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The Text of Among Immortals

This is the text of the first oudeis - related performance called Among Immortals, written by American playwright L. H. Grant and Monika Wunderer. German translation by Georg Leyrer.

The Master of Ceremony takes the stage. He is lit by a single spot.

Friends and honoured guests, over 2700 years ago the great poet Homer stood before gatherings very much like the one assembled here this evening. On those occassions his words would fill the room and mesmerize the audience with stories of Odysseus, the man of many turns, as he read from his epic poem THE ODYSSEY.

Tonight Homer´s words will once again fill a room, but they will not be stopped by the boundaries of four walls. No, instead they will travel across the globe and come back to us in other languages, all within a matter of seconds. For tonight we are introducing you to oudeis - a world wide odyssey.

Joining us in this venture will be members of the oudeis team from all over the world whose virtual presence will be felt as they are connected to us, as we are to them, by the vast ocean of the Internet.

Our charcters are Odsseus, the heroic wanderer, Polyphemos, the Cyclops, Calypso, the beautiful goddess, and Penelope, the faithful wife of Odysseus.

(16) I shall tell you my name first
(19) I am Odysseus, son of Laertes

Scene with Polyphemos

Oddysseus, returning home after ten years of war, finds himself in the cave of Polyphemos, where he has just pierced the lone eye of the Cyclops in retaliation for the brutal murder of his companions. As the sightless giant stumbles about, Odysseus says to him,

(502) Cyclops, if someone among mortal men should inquirey
(503) Of you the unseemly blindness in your eye,
(504) say that Odysseus, sacker of cities, blinded it.

Enraged, Polyphemos pleads for vengeance,

(528) Hear me, earth - holding Poseidon of the dark - blue locks,
(529) If truly I am yours, and you declare you are my father,
(530) Grant that the city - sacker Odysseus not go homeward.

From this moment, Poseidon´s wrath fell upon Odysseus and filled his journey with much suffering.

Scene with Calypso

As Odysseus wandered far from his homeland, Poseidon stirred his ocean and crushed his noble companions. Alone and filled with grief, the wind carried Odysseus to the island of Calypso, where the beautiful goddess took him to her bed and offered him immortality. But

(151) His eyes never (152) Were dry of tears,
(153) As he mourned for a return, since the nymph no longer pleased him.
(154) But he slept the nights with her by necessity.

Calypso, sensing his misery, said to Odysseus,

(V 160) Ill - fated man, do not mourn here longer beside me, do not let
(V 161) Your life waste away, for I should now graciously send you off.

Odysseus, thinking only of Ithaca and Penelope, then said to Calypso,

(V 218) you are immortal and ageless
(V 219) Yet even though I am wishing and longing all my days
(V 220) To go home and to see the day of my return.

After seven years with Calypso, Odysseus, once again, took to the sea and continued his voyage home.

Scene with Penelope

At long last, Odysseus has returned to Ithaca where he has slain the men who defiled his house. After twenty years of cruel separation, he and Penelope embrace each other with a passion that has not diminished with time. Odysseus then says,

"Let us go to bed,my wife, so that now we may lay down and take pleasure beneath sweet sleep."

And the prudent Penelope addressed him:

"The bed shall be for you indeed whenever you wish in your heart, since the gods have made you to arrive at your well established home and your fatherland."