Thornton Wilder referred to The Alcestiad as "a mixture of religious revival, mother-love-dynamite, and heroic daring-do." In it, he retells the ancient legend of Alcestis, Queen of Thessaly, who gave her life for her husband Admetus, beloved of Apollo, and was brought back from Hell by Hercules. When the brave and confused Alcestis returns from the dead, asking large questions about what matters most in life and how we lead it, we catch more than a glimpse of Emily in Act III of Our Town. Like Emily, Wilder's Alcestis is a seeker after understanding, to whom "there is only one misery, and that is ignorance." Written in the tradition of the early Greek tragedies, enhanced by Wilder's quintessential combination of plainspoken poignancy and humor, neither death nor happiness is what it seems to be in this work of enormous emotional range. The Alcestiad is followed, according to Greek tradition, by a short, comic Satyr play, The Drunken Sisters.
Literature-Fiction, Drama, United-States,