Herakles

In Archibald MacLeish’s new play, Herakles – his first since “J.B.” – he turns to the counter myth, the story of the Greek hero Herakles, who masters the evils of the universe and becomes a god himself only to find that he has murdered his own sons.

Play title:  Herakles

Author (s):  Archibald MacLeish

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company Boston

Publication Date: January 22nd, 1967

Genre: Drama

Primary Discipline: Cosmology

Scientist (s): Fictional

Source Texts: Unknown

Character Breakdown:

4 Men, 4 Women, 3 Neutral

Herakles, Professor Hoadley, Hotel Manager, Guide, Megara, Mrs. Hoadley, Miss Parfit, Little Hodd, Xenoclea/Apollo, Hotel porters, Waiter

Setting: Greece – a Grand Hotel in Athens and a ruined temple on a hilltop

Time Period: Present Day

Synopsis of Play: In “J.B.” (which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1959), Archibald MacLeish explored the story of Job, the myth of man’s quarrel with God, the ancient human cry for justification of the injustice of the universe. In his new play, Herakles – his first since “J.B.” – MacLeish turns to the counter myth, the story of the Greek hero Herakles, who masters the evils of the universe and becomes a god himself only to find that he has murdered his own sons. As in “J.B.”, the myth in Herakles becomes a myth not of the fabulous past but of the actual present. The scene is contemporary Greece: a hotel room in Athens; a distant, ruined temple frequented by guides and tourists… https://www.amazon.com/Herakles-Play-Verse-Archibald-MacLeish/dp/B0006BNXK2

First Performance Date: November, 1965

First Producer: Artists’ Producing Association

Performance History: Herakles by Archibald MacLeish was first produced by the Artists’ Producing Association in New York in November 1965. The play was directed by Alan Schneider with Rosemary Harris as Megara. In 2005, Herakles later performed at George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Washington, D.C. It was directed by Rip Claassen with set design and costume design  by Trena Weiss-Null, lighting design by Franklin C. Coleman, sound design by Michael Null, and properties design by Theoni Panagopoulos.

Links:

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/archibald-macleish-9/herakles/

http://curtainupcom.siteprotect.net/greeksummerdc.html#HERACLES

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/archibald-macleish

Entered by: Meaghan Yesford

Photo/Visual Research with citations
                               

George Washington Masonic                       George Washington Masonic                                                   George Washington Masonic  

National Memorial, 2005                              National Memorial, 2005                                                          National Memorial, 2005

 

 

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