Alexandros takes place before the Trojan War.  The scene is Athene’s     temple at Troy.  Queen Hekabe is making offerings to the memory of her son, Paris, whom she believes she and her husband Priam killed as a baby to avert a prophecy that he would one day destroy his city.  But the baby survived and was cared for by shepherds, who called him Alexandros.  Now a man, Paris-Alexandros has recently made his famous Judgement between the three goddesses, as a result of which encounter he has been overly cocky with the shepherds who bring him to Priam for punishment.  But Priam is impressed with him and invites him to take part in athletic games, which he wins convincingly.  His true identity is revealed and  rejoicing ensues, though (for us, who know) this is tempered by the realisation that he is about to depart for Sparta, where he will meet Helen.


The wife of King Menelaus, Helen leaves Sparta with Paris.  Menelaus and his brother, Agamemnon, lead an army to Troy to get her back.


By the time Palamedes takes place, the Greek army has been besieging Troy for many years.  It is winter, and factions have formed in the Greek camp.  The ever-scheming Odysseus is jealous of Palamedes’ popularity with the troops and plots his downfall.  He plants a bag of money in Palamedes’ tent, together with a letter suggesting he is a traitor.  When these are “found”, a kangaroo court is held with Agamemnon as the judge.  Palamedes is condemned to death, but soon after the sentence is carried out, his father arrives.  When he hears what has happened, he vows to destroy the Greek army on its way home.  


The Trojan War drags on.  Paris is killed.  Eventually, using the ruse of the wooden horse, the Greeks gain access to the city by night, massacring all the men.


Trojan Women begins before sunrise on the morning after the sack of Troy.  Hekabe and the other women are in a holding area, prior to being shipped off to slavery.  One by one, the women come and go – Cassandra, Hekabe’s virgin daughter, to be raped by Agamemnon; Andromache, her daughter-in-law, who is distraught when her son Astyanax is taken from her to be killed; and finally Helen, who pleads her case to Menelaus, and seems destined to survive.  Astyanax’s body is returned to Hekabe, who mourns all that is lost, but realises that, as long as Troy’s fame survives, Troy will survive too – and both play and trilogy end on an unexpectedly positive note.


This positive note is enhanced by the “satyr” play, the comedy Sisyphus.


Ancient Greece meets A Midsummer Nights Dream when wheeler-dealer Sisyphus disguises himself as Athene in an attempt to seduce the          goddess Hera.  When Athene herself finds out, she enlists the help of the satyrs, half-men half-goats, and stages a re-run of the Judgement of Paris - with unforeseen and riotous consequences.

Synopsis

Alexandros
















Palamedes














Trojan Women













Sisyphus

Trojan Trilogy

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