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Board: TheaterDionysos
Topic: THE JUDGMENT OF PARIS: an original satyr-play

Topic Editor: Xenophanes Orestes
Topic Description: ...

Message: SCENE THREE: Paris by any other name...
Author: Intrepidly - Myrrhia Aristocratos
Date: Aug 28, 1998 22:39

ATHENA: [to Satyr Chorus]
Well, the herd is definitely restless today, I haven't heard such an uproar since I checked in on the progress of the Parthenon in that slinky little gold number. I practically had to push my way through a wall of "shy" Athenian maidens ogling the help to even get noticed.

PARIS:
What's a Parthenon?

ATHENA:
Oh yeah, wrong century, and you humans have such a disgustingly linear concept of time. What a shame, how can you make a WISE decision without knowing about Athens' future? It's going to be very big you know.

PARIS:
Sorry, never been there.

ATHENA:
Hmm, maybe if I just showed you ... No, entirely too Dickens! There has to be something? [Athena ponders a few moments.] ... Ah-ha! That's it! I mean, uh, that's just your problem, you've been holed up in this sleepy, backwater, no-place all your disadvantaged little life!

PARIS:
Ouch! You're not very easy on a guy's ego, are you?

ATHENA:
C'mon Paris, work with me here. Wouldn't you like to see the world? Get out of here and make a name for yourself?

PARIS:
Would I! Who wouldn't! But I don't see how that has anything to do with me judging a beauty contest.

CHORUS LEADER:
Yeah, it'd be more helpful if you slipped out of that robe and showed us the goods. Then we could [Paris silences the satyr by seizing his throat.] Argggh-ack ... I, ack, was just ...

PARIS:
[aside to satyr]
Well don't! She's still a goddess, and I've heard stories. They can be very touchy- Especially the Virgins! Don't the names Acteon or Tereseus mean anything to you?

CHORUS LEADER:
Ack! ... You got it, Mum's the word.

ATHENA:
Oh, what noble reflexes! Moving to protect a lady's' honour, [touching his bicep] I can tell you're a real gentleman.

PARIS:
urk ...

CHORUS LEADER:
UrrrK! ... Pa-uh-Ris, I ... Can't ... ack...could you...!!!

PARIS:
Oh, so sorry. [releases Satyr] So...uh... [shakes head] Athena, you were saying, about the contest?

ATHENA:
I'm saying, dear Paris, that it must be very difficult for a bright, virile, young man with such obvious prospects, and such a fine physique, as yourself to be stuck out here, away from all the, umm, action.

PARIS:
Yeah ... action...*...What?

ATHENA:
You are so obviously distracted from the task at hand. How can you possibly be thinking of my beauty when you are thousands of miles away, on an alien shore? I can clearly see that you are picturing yourself as a conquering general. The sun glinting off the breastplate of your golden armor, as hundreds of captive women quiver in their chains. All awaiting your personal touch to free them.

PARIS:
Do you think so?

ATHENA:
Of course. Nothing impresses the missies like a man in uniform. Think of them, Paris. They are trapped in their dreary little existences right now, dreaming of you. They silently suffer through their days, awaiting your penetrating thrust to free their lands from barbarism and bring them to life.
Excitement, Foreign lands, living by the spear. No untidy commitments. Who could blame you for being distracted when you have all that to look forward to?

PARIS:
You're right. I didn't even know how much I was distracted until you brought it up. Thanks, Athena, you've really made your case clear.

ATHENA:
Not at all, it's the least I can do. Anyone can see that you're a man who's going places.
[Cocks her head to one side]. Unfortunately, it's time for me to go. That bitch Hera is chomping at the bit to try to get her hooks into you.
[Flying up to Olympos]
But, remember, she doesn't understand what you need like I do. I'd say the SMART money would be for you to follow up on a career in the military. [wistfully] It would be such a shame if you didn't; you could be one of the really great ones.
[She disappears from view]

CHORUS:
Have to hand it to the lady, she makes a fine point. Makes me want to head right down to the recruitment office of some king with a grudge, and ship out to the wild blue yonder!

PARIS:
I know what you mean, I've never really thought of myself as a warrior, but her case ...uh... I mean face, it's compelling ... and that statuesque build. She really is quite stunning.

CHORUS:
Yeah, too bad she's a virgin.
Aye, there's the rub;
She get's your blood surging
Then gives you the snub.

PARIS:
That was pretty cold of her, to rev my engine up like that and not even let me evaluate so much as an ankle! It's a good thing that there will be all those foreign girls to conquer, or I don't think I'd give her a second look.

CHORUS LEADER:
Yeah, did you see how she was leading me on like that?

CHORUS:
The Tease!

PARIS:
So I'll take her strategy under advisement, but vote as I please!

[Hera enters, huffing and out of breath, her elaborate coiffure in slight disarray]

HERA:
Some Goddess of Justice. Ha! Monopolizing the mechane like that! It was taking her hours to undo the straps! [smoothing back her hair] And after I went to all the trouble of getting Zeus to have Ganymede give me that ambrosia rinse and style. [Shaking her fist at Olympos] By Zeus, you'll rue the day you made me trudge all the way down here, you strident Hussy!

PARIS:
Uh ... Hera?


HERA:
Oh, yes [pulling herself into a more dignified pose and pulling out the charm]. I'm sorry, I didn't recall that we've never been formally introduced, and I often forget that I am much more impressive in person than those silly vase painters can portray. Do close your mouth, dear boy; while you're quite correct to be flabbergasted by my undeniable beauty, it is rather unseemly in front of Hera, Queen of the Heavens. We wouldn't want to make Zeus jealous, now, would we?

PARIS:
Urr, right.

HERA:
Oh, my poor dear boy, she's been twisting your mind, hasn't she. I can see it in your eyes. Damn her, with her talk of battles, fame and warrior's prerogatives.

PARIS:
It wasn't like that at all, I ... we talked about the, uh, the future of Athens and she talked about the virtues of ...

HERA:
Virtue? Why, I can clearly see she's been rubbing herself all over you! [Sits down next to him and touches his hand.] Tsk, tsk, I can just imagine her breathing the siren song of battle into your impressionable mind. Teasing you to the edges of oblivion. Sullying you with talk of tawdry flings born in the stench of decay and blood. No, my dear boy, you are meant for finer things than endlessly trudging over barren landscapes, weak from hunger and deprived of rest and even the basics of survival, all to be a slave to someone else's cause. She has tried to buy your vote, cheaply. She wants to enslave you with her words to an early, anonymous death.

PARIS:
Hey, she never mentioned any work!

HERA:
Of course not, she's a wily one. The other gals know that the only way they can keep you from deciding what is right is to lure you away from your true path. They will try to sell your future out from under you, playing on your innocence to keep you from achieving your bright destiny. I, on the other hand, will not offer you anything that is not rightfully yours to begin with.

PARIS:
Some bid. Thanks, but no thanks. I already know what it's like to be a shepherd. I don't need any lectures on how I'm playing an important role in the local economy! I'll take my chances on a foreign battlefield if it means I can get out of the sheep and goat shit!

CHORUS LEADER:
Hey! That remark was uncalled for, we don't critique where you take a dump! Being half beast isn't all fun and games, I'll have you know.

HERA:
Stop your bleating, insufferable beasts! Can't you see the young man and I are having a serious chat? Why don't you run along and find yourselves a willing ewe!

CHORUS:
Ewe, EWE! Why YOU!... [Aside to audience] With a mouthy gem like that at home, no wonder Jove's eye has roved!

HERA:
WHAT DID YOU SAY?!!!

CHORUS:
Uhh, we said, Hera's such a lovely gem, she deserves a poem. By Jove, that guy is one lucky 'cove!

PARIS:
Of course they did, I heard it quite distinctly. Now if you'll excuse me, Hera, I have another goddess to see before I can get back to my action-packed destiny and my dinner is getting cold.

HERA: [detaining him]
Dear boy, I still have some time left. So be fair you must hear me out. Besides, you have entirely misjudged me, as mortals often do. I mean that you shouldn't throw away your bright prospects to become just another of Athena's soldier boys when, as anyone can clearly see, you are obviously leadership material.

CHORUS:
HIM?!!!

PARIS:
ME?!

CHORUS and PARIS:
NO!

HERA:
Oh, absolutely, Eupatrid in every line of your profile. Haven't you noticed certain differences between your looks and the humble cottagers around you? Why, with that fair complexion, you're the spitting image of King Priam of Troy.  It is the Golden City after all.

PARIS:
Nobility? I wonder why it never occurred to me?

HERA:
Well, I can see it quite clearly, kingships are my specialty, you know. Your princely pedigree is perfectly prominent.

PARIS:
Perfectly?

CHORUS:
Princely pedigree, PULL-EEZE?!!!

HERA:
Precisely. The appellation you hope to make for yourself laboring under Athena's false pretences is a psuedonym. Your proper personage is Alexandros and you are a prince of Priam's parliament!

CHORUS:
Enough with the "p's" already! Your making my paunch protrude and the potables palpitate!

HERA:
Pause in your petulant pouting, peevish piglets!

CHORUS:
Arggh!!! Permit me to prompt her procession from this place, Paris!

PARIS:
All of you just stop it! I find out I'm not even who I think I am, I've been foisted off on strangers and all any of you can do is 'p' at one another? Have a little compassion! [Turning to Hera]
I don't understand, how can any of this have to do with the apple?

HERA:
Well, now that I have your attention, I can show you where I fit in. You see you're not exactly first in line to Daddy's crown. Priam and Hecuba have been quite [looking pointedly at the Chorus Leader] prolific. You're actually one of fifty in line for the title.

PARIS:
Ack! I'm practically a peasant anyway. [Eyeing her suspiciously] What do you suggest?

HERA:
Finally, that's more like it. If you can agree that I am the fairest (upholding Zeus' own opinion, by the way) I will clear the way to the crown for you.

PARIS:
That sounds ominous, I hope you aren't talking about murder, because I heard a story about that Medea chick, and I'm not into that.

HERA:
Not at all, silly boy. Sit right down here and I'll explain my plan.

ATHENA: [Arriving on high Ex Mechane]
Nice try, Hera, sabotaging the mechane for extra time, I almost had to arrive by ekkuklema! No wonder you were so insistent that "the walk would do you good". Fortunately, Hephaistos was more than willing to repair the damage when I told him what you were about.

HERA:
Lies and aspersions, I certainly don't know what your blathering about. Since I haven't yet discussed the best of my qualities with this charming young man , Be Gone you meddling Wench or you'll be a bar maid in Tarturos before you can bat an eye!

ATHENA:
Time's Up, Hera! As the protectress of Protocol I order you to get your lard butt on this contraption, old Crone, before I forget we're related!

HERA:
Of all the impertinent ..! I'll go when and where I please, you upstart Nymph! [cursing and ranting to a crescendo] Born of Zeus' Mind, HA! I-THINK-Not! You don't have the INTELLECT of A WET DREAM, you PLAIN FEATURED, SNOT-NOSED, FLAT-CHESTED, SPINSTER!

ATHENA:
I can see why you instill such loyalty, Hera! You're a dried up old Windbag whose SHREWISH Tongue has won her an EMPTY BED. [Takes the apple from Paris] I CHOOSE Not to fritter away my PASSION on MEN. Honestly, when was the last time ZEUS actually STAYED HOME at NIGHT!!! CHEW on THAT YOU DISGUSTING, HATCHET-FACED HAG!
[Athena thrusts the apple into Hera's mouth and pushes her onto the mechane, then she turns to Paris]

I'm sorry you had to see that ugly display, Paris. The apple will return to your keeping when we reach Olympos, but it is far better for family relations if it remains where it is at present.

[They depart on the cloud mechane]





Next: ODE THREE: "There ain't nothin' like a dame!" ( satyr but wiser - Xenophanes Orestes )
Previous: ODE TWO: forbidden fruit ( - Xenophanes Orestes )