In The Alcestaid Thornton Wilder retells for us the ancient legend of Alcestis, Queen of Thessaly, who gave her life for her husband Admetus, beloved of the Sun Apollo, and was brought back from Hell by Hercules. Wilder's Alcestis is a seeker after understanding, to whom "there is only misery, and that is ignorance." Her life as wife, mother, Queen -- like Emily;s in Our Town -- is apparently tragic: idyllic happiness is destroyed by death. But neither death or happiness is what it seems to be, and the tragedy id Apollo's "song in motion...an unfolding -- a part of something larger than we can see." It is followed, according to Greek tradition, by a comic 'satyr' play: a one-act "diversion" in which Apollo, disguised as a kitchen-boy, confounds The Drunken Sisters -- the Fates -- to save the life of Admetus.
Literature-Fiction, Drama, United-States,