The title says it all, really.
|I feel this requires some explanation. I study Classical Greek, and I was recently lucky enough to go on a two-week course, during which time I read more Greek than I knew existed, and also took part in a fully staged performance of Aeschylus' "Agamemnon" in the original Greek, thus engendering a dangerously vigorous enthusiasm for ancient Greek drama. One of the other highlights of the course was the formation of "Piano Joe and the Greek Chorus": a barbershop quintet which sang for most of the course in glorious five-part harmony. I decided that, among our repertoire, we ought to have something Greek in theme, and, since I couldn't find anything pre-written, I decided to do the honours and write one myself! The plays I've abridged are, in order: Euripides' "Medea"; Euripides' "Suppliant Maidens"; Sophocles' "Oedipus"; Sophocles' "Antigone"; Aristophanes' "Lysistrata"; Euripides' "Bacchae"; Aeschylus' "Agamemnon"; Aristophanes' "Frogs"; Aristophanes' "Birds"; and Sophocles' "Electra".
Ten Greek Plays in under Five Minutes
Medea is a witch, in the literal sense
When her husband walks off, she wants recompense
She’s got a brain: she’s quite insane
Bumps off her children for personal gain, but
She’ll come back in a
Deus Ex Machina,
One play down, there’s nine to go!
Suppliant Maidens stands out from the rest
With the heroines’ attempts to avoid incest
The concept doesn’t seem to bother all the other Greeks
Their gene ocean’s shrinking to a genetic creek,
Oedipus took to new heights above
The concept of familial love
He was blind to his fate when he killed that king
And now he’s blind to everything!
His marriage to his mother was a terrible shame
Brought all kinds of bad to the family name
And who should continue his legacy
But his daughter-slash-sister Antigone!
Her brother-slash-uncle had done his number
And she just wanted him six feet under
With the king she had a tussle over who got the shovel
So she said, ‘What the heck!”
Hanged herself by the neck
Left the whole sodding stage in a bit of a wreck…
Four plays gone and six remain!
Now there’s no way this song can please
Without some Aristophanes
A war, a plot, some phallus jokes,
Some sexually frustrated blokes
The rudest thing you’ve ever heard
Is Lysistrata, in a word!
Of all Greek plays, there must be one
With some good old cross-dressing fun
A bacchanal, a king in drag,
His head ripped off by some old hag –
Of course I’m speaking of his mother:
The play’s the Bacchae: couldn’t be another!
Looks like Agamemnon’s dead:
Serves him right, I never liked him,
Three plays left!
Dionysus pops up a second time
Bickering with Xanthias in Attic rhyme
Brekekekex, ko-ax, ko-ax
Tragedians argue that standards are lax
Euripides ousted, Aeschylus shouted
Out “bottles of oil”, for no good cause
Bringing cheers from the audience and copious applause
While sat on the logs are armies of Frogs
Singing “Brekekekex, so which play’s next?”
A quick detour is now at hand
To see the sights of Cloudcuckooland
Or perhaps Cuckoonebulopolis:
With nine plays down, we’re left with this:
We have to end on a cheerful note
With the grisliest play that was ever wrote
Siblings united, crimes recited
Blood, revenge and matricide
(Makes a change from patricide)
As far as dysfunctional families go
Electra’s household’s in the know
But it’ll all come right in the end
With professional counselling and help from a friend
How happy they’ll be at the end of the day
When they’re most of them deader than JFK!
The wisdom I try to impart, in all of which I speak
Is that, if there’s blood, revenge, incest, or murder,
Then chances are it’s Greek!