¶t think of it as a disgrace. by his looks I¶d guess this is the old shepherd. I am afraid that more terrible things might unfold. From now until the end. surrounded by guards. I have to find out the truth. She may be quite upset that I come from stock beneath hers. Have you ever seen anything like this? A man against all the gods. I must see it all. a little later in our broadcast. forever« She runs through the doors. all exert their influences on who we are. our parents. Leader/Chorus: Ladies and gentlemen. I can¶t fight it and I will never betray my roots. You¶ll be amazed when you find out what happens. what we are. and fate. 57 . all the experts. obviously hysterical. slowly. I am certainly her son and she is my mother. He approaches (O)edipus. where do you think she has gone? Such grief. Leader/Narrator: (O)edipus. The moons. There is an old man coming towards him. but I am what I am.
(Vaguely): Other things. First. (O)edipus: What kinds of so-called odd jobs did you perform for them? Shepherd: I took care of all their animals. yes you. did you work for Laius? Shepherd: I did. He was loyal. I pretty much grew up working for the family. their flock. He¶s the one. Leader/Narrator: He definitely is the one who worked for Laius. I¶d say. All kinds of odd jobs. (O)edipus: Let me ask the other stranger first²is he the one you were talking about? Messenger: Absolutely. you might say. I don¶t recognize him. (O)edipus: Have you ever seen that man over there? 58 . to be sure. (O)edipus: Where did you work most of the time? Shepherd: A place called Cithaeron. I need you to answer all my questions. though. that¶s certain. Come here now and face me. (O)edipus (speaking directly to the Shepherd): Old man.the one we summoned to begin with to help us with our mystery. He is about the same age as the Messenger. mostly around the mountain and the surrounding hills.
So let me try to help him. but even so. This couldn¶t have been too common an event for you. (speaking directly to the Shepherd) Do you remember now? Tell us one way or the other. I think we spent around three years on and off. An infant. It was a long time ago.Shepherd (confused. I¶m sure he¶ll remember the times we spent together on the slopes of Cithaeron. (O)edipus (pointing carefully at the Messenger. Not sure which man he is referring to): Which one? There are a few. Remember? You gave me a boy child to bring up. it¶s been a long time. sir. Messenger: Sir. so there will be no mistake): This one. you know. Have you ever met him or had any kind of business dealings with him? Shepherd (apologetically. Messenger: Yes. I don¶t always take my meds. Shepherd: (Looking somewhat confused and alarmed): What are you talking about? Why 59 . depending on the seasons. haltingly): I¶m not sure. but my memory isn¶t too good anymore. Shepherd: Could be. it¶s not surprising he doesn¶t remember me right off the bat. I¶m not really sure. I don¶t think so. with the flocks and the animals.
You are the one who should be punished. This fine gentleman here was that baby. we¶ll get the truth out of you one way or another. Messenger: Well here is a surprise for you. would you? (O)edipus (to the guards): Attach the electrodes now. Shepherd: Don¶t you see he¶s talking crap. If you won¶t talk voluntarily. but it¶s all bullshit. friend. (Gestures to guards. Shepherd: Why. searching for answers. not him. (O)edipus: You shouldn¶t be yelling at him.are you bringing that up now? Very old news. We don¶t have time to negotiate any more. 60 . old man. That¶s what I think.) The guards grab the Shepherd forcefully. (O)edipus: Many lives are at stake here. sir? What have I done wrong? (O)edipus: You won¶t answer his questions about the infant child. He has them and we need them. painfully if necessary. Excuse my language. What do you think of that? Shepherd: (Hissing): I think you need to shut the hell up you fool. Shepherd: You wouldn¶t torture a helpless old man.
Shepherd: No. sir.Shepherd: What more do you need to know. (Points to citizens. if you don¶t tell us the truth. god help me. audience. Stop. (O)edipus: Did you or did you not hand that child to him? Shepherd: OK. I wish I had died myself that day. 61 . don¶t you. I can¶t answer. Shepherd: For the love of god. Please no more. I already admitted it. for crying out loud. Fine with me. Shepherd: Wait. His game is over. Right now. (Gestures to the guards. the more painful you will make my death. Who was it? Look over there.) Let¶s go. God. I got it«got him from«someone else. (O)edipus: Now we¶re getting somewhere. (O)edipus: Where did the child come from? Your own people? Someone else? Who? Where? Answer now. it wasn¶t mine. I did. (O)edipus: You just want to drag this out. (O)edipus: I am ready to take care of that right now. Crank it up.) Was it from one of them? Which of their houses? Speak. The more I say at this point. I gave the child to him. Shepherd: At least I might die quickly if I say nothing more.
And she is inside those doors. Shepherd: All right. but something drives me to hear.. Shepherd: Ok«. I know there are horrors coming. My wife? Are you saying. If I have to ask again. I can¶t hold back anyway at this point. Yet.ok. Your «wife. I am screwed either way. 62 . I don¶t bluff. He is squirming) The child came from the house of««. (O)edipus: Wait. It¶s all spinning. I have to know. Yet. damn everything and everyone. We are on the edge of an abyss. god help me. horrible horrible truth. sir. on the edge of a terrible abyss of truth. but actually says it out loud): I can¶t believe this. (O)edipus: Yes.Laius. I don¶t want to know. I will know. But there is one person who can tell you for certain. you¶re dead. Your wife. I can¶t hold back and live. (O)edipus: Was it from an employee? Someone who worked there? Or someone related by blood to Laius? Shepherd: (Mostly to himself. are you saying she gave it to you? Shepherd: Yes.(O)edipus: I am sick and tired of your games.they said it was his son. (Long pause. It was«. WAIT.
the baby. But instead. his father. (O)edipus: No. No. the facts of the science. She was afraid. Why did you give him to that old man if those were your orders? Shepherd: Orders aren¶t everything. and it may be the last thing I see. That cannot be true. I was hoping he would be taken away. There are higher laws. I felt sorry for the child. Kill her own child? This is like one of those horrific news stories we keep seeing« Shepherd: Well. she had her reasons. I have been uncovered. I can finally see it. his fate. to escape his destiny. he would kill his parents. No. I can¶t begin to understand the pain you are about to undergo. prophecies. terrified of the predictions. I was cursed before I was even 63 . all of the experts said. us to kill it. What for? Shepherd: It¶s simple. he was actually saved for this fate. And more. his heredity. maybe the same fate«And if you are the man he says you are. (O)edipus: Oh my god.. Unmasked for the cursed man I am. She wanted me. (O)edipus: I don¶t understand then. far away. What the consultants told them.(O)edipus: I don¶t get it. (O)edipus: What are you talking about? Shepherd: They said. at least for some of us.
But brought down by what. Truth be known. through the doors. not with the 24-hour news cycle. who made me this. I can hardly bear to watch it. when my parents made the decision to choose who and what I would be. in agony. but of course that is part of my job. Here was a leader who seemed to have it all. now you have seen it all. coming from the double doors. Has there ever been a man---or woman---more miserable than (O)edipus right now? Despite all his and others¶ best efforts. those I loved the most. adding to the already bad news you¶ve just heard. But I gave orders. Look at (O)edipus. except for the tragic denouement that Aristotle¶s Poetics insisted you see and experience.born. Cursed. only to be brought down. in the long run. Your must have your catharsis to make this a classic tragedy. the doctors. Cursed by the experts. Messenger. He experienced glory by saving the community. Narrator: Well. Well. clearly stunned by what has happened. Made me what I could not help but be. fated in what I would do to others. we can¶t keep up with the demand for this kind of catastrophe. and why you are all here. The Shepherd. What we¶ll be seeing will have you questioning if anything in life really means anything. the scientists. How to live with this«no. he wound up making the terrible predictions come true. my word« He rushes from the stage. that is the question you will have to decide soon. guards and attendants all exit somberly. Messenger: I¶m afraid I¶ve got more tragic news for you. All the water in the world could not cleanse us of the 64 . (And so the TNN news crawl continues«) A new Messenger enters. ladies and gentlemen.
sobbing about Laius and their life before. as if he were facing the minions of hell. so recently was the deed accomplished. But then (O)edipus came in. It was horrific to watch and hear. She was hysterical. Leader/Narrator: Looks like some late breaking news. and her body was still swinging. and we still find ways to hurt ourselves beyond the ability of others to do so. the horrors they are bound to face. we all were able to see. As the doors crashed back.corruption. He broke the door down. acting like a madman. a sight I will never forget. With a wrenching sob. She was hanging by her neck. well you can imagine. perhaps it was her bathrobe belt. he gently took the noose from her neck and even more gently lifted her to set her down. Leader/Narrator: What? How? Do we have pictures? Film? Sound? Messenger: She did it herself. in a voice barely recognizable as his own. I can¶t even put into words the way she actually did the deed. all her children. somehow. atomic blasts and terrorists if necessary. and then rushed the doors of the bedroom. When he saw her. Their child. Ranting and raving. which were locked from inside. There were all kinds of papers strewn around. Is our alert level going still higher? What news do you bring? Messenger: Our first lady is dead. 65 . He asked for a weapon. various medical reports and such. that door designed to repel marauders.
Yes.Then. Messenger. the people. I know the public would want to see it. It seemed as though the two of them were truly joined in some macabre yet romantic way. Something about his father. (O)edipus enters. His worst enemy would pity him now. and wanting finally to be as really blind as he had seemed to be. being led by an armed guard. yet he seemed to know what he was doing. He is a sight from hell. but this was real. At that point he was yelling almost incoherently. He was ranting something about blindness. as he did in the beginning. continues: I can¶t believe it. He stands before the audience. Messenger: I don¶t know. he snatched the golden pins that she must have used to fasten her robe. Chorus/Leader/Narrator: This is a horror. Blood spurted everywhere. a young man. I have never seen anything like this and hope 66 . Get rid of those cameras. barely pausing. Cursed beyond anything and anyone ever before or since. Controlled by forces. Words are unintelligible. The big doors open. Leader/Narrator: How horrible. some forces inside and yet outside of himself. It was like one of those slasher movies or something. How is he now? Have they sedated him? A tormented voice is heard from within. He is blind. and struck himself directly in the eyes with them. but he is still yelling something. mother and not being in control of anything.
but they just couldn¶t see what might happen. How can I escape the memories swirling in my head. I can¶t bear to look«I have to look. Strong decision making abilities. any pins. Narrator/Reporter/Chorus: How could you do it? How could you do that to your eyes.never to see it again. What happened? What came over you to do this to yourself? It won¶t help anything. Helping my«parents to get what they wanted. (O)edipus: My friends. that drove me to the rest of it. before I was ever born. I am lost. Pride. What power enabled you? (O)edipus: Probably the same power. those doctors and scientists. your real wounds and your memories. to make sure I had all the qualities of leadership. (O)edipus: The pain is unbearable. They didn¶t get it quite right. A feeling of superiority. Strength. this whatever I am and whatever I have been. Are you really still here or is that another of my hallucinations? You are so loyal. I¶m sure they all had good intentions. Apollo and his group. I don¶t know where I am. Those predictors and experts. have taken me. I don¶t know why I¶m here. Entitlement. Those minions of Dr. The tide is dark and powerful. They may have done this to me. Virtues I have always respected and appreciated as I have said many times. demons. Narrator/Reporter/Chorus: You are suffering twice over. They made me this. The waves are taking me. They are sharper than any knives. I am only now just starting to understand how this happened. so compassionate. 67 . Stubbornness.
(Turning in the general direction of the boy): Please. why I felt certain things. I wish whoever saved me that day would have left me to die.Pauses for a moment. All will know my name. 68 . Now other things are starting to become clearer. this fate. this spirit. would have left everything to nature. couldn¶t feel others. acted certain ways and not others. What good was seeing anymore? I could never see happiness again. I will keep my word. collecting himself. Chorus/Leader/Narrator: We wish you would have never have had to understand these things. I did it. this I did myself. (O)edipus: I wish. If only I had died then« Chorus: Yes. Killing my father. I am (O)edipus. Chorus/Narrator/Leader: Well. But this. as my curse demanded. I blinded myself. if only« (O)edipus: I would never be in this terrible situation. Better to have the other flaws than the ones they gave me. the ones I took. take responsibility for my actions. This was. Many would say that it¶s better to die than to be without sight. thought not in the way I intended. my mistakes. Cast me out. I suppose they were trying to do the best for me before I was actually born. I wish that whoever gave me these genes. is my destiny. Not knowing. take me away from here. it looks like your choice was not the best.
I did what I had to. I am facing my own curse. intentionally or not. surrounded by armed guards. Leader/Narrator: If you want to leave. Creon enters. ask Creon.(O)edipus: A little late for advice. It¶s time for me to disappear. unknowingly. to hear nothing and know nothing. How am I going to face my father when I die? Or my mother? I have committed crimes. What I have isn¶t catching. So now. (O)edipus: What can I possibly say to him. Please lead me away. Don¶t be afraid. mothers. I couldn¶t bear it. Come closer. my own edicts. I¶m glad you never saw this. Our only hope. 69 . Triple cross-roads. What a great successor you raised. Polybus. but of course. Had to. how could I face my beautiful children? Better to be blind than to see them. alone. He approaches the audience and the Chorus. wives. now that he is in charge. not in the way you think. He has just arrived. who I thought was my father. when I was the corruption of the land. I have been wrong. wrong in every way. Even worse. I am the worst of the worst.. wouldn¶t you say. I think of my father. They move away. My guilt is public for all to see. I wish I were deaf as well as blind. not wanting to be touched by him. and why should he listen? I said all those terrible things about him. sons. To see them seeing me. He¶ll have answers. I did the best I could.
the decision makers. Creon turns to the guards and speaks to them. Where they won¶t see me and I won¶t hear them. The killer had to be expunged without delay. it¶s always better to get consensus in circumstances like 70 .. Bring him inside so that his shame isn¶t on view by all. especially for one who deserves no kindness. hubris. but first I wanted to consult with my advisers and the. All of you standing there. your arrogance. Certainly not to the public. Nothing ambiguous there. Yet. Creon: That¶s quite true.Creon: (O)edipus. your flaws. the experts? Those who know things. to be sure. or bring up your former mistakes. don¶t you have any respect for what it means to be human? Don¶t you have reverence for the gods. (O)edipus: Banish me from this land. (O)edipus: What¶s to consult? They were clear from the beginning. Please do one more thing. away from all human contact. Creon: I would have done it already. I have not come to torment you. Only family should be involved at this time.consultants. something more for you than for me I would guess. (O)edipus: Thank you Creon for your kind words. Creon: What is it? It seems to be so important to you.. This is an unusual situation.
as your kin. I beg you. So be it.. grant me this final wish. (O)edipus: Yes. Their only fault is to be my children. don¶t worry about my sons. Let it come. I always took care of them. so I beg you to do the same. kept healthy for this terrible fate. I have been protected. 71 . I just need to hold them once more. have you already taken pity on me and brought them to me? Creon: Yes. (O)edipus: I think I hear crying. they are another story. I know how they brought you happiness in the past.these. bury me alive on the mountain. Creon. And maybe this time even you will listen to their words and try to heed their advice. Antigone and Ismene. After all. it will be infamous because of me. (O)edipus: You would bother them about someone like me? Creon: Absolutely. As for my children. two very young children. The daughters. Not to act unilaterally. You must feel that happiness right now. well. May I touch them but once more? Please. Let me live out my life and die where they wanted me to die. And for you. They are old enough to take care of themselves. our leader. are led onstage by a nurse. if you know what I mean. yes of course. As for me. I ord ---I am begging you to bury the woman inside in the decent way.
And perhaps the same curse as I. Shake my hand in promise. He turns and speaks to Creon. when the time comes. Creon. though also you carry some wonderful genes. then both hug him deeply. He reaches for them. Don¶t abandon them to the crowds. you are their father now. Nobody could ever really know. I was unable to avoid my fate. Neither of you will ever have children of your own. publicly or privately? Who. I didn¶t know how closely related we really were. Please Creon. where are you? Come to me. You will bear my disgrace. will risk marrying you. They are your kin. My wonderful children. should have told them that. in effect what I had been programmed to do though nobody knew what the final results would actually be.(O)edipus: God Bless You. Chaos theory should tell us that. I now cry for you. Pray for me. Come children. I didn¶t know. more than he blessed me. Who will accept you. As he reaches out his right hand. (O)edipus: My little children. Please promise. your flesh and blood. Creon backs away. Don¶t let them suffer because of me. Generations to come. You are doomed as well. not shaking it or touching him. 72 . I wish and I don¶t wish you were old enough for me to explain what has happened. what I have done. At first they are tentative. Thank you. I beg you. thank you. through no fault of your own.
I¶m sure it can be arranged quickly. (O)edipus: I¶m going---but you know the deal we have. Creon: I can¶t do that unilaterally. (O)edipus: I¶m sure you¶ll get everyone to agree. as you will see. (O)edipus: Of course. Creon: I see your point. you know. All must want to get rid of me. Enough crying. It¶s time for you to go inside for now. I think that about wraps things up. Creon: Time heals all. 73 . Creon: OK. every day I have left.I will certainly pray for you. (O)edipus: So you will agree to it? Creon: I usually say what I mean. I didn¶t know we had a deal. you are right. Creon: No. It¶s an old habit. you know. But it¶s hard. (O)edipus: You will banish me forever from this land. at least for me.
consider what you have just seen. (O)edipus: No. perhaps too late. traditions. We will go. Creon: Even now you try to control everything. The Narrator/Chorus/Leader comes forward to give the final statement before the trial. No. He saved the land with his intelligence and took power. No. That we are learning. qualities? To be successful. good looking. though maybe not out loud. genes. Many envied him. I can¶t bear it. 74 . what are the implications for the likes of us? Can we truly be free of pain and suffering? Who is really to blame in this tragedy? And who will be to blame for the next? Can you fault parents for wanting the best for their children? For wanting them to carry on the family name. wealthy? To what extent do we continue to trust the experts and not find out the most important things for ourselves. Creon and (O)edipus exit.(O)edipus: Then let¶s get on with it. Let go of the children. Not everything can be undone. through the double doors. If this is what can happen to a man of power and influence. The guards pry them away and bring them through the big doors. Perhaps some of you did. Creon: Ok. but it won¶t work any more. Don¶t take them away from me. until the end. Now look at what has befallen him. Take me away. They face the jury and the audience. none of it as you move on through the rest of your life. the great (O)edipus. To know things or try to know about them. Your power is no more. Narrator/Chorus/Leader: Before we get to our trial. He won¶t let go of them voluntarily.
Have a safe evening. 75 . Darkness. All exit the stage.
SUMMONS TO JURY DUTY In the matter of the State vs. please give this Summons to the official in charge to ensure a complete Jury. You will be asked to report to the stage and be on stage to participate in Jury Deliberations. If you cannot or do not want to meet these obligations. Jury Service is your duty and privilege as a citizen of this state. (O)edipus. 76 . to be conducted immediately after the regular portion of this presentation. you are hereby summoned to serve as a Juror during the Trial Phase. The defendant deserves that. We thank you for your cooperation. Please be ready to follow the instructions of the Bailiff.
and a Judge¶s bench. 77 . Creon had second thoughts about making the decision alone. Distinguished guests. It is about 3 days later. The Jury has been chosen from the available pool. a defense table and prosecution table center stage. 1-12. There is an air of expectancy in the Jury Box. Thank you for coming to help us finish this unfortunate business. There is a jury box stage right. Narrator: Welcome ladies and gentlemen. (O)edipus. The Narrator steps forward to tell audience what has transpired and what is about to happen. this man had committed unspeakable acts and Creon was about to assume power. in front of citizens of the state. and they suggested that (O)edipus should be brought to a speedy public trial. He consulted the Delphi Group for advice. sits at the defense table. You see before you (O)edipus. After all.The Trial Characters Narrator Judge Prosecutor Defense (O)edipus (or stuffed doll to represent him) Jury (audience members called for Jury Duty) Bailiff When the curtain opens and the lights come up. You know of his crimes and of his pain. or his likeness. What you don¶t know is that before he could be taken to Cithaeron to live out his exile. with a long conference table and 12 chairs set around it. Each wears a name tag or a jury number. Each had been given (more or less randomly) a Summons to Jury Duty when he or she picked up the entry ticket. There is a separate Jury Deliberation table stage left. we see a basic courtroom.
There is no other choice. Thank you for coming to help us complete the cycle of events. Ladies and gentlemen of the Jury. He admitted as much himself. Fact 1. Your job is to make it official so he can meet the punishment he so obviously deserves---and wants. Truth and justice must prevail. Defense: I also welcome you. Fact 2. He killed four men who were guarding Laius. I won¶t take up much of your time. it¶s time for criminals to face their responsibilities and face the consequences of their actions. He dishonored his mother in unspeakable ways. Before you sits a man who has already admitted to a series of crimes. to face up to your responsibilities and punish them. Did he commit the crimes he has been accused of? We don¶t argue the material facts as they have been presented to you. Or else. He saved us from a serious plague. what kind of world will we have? Thank you. You know my client.Prosecutor: Good evening ladies and gentlemen of the jury. He killed our former leader Laius. the jury. serving as the captain of our beleaguered ship of state as it foundered on the choppy waters of terrorism and uncertainty. He has admitted the crimes. He has fearlessly led our community for years. You must find him responsible and guilty. My colleague is partially correct as usual. Fact 3. and for you. though he claims ³other forces´ made him do it. though of course not in the most important part of what he (or she) said. 78 . The facts are clear in this case.
You may feel pity for his situation. maybe even angry at what he did. They take their places around the conference table where there are paper and pencils at each place. We have to come to a decision swiftly so we can all move ahead with our lives. please escort them to the Deliberation Room. His personality was programmed and therefore so was his fate. who has not been guilty of disappointing his or her mother at one time or another? Only the degree of dishonor or disappointment changes. They are solemn but purposeful. While some may argue that both nature and nurture are important. Judge: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. A majority vote counts. I¶m afraid. Please retire to your chambers to deliberate. led by the Bailiff. If it is not a tie. he had been given a set of genes. As for the third charge. who will serve as foreperson. strong predispositions. The most important fact to remember is that he had. perhaps. Our client was not in his right mind when he committed the crimes. He did what he had to.(Each pencil has the name (O)EDIPUS on it. Before he was born. pure and simple. the Bailiff walks over to them and asks if they are ready to vote. The cars were not marked. You have heard the evidence. They attacked him first. It was self-defense. Each does so. After 10-15 minutes (give or take. and then he was attacked by two groups of men. and hands them to the juror at one end of the table. That juror/foreperson counts the votes and lets the others know the results. to defend his own life. the Bailiff will lead them back to the 79 . who then moves to stage rear to wait. It doesn¶t have to be unanimous in this state.) Deliberations begin. no. in effect. Neither Laius nor his bodyguards identified themselves. He responded. Each juror has a piece of paper and a pencil to record his or her vote. He was under extreme stress. finding out all that information about his past. Bailiff. Responsible. You have only fifteen minutes. we have seen evidence that he was incapable of acting differently from the way he did. depending upon the deliberations). The clock is ticking. And on top of that. been pre-programmed to commit all of these acts. he had no real choice. well. Guilty. The audience listens.Therefore. The Jury walks to the Jury Deliberation room. our defense is straightforward. but you cannot find him guilty of the crimes. rarely the fact. Thank you.
In that case. (O)edipus. the sequence repeats until they reach a clear verdict. but the verdict will differ depending upon the group. You are all excused. Judge: Has the jury reached its verdict? What say you? Foreperson: Yes. This was a difficult case and the state thanks you for your service. Once they have reached a verdict. Your work is done. Curtain 80 . In the matter of the People vs. Go about your business. they have to discuss the case a few more minutes. I will take your verdict under advisement and rule shortly. your honor. If it is a tie. though we may not agree exactly what it was we learned. Only the Judge remains onstage as the lights dim to darkness. A card gives the appropriate boiler-plate verbiage. We have all learned something. Judge: Thank you ladies and gentlemen. the Judge will ask the foreperson to read it. The Bailiff escorts the Jury offstage. Good day (or night). We find the defendant _____________for count 1. ______________for count 2 and ______________ for count 3. Now our work begins. Prosecution and Defense leave the stage opposite the Jury.courtroom.
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