The Tragedy of Orpheus and the Maenads
Publication Date: June 12, 2023
(and A Young Poet's Elegy to the Court of God)
A Traditional Play in Blank Verse
The preternaturally great poet Orpheus has responded to the loss of his wife Eurydice to the Underworld by forsaking the society of his fellow men in Thrace, where he was a poet-king, and endlessly wandering through field and forest, using his poetic genius to lament his loss. Apollo, the god of poetry, urges him to give up his excessive mourning and return to Thrace and once more sing the deeds of the great heroes of Greece. He warns him that in the wild he inhabits there lurk the young god of wine Dionysus and his super-human followers the Maenads, who themselves eschew the ordinary society of men and give themselves to mad ecstasies brought on by wine and who would like nothing more than to recruit Orpheus to their number. Unwilling to give up his devotion to the memory of Eurydice, Orpheus rejects the Maenads and their Master with unmeasured words of scorn, sealing his own doom. Dionysus devises a fiendish plot of revenge that goes well beyond the ancient myth.