Financial Analyst by day, writer by weekend.
Nights I sleep… almost… but that’s another story!
Hey not everyone can be Batman!
Anyway, the story of today is a reminder to everyone I have 2 (that’s right, 2) book signing events coming up in December. One is December 10th between 1-4pm right here:
Barnes & Noble at Tidewater Community College 300 Monticello Ave Norfolk VA, 23510
And another on December 17th between 1-4pm right here:
Barnes & Noble 11500 Midlothian Tpke, Spc 440, Richmond, VA
So show up and let’s have some fun.
Let’s talk Heracles.
Euripides. This guy:
But if he were alive, he would probably still have a lot to say. One of the three greatest tragedians (the other two amigos were Sophocles and Aeschylus) of ancient Greece, Euripides was more character-driven and emotional as a writer. His plays are filled with dark and powerful characters, reexamining their relationship to the events around them. That’s your typical rundown of who Euripides was a writer.
It’s not the whole story.
Euripides is not just about the characters. No great writer is. A good story, a great novel, has so much more than just a great plot, character, or theme. It intertwines all of those together.
Sometimes, it’s the characters who create the great plot or how they react to their situations that create the themes of stories.
For instance, take Wall-E. Yep, that funny robot guy from the Pixar movie. What creates the whole plot, comedy, and entertainment value, is how Wall-E deals with the situation he’s thrust into. It’s a foreign world to him. Everything is clean aboard this massive spaceship where fat people float around in chairs in their own virtual reality. There’s no garbage for him to cubisize (that is: “to convert stuff into a convenient and easily transportable cube of stuff”).
His character is what creates the struggle. Where does he go? What does he do? It’s determined in part by who he is already.
And he’s an extraordinary average guy, which is why he saves the day and gets the girl at the end.
Hercules was not so lucky.
SPOILER ALERT: do not read the following synopsis if you want to find out what happens to everyone’s favorite hero in this play. Hercules comes home from his years away and finds that his family is on the verge of being slaughtered by a tyrant who has taken over the city. He slays the tyrant and is about to become the rightful king of Corinth. Hera, Zeus’ estranged wife and sister, has always hated Hercules, however, because he is, of course, illegitimate. So she sends “madness” to take over his mind and he believes his wife and sons are the wife and sons of his enemies from abroad, and he kills them both. When he wakes up from his madness it is too late and he is led away to Athens by his friend Theseus, neither a king nor with a family. He leaves his father behind to bury his family, since he cannot touch them for religious reasons.
Hercules commits a crime while crazy, but does not remember it until he wakes up.
Hercules ultimately accepts what he has done but exiles himself to Athens where Theseus, his friend takes him in.
This is a strange one to grasp. None of us, I believe, would hold Hercules exactly accountable for what happened. Hera had sent the madness to him, and he went crazy. He did not know what he had done. Sound familiar?
Sounds like this guy from Captain America: Civil War. Remember when he says to the Cap, “Yeah, but I still did it?”
Someone must be accountable though, right?
Someone committed those crimes, right?
It must have been Hercules then. But he was neither aware of what he was doing, nor intended to do it.
The law, in some cases at least, would still find against him. But what about the moral standpoint?
Feel free to talk about it with your friends and family or Euripides acting group. It’s an interesting concept at the very least.
But where’s the focus entirely on character?
Hercules’ character isn’t necessarily as important to this story as the details around his character. It was that he was born to the wrong woman, not the queen of the gods, that essentially brings this misery upon him.
That’s hardly his fault.
Where is the culpability then?
Zeus? Zeus killed no body. Can we hold parents accountable for what their children do as adults, especially when your spouse is the one that drives them insane?
Either way, to conclude this overly long blog post,
Something to consider when reading an author: “What is causing the events of this story to happen? The character? Events beyond the character? How does the character respond? Why do they respond like that? Who is responsible for the events that occur in the story? Who feels culpable? How do they respond to that guilt or non-guilt?”
Start with Heracles
P.S. I accept full responsibility for this poorly written blog post,