ANDROMACHE is a Greek tragedy written by Euripides (c. 484- 407 BCE), one of only 19 plays (out of 92) to survive. The play is actually in two parts, and like Sophocles’ Women of Trachis, it has no central character. The first part of the play deals with the plight of Andromache. Now the slave of Neoptolemus, the former wife of the Trojan prince Hector, she is threatened by Hermione, the young wife of her master. Together with her father, King Menelaus of Sparta, she threatens to kill Andromache and her young son.
Luckily, she and her son are saved by King Peleus, father of Achilles and grandfather of Neoptolemus. The second part is concerned with Hermione – the daughter of Menelaus and Helen – who fears the return of her husband from Delphi. He will most certainly kill her when he hears of her plan. Miraculously, Orestes, son of Agamemnon, arrives and saves the day with plans to kill her husband. The play ends with King Peleus, although grieving for his dead grandson, promised immortality by the goddess Thetis.
Electra is a play written by the 5th-century BCE Greek tragedian Sophocles. Similar to Aeschylus’ Libation Bearers, Electra focuses on the return of Electra’s brother Orestes from exile and the plot to murder their mother. Years earlier, their mother Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus killed their father Agamemnon upon his return from the Trojan War. In this version of the story, Electra has been treated as a slave since the death of her father. She tries to procure the assistance of her sister Chrysothemus in her plot but fails. With the return of Orestes and his friend Plyades, Electra is able to successfully avenge her father’s murder.
The play begins with Orestes, son of Agamemnon and brother of Electra, returning to Mycenae and plotting his revenge against his mother. He tells his old slave to go to the palace and announce to Clytemnestra that Orestes is dead. He and Plyades will use the urn containing his supposed ashes to gain access to the palace. Meanwhile, Electra is pacing before the palace, bemoaning her plight in life and ranting against her mother and her lover, Aegisthus. The years have not quelled her intense hatred. Her sister, Chrysothemis, exits the palace and is confronted by Electra. Over the years, Chrysothemis has become complacent and somewhat accepting of her mother’s role in her father’s death. Later, when asked to join in a plot to kill their mother and Aegisthus, she will refuse.
When Clytemnestra and Electra meet outside the palace, they argue; Electra is even threatened with exile. The old slave arrives and speaks to Clytemnestra, telling her of her son’s valiant death in a chariot race. Electra is heartbroken. When Chrysothemis returns from offering libations at their father’s grave, she tells her sister that she believes Orestes is still alive and in Argos. Electra informs her of the news of Orestes death. Shortly, Orestes and his friend Plyades arrive with the urn, and, after convincing Electra of his identity, they enter the palace, killing Clytemnestra. Later, when Aegisthus returns, he, too, is killed.
Candid photographs of Marilyn Monroe at the premiere of “Some Like It Hot” at the Lowe’s Capital Theatre in March, 1959.
SEVEN AGAINST THEBES:
SEVEN Against Thebes is the third part of a trilogy written by one of the greatest of the Greek tragedians, Aeschylus in 467 BCE, winning first prize in competition at Dionysia. Unfortunately, only fragments of the first two plays, Laius and Oedipus and the accompanying satyr drama Sphinx remain. Based on the well-known ancient Greek myth surrounding King Oedipus of Thebes, Seven Against Thebes centers on this rivalry between Eteocles and Polynices, the two sons of Oedipus, fulfilling the curse of their father, never being able to settle their dispute and, in the end, falling by each other’s hand. As evident with his most famous work Oresteia, Aeschylus may well have been the only tragedian to treat his trilogies as a single drama. This practice is evident in Seven Against Thebes where he makes a number of references to events from the first two plays.
“This Theatre is Unfair to Strip Dancers.” Outside London Palladium, 1937.
Market Street, San Francisco, California, July 1966.
A strawberry field in Hollywood, California, about 1905. This is approximately where the El Capitan Theatre and Jimmy Kimmel Live now stand. Prospect Avenue was renamed Hollywood Boulevard in 1910.
If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, each of us will have two ideas.