Author Topic: Heracles Forgotten  (Read 3862 times)

Offline matsamu

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Heracles Forgotten
« on: May 05, 2009, 07:33:18 PM »
I wrote this one for class too, but it's more of a rant for me, in play form. I have a fairly good working knowledge of mythology and when people slander it and change it and other people believe its the truth, it really grinds my gears. So i wrote this play about this question: What if Heracles came back? Heracles is the greek name of Hercules...but you'll get this whole conversation in the play. There are only 2 characters...Heracles and Bellerophon...so i hope you like it!

HERACLES FORGOTTEN

(The stage is empty, with a single lamppost almost center. A man in rags, looking every bit the homeless, arms exposed to reveal a strong physique enters from R, stumbling and falls onto the center. From there, he sighs, sobs, wheezes and makes general sounds of decrepit loss and loneliness.)

HERACLES
None…none have seen and heard me, none that have touched my strength and known.
(Crying out to “passerby’s” that only he sees.)
Look at me! See me! Know me for who I was and for the man your stories have told!
                  (Invisible passerby throws change at him.)
NO! I beg not for your coins, your pity. I want only that I am remembered, for the honor hurriedly thrown to my feet and the praises sung where I walked. I killed them! I killed. I herded. I cleaned. I was strong. I am strong…
(As he repeats and grovels with different inflections, BELLEROPHON enters and HERACLES slumps against the lamppost. BELLEROPHON tries to throw money down. HERACLES jumps up and starts for him.)
I SAID NO!

BELLEROPHON
Hey, whoa, what’s the matter, brother?

HERACLES
This. All this. Them, you, the world, the whole of it.

BELLEROPHON
Yeah?

HERACLES
They don’t remember me. You don’t remember me. None here know me, when before I was glorified in all that I did. I was a god among men.

BELLEROPHON
Who are they supposed to remember, friend?

HERACLES
I am Heracles.

BELLEROPHON
Heracles?

HERACLES
Yes.
                  (Sensing audience and hope)
Yes! I am he. I slew the Hydra. I killed the Nemean Lion. I wrestled with Cerberus and won.

BELLEROPHON
                  (With sudden understanding.)
I see, no, that’s where you went wrong!

HERACLES
What?

BELLEROPHON
                  (As if talking to a child.)
The name you’re looking for is Hercules. Not Heracles.

HERACLES
NO! NO NO NO NO NO! I am not the fool who parades around Rome taking my deeds upon himself.
                  (Rounds on BELLEROPHON.)
Get this straight. I am Greek. Hercules is an imposter.

BELLEROPHON
                  (In surrender.)
Alright. But trust me. This is who people remember. Haven’t you ever seen the movie? Read the story?

HERACLES
                  (Snorts with contempt.)
Read? I lived it, you fool.

BELLEROPHON
Not this story, by the looks of it. Hercules was the son of Zeus and Hera, who drank a potion that almost made him mortal.

HERACLES
What? No!

BELLEROPHON
                  (Continuing as if he hadn’t heard.)
He has awesome strength and wishes one day to become a god like his father. So he performs a bunch of heroic deeds, joins in a fight against Hades and the Titans with his Father Zeus and the other gods and eventually saves and chooses to stay with Meg, the girl he’s fallen in love with. He saves her once-
(Throughout the speech, HERACLES is muttering no, even though BELLEROPHON continues. Finally he cuts him off by grabbing him around the collar.)

HERACLES
Stop! Do you know what I did to my real family? I murdered them all in madness. In lucidity I could slice your mortal body with my bare fingers.

BELLEROPHON
                  (Calmly.)
Yes. I do know what you did. And no. You can’t. You have no more strength than a normal man. You’re weak.

HERACLES
(Tensing, trying to hurt BELLEROPHON, who easily evades and knocks him down. HERACLES begins to cry.)
What has happened? Why, oh Father, have you taken my gift, given at my birth? Why have you left me alone?

BELLEROPHON
                  (Kneeling next to him.)
You aren’t alone. Forgotten by most. But not alone.

HERACLES
Who? Who will keep me company? You? Not even you believe my story.

BELLEROPHON
I do. I, too, was once forgotten. The people had drunk themselves into a stupor with the waters of Lethe, but still, I stand.

HERACLES
                  (Looking up at him in wonder.)
Who?

BELLEROPHON
I am Hipponos.
                  (HERACLES shakes his head.)
Consider yourself lucky you were given the chance to forgive all of your crimes. I was annulled for the one that granted me my new name, Bellerophon by killing the Chimera.
The others? My pride, my murders of innocents? I bear those burdens still.

HERACLES
                  (Thinking.)
Bellerophon? You? You were the one who bridled and rode the Pegasus!

BELLEROPHON
Yet I lost him twice. Once to foolish pride, then again to you, brother.

HERACLES
I?

BELLEROPHON
In this modern story of Hercules, it is you who rides the valiant winged steed. I am a footnote to scholars.

HERACLES
I? And now you are here. Is this where…all who are forgotten end up…here?

BELLEROPHON
I was forgotten first. So I came back first. But others followed.
                  (BELLEROPHON shows him a picture.)
These. These two know who they are. Do you?

HERACLES
No. No I can’t say. Yet both remind me strongly of Divine Pallas Athena.

BELLEROPHON
Be careful with that name. It’s just Athena nowadays, when it’s said at all. No, but you are close. Both were granted great skills by the Wise one, but both were punished dearly. Daedalus built the Labyrinth for the horrible Minotaur. I hear he was also involved in the conception of the beast. He was imprisoned in a large tower, and lost his son Icarus in their escape. Arachne was given incredible skills in weaving, yet her pride won her heart as it did mine, and she enraged the Goddess, who turned her to a giant spider, mother to the species. Time has healed her, but she still bears the shame across webs in her mind.

HERACLES
So gods have been forgotten too? Are they among us, powerless and weak?

BELLEROPHON
A few. Helios has been replaced fully by Apollo who can barely handle the work, next to his other deitical powers, medicine, prophecy, music, hunting, the works. Diana by contrast has relinquished her ownership of the moon to Artemis. Others are yet unfound, still wandering, like you lost and alone. They don’t know what has happened and without their divinity can no longer talk to their family in the heavens. Will you help me find them?
(HERACLES looks at the outstretched hand as a guitar is played in the distance.)

HERACLES
Is that one? Is that…Orpheus? Has he been forgotten?

BELLEROPHON
No. Aaron. Almost his equal and the man who would never return from any journey on a ship. He doesn’t know either.

HERACLES
                  (Reaches for the hand. Then stops.)
No. I will tell my deeds. I will make myself Remembered. I will come back. Gods be with you on your quest, Bellerophon. And may the gods be with me in mine.

(BELLEROPHON opens his mouth as if to protest, but HERACLES cuts him off. BELLEROPHON exits in the direction of the music. HERACLES implores the passerby’s again now.)
Do you? Will you remember? I saved you. Help me. Help me. Remember me.


END



So there's my rant. I hope you'll now look up myths before referencing them in the future, and misleading the masses like Disney did...stupid disney..

~Matsamu
*pop* That was my head. It just got blown.

Offline checksixproductions

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Re: Heracles Forgotten
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2009, 05:36:09 AM »
Interesting rant.  I studied the classic greek mythology at Harvard and I admit that with four kids at home, I actually liked the Disney version of Hercules.  It had all the elements of a great screenplay and told a great story while keeping some of the original flavor.  I also liked Troy and thought the screenplay captured the original sentiment but was way better.

But I can understand your purist sentiment and like how you have found a way to channel your hostility into the art of scriptwriting, bravo.

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Offline matsamu

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Re: Heracles Forgotten
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2009, 12:21:56 PM »
Well, the storyline of the movie "Hercules" doesn't bother me. But my problem is the idea that this is the view of those stories that children are going to see. if you mention Hercules to them, they will automatically think the Disney version for the rest of their life, whether or not they've read/seen the actual story.

But thank you for the compliment...i liked the play...
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Offline ulysses

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Re: Heracles Forgotten
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2009, 07:29:53 PM »
it may be a rant, but i enjoyed it!
i'm rather big on ancient culture and civilisation, i don't mind spin so much (stargate, the dark-hunter novels)
teach the uneducated. HERA-cles not hercules. he was partly names after hera (another b****slap to hera with another of zeus' illegitimate children)
some small details it can get annoying, like with Alexander, hephaistion was meant to be older(rather then the singer from 30secs to mars), because it was the whole older man, young boy type relationship, that they kept even though it was rare and frowned upon.

but yeah, i liked it :)

Offline matsamu

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Re: Heracles Forgotten
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2009, 06:30:50 PM »
I thank you profoundly. And I do enjoy the throwaway compliment to the Roman Odysseus in your name (Ulysses).

I don't think people realize that even changing the name and story a little bit is actually taking apart the culture. To me, it's like telling a catholic's son that Jesus saved Tokyo from Godzilla. "But hey, they'll learn the real story later, right? So it's ok to tell lies to get them interested!"

It's the same feeling to me.


Please don't flame me for comparing Christianity to Greek Mythology, it was only an example
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Offline ulysses

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Re: Heracles Forgotten
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2009, 06:48:54 AM »
thank you, it also happens to be a good song by franz ferdinand (so i like it for both meanings!)
don't worry, i could say far worse things about religion, but i won't for obvious reasons.

well you wouldn't get heracles (it always bugs me when i read something and they go "hercules a roman hero" jeez it's the romans stealing greek culture yet again) going mad in a cartoon and killing his family. but then the last "dark" thing to happen in a cartoon was the lion king "i killed your father" and that was what, 1994/5?

hmm see i got into this stuff when i was 7 and watched stargate, besides the whole pyramids as landing platforms, they tried to keep as closely as they could to proper mythology they just spinned it to work in the sci-fi context.

it's one of the reasons i did classics at high school and then at university (or is that college in america, i get confused)
i'm very anti the ancient romans. so i stick with the greeks, the only good thing about the romans copying greek culture was they made copies of the statues, reliefs and other things that became lost to the greeks, so atleast we have roman copies and idea of what some of the greek things looked like.