Helen of Sparta .. of Troy … of Sparta
Teucer – Greek hero and brother of Ajax the greater
Menelaus – Husband of Helen
Servant of Menelaus
Helen is sitting in front of the Tomb of Proteous muttering . It looks as though she is praying. We go closer until we can hear her
Helen : I wonder how I can fool the son of Proteous ,Theoclymenus. He wants to marry me , but I am bored of these sappy doting Egyptian eyes .Long ago I was tired of Menelaus too which is why I eloped with Paris in the first place. I wonder why all these men are so boring (she pauses) But I do prefer Menelaus , he is a strong man and the father of my daughter, I also miss my daughter that I have not seen in so long. But I was not sure if he has forgiven me and would spare my life; after all he did try to kill me once before and only stopped after he gazed upon my face . Regardless of what men like to claim about wealth and principles , he is obviously hurt about the fact that I , his wife left him for another man and though he is still smitten with my beauty , it is obvious he is hurt. A cuckolded man will always bear a grudge so I need to convince him that I stayed true to him.
(she pauses again , this time much longer and muses thoughtfully)
Helen : The ship wreck is a blessing in disguise . The idiot that he left to guard me was certainly a blessing , all I had to do was blow some of the magic powder and he fell fast asleep. Now maybe I can convince Menelaus that the gods were indeed playing tricks on him .
Teucer rushes in and looks upon with shock at Helen .
Teucer : What is this? I thought you were with Menelaus
Helen : Who are you, my brother ? Who is Menelaus?
Teucer : You look so much like Helen of Troy that I mistook you. Forgive me but I am trying to find the prophetess who is going to show me the way to my new home .
Helen : Brother, you best get out of here as soon as you can , her brother is slaughtering all the greeks that he can get his hands on.
Teucer – Thank you , my lady . You look like Helen but dont act like her . May you prosper unlike her .
Helen (muses thoughtfully) : I could certainly pull this off
Menelaus comes in and stops and looks at Helen in shock .
Menelaus: How is this possible ? I left you with my servant , how could you possibly be here?
Helen : Alas , Menelaus my one true lord , is that really you or are the gods playing a trick on me ?
Menelaus : What is the meaning of this ? I left you up on the mountains a week ago and now you claim to not recognize me ?
Helen : Alas my lord, the gods are playing a trick upon your eyes . They kidnapped me all those years ago and left me here , chaste and true to you but they created a fake Helen that they sent to Troy with Paris . I dont know what terrible deeds I have done to cause so much hatred among the gods that they seem this as a fair punishment for me.
Menelaus : How is this even possible ? You are lying
Servant of Menelaus enters ; he has not seen Helen yet .
Servant : My lord Menelaus , your wife , the queen vanished in a puff of smoke before our very eyes
Helen (turns towards us and smirks) : Thank god for fools, they are sorely needed.
Menelaus dismisses him pensively ,
Chorus – Menelaus , surely you have to wonder if that is truly the case . Had this beautiful wife of yours always been true to you and the gods just playing a vicious game with you . Surely a woman this beautiful and delicate not capable of causing the mayhem that was attributed to her.
Menelaus looked at her , her beautiful eyes welling with tears .
Chorus – Women’s tears fuel men’s emotions . The more beautiful the woman, the greater the impact
Menelaus : I believe you , my beautiful wife . I never ever doubted you but when the gods are bent upon making a fool of you, the best of us don’t stand a chance .
Helen (turns to us and smirks again) : I cant believe it was so easy
Helen turns to Menelaus and weeps : Yes my lord , accursed am I , to lead you into such perils
Menelaus : surely all is well that ends well now . Shall we get out of here ?
Helen : No my lord , the ruler of Egypt is in love with me and he has sworn to kill all Greeks
Menelaus : Maybe I can challenge him to a duel and fight him in single combat
Helen: No my lord, this needs us to out think him not out fight him. He is not a civilized Greek to honor your challenge
Menelaus : Let us run away , surely if he does not know where we are going, he wont know where to search
Helen (turning towards us): This dreadful world, things that I could have done if I was a man. Now I have to rely on an idiot
Helen (to Menelaus) : My lord, we need to convince him to give us his fastest boat so that he wont be able to chase us.
Menelaus : How on earth do you propose to do that?
Helen : Leave it to me . (rings for the servant of Theoclymenus)
Helen: Please ask your master to come here . I have received some dreadful news from the Greeks , this man who is my husband’s servant just told me that my husband drowned at sea. (Menelaus’s eyes widen)
The servant leaves to fetch Theoclymenus
Helen: My lord , with your rags it is easy to believe that you are a servant . You need to tell Theoclymenus that you drowned at sea and it is the Greek custom to have the burial rites at sea for people who are lost at sea . You also have to agree with me that until the burial rites are complete , I am not free to marry another man
Theoclymenus: My love , have you decided to marry me ? Your beauty is stupefying , I fail to see why you keep refusing to marry me.
Helen : My lord , I am already married but I have good news for you. My lord , Menelaus has drowned , this is his servant who just bought me the terrible news .
Theoclymenus : So you can marry me now ?
Helen : My lord, I have to perform the last rites for my husband, only then will I be free.
Theoclymenus : Why does he not do it?
Helen : My lord , it has to be done by near and dear ones
Theoclymenus : Fine , let us do it and get married as soon as you are done
Helen : My lord , this has to be done out at sea. He was lost at sea so the burial rites must be done at sea. Otherwise the gods will not deem me a free woman
Theoclymenus : ok , what do you need ?
Helen : My lord , I know I have made you wait too long , now I want to make it up to you and want to marry you as soon as I can . Would you not lend me your fastest trireme so I can perform this dreadful ritual and come back to start our life of happiness
Menelaus looks at her agog
Theoclymenus (eyes brimming with tears of happiness) : My love , you shall have it . I will instruct my chief commander to give you his fastest trireme . (he hugs Menelaus) Thank you for bringing me this wonderful news
Menelaus stares at the back of the departing king in bewilderment and turns to Helen
Menelaus : But dont we need 60 men for a trireme ?
Helen : Where are the soldiers who came with you?
Menelaus : Oh they are around .
Helen : Well in that case , we are going to get aboard that, get your soldiers on board , as soon as we are out at sea . We slaughter everyone who is not Greek and head to Sparta .
Menelaus (stares in admiration at Helen ): My love , you are so wise
Helen (smiles) : Hurry my lord
Helen turns to the audience
Helen : Sometimes life is indeed too much of a bore for a woman of intelligence.Add some tears and a beautiful face and men are like putty , willingly acquiesce to be abused and treated like sheep. And now my choice is between two fools , Menelaus and Theoclymenus but Menelaus is a known fool and he has already swallowed the story that the gods had put a different woman in Paris’s bed and so I have always been true to him. (she stops ) He was a good lover, pity he is dead.
Menelaus : My love , let us leave now
Helen and Menelaus board the trireme , followed by his soldiers . The trireme commandant having received orders to do everything as ordered by Helen, followed all the orders
We finally see Helen and Menelaus on board the deck of the Trireme . Menelaus looking at her adoringly ,Helen looking out at the sunset
This has been inspired by the play Helen by Euripides . While the play is actually a comedy , I found it dreadful . A satirization seemed so much more satisfying