Penelope and Ulysses Excerpt

I cannot tell the difference between Ulysses and Penelope

for both are navigators and influence the hearts of men.”


Act I—The Arrival

Colours of Night

Exerte erthe apo to skotathi’

You have arrived from darkness

[PENELOPE is a tall, strong woman with long auburn hair. A very attractive woman in both her youth and older age, the YOUNG PENELOPE and the older PENELOPE. Her face has character, and she has a piercing gaze that makes most feel exposed. She trains for physical battle daily in her chambers, and therefore she is a disciplined warrior in her own right, although she does not share this with others (your best strength is your best kept secret). She does not flaunt her skill with the sword or her head for politics.

PENELOPE is dressed in warrior’s clothing. Her top is leather with binding and buckles to represent her training and discipline. She refuses to forget herself in woman’s comfort and co-dependence, and her clothes reveal her as both feminine and a warrior. The bottom of her skirt is long and sheer, revealing her sensuality and femininity. Her long auburn hair and light green eyes give her the appearance of a seductress, a siren. She wears boots and Ulysses’s war bracelets.

We find PENELOPE in her chambers, looking into her youth, bringing to life her youth, and the older Penelope in unison with her youth takes the audience through the beginning of her journey.

Music is heard. ‘Dance for Man’ (Nikos Xylouris) is played while the audience is settling into their seats. Projected images of Penelope and Ulysses, The Tree, and the sea are seen in conjunction with the music.

Lights slowly come on. They are soft and dark blue. The set is in soft night colours with a gentle mist.

PENELOPE and YOUNG PENELOPE are both facing the audience, looking directly into the distance, into the audience. PENELOPE holds her sword facing downward. YOUNG PENELOPE stands beside her. She speaks the first two lines in Greek—in the language of lost and found worlds.]


PENELOPE: [Moves forward and addresses the audience.]

Exerte erthe apo to skotathi.

Exerte erthe apo to skotathi. [You have come from the darkness.]

[YOUNG PENELOPE moves two steps forward to stand by PENELOPE.]

YOUNG PENELOPE: You have come from darkness

                      to take parts of my life, to make it yours.

PENELOPE: You have come to recognise or retrieve

                      something that you have forgotten or lost.

YOUNG PENELOPE: You have come to see if love exists.

PENELOPE: Oh, by that I don’t mean

                      comfortable, grey, domesticated love.

YOUNG PENELOPE: I mean love that can break and shatter you

                      on the rocks of solitude.

BOTH: How much solitude can you bear?

PENELOPE: You have arrived at the precise time of my departure.

YOUNG PENELOPE: Ulysses, Ulysses!

                      Haunt me. Drive me mad with longing.

PENELOPE: I want to leave with you the despair and joy—

YOUNG PENELOPE: of a longing and searching,

                      of this love for this man—

PENELOPE: for no other man will do.

YOUNG PENELOPE: This love for an ideal,

                      this rebellious spark in my soul.

PENELOPE: This love that will not compromise

BOTH: The impossible choices of my nature and destiny.

YOUNG PENELOPE: Will you stay? Give me your hand

                      or at least your little finger.

PENELOPE: Please stay, so that I can pass on

                the sirens’ song.



Copyright © Dr Zenovia Martin Msc.D 2012