Even though he was just 22 (and playing dead throughout), Eddie Redmayne garnered raves as “ethereal” and “magical” as Polydorus in Hecuba in 2004 at the Donmar Warehouse. He would later enliven that stage in Red and Richard III.
Hecuba is a tragedy by Euripides written c. 424 BC. It takes place after the Trojan War, but … It depicts Hecuba’s grief over the death of her daughter Polyxena, and the revenge she takes for the murder of her youngest son Polydorus.
Merry-Joseph Blondel - “Hecuba and Polyxena” (after 1814)
HECUBA IS HAVING A REALLY SHIT DAY. SHE USED TO BE QUEEN OF TROY, BUT NOW HER CITY IS ON FIRE AND HER HUSBAND AND MOST OF HER KIDS ARE DEAD. ONE OF HER REMAINING CHILDREN, POLYXENA HAS BEEN SACRIFICED AT ACHILLES’ TOMB BECAUSE WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK, GREEKS, HUMAN SACRIFICE??!?
LUCKILY SHE’S SENT HER LAST SON, POLYDORUS, OFF TO SOME FRIENDLY KING TO BE SAFE AS FUCKING HOUSES. OF COURSE THE KID’S NOT SAFE, HE’S BEEN MURDERED TO DEATH TOO.
HECUBA FINDS HIS BODY DUMPED ON THE BEACH AND IS PRETTY FUCKING MAD ABOUT THIS. SHE GOES TO THE KING WHO IS SUPPOSED TO BE LOOKING AFTER HER SON AND HAS A SECRET MEETING WITH HIM.
HE PRETENDS HER SON IS STILL ALIVE TO STEAL GOLD FROM HER, BECAUSE DOESN’T EVERYONE JUST LOVE GETTING MONEY OUT OF VULNERABLE OLD LADIES? HECUBA IS SO DONE WITH HIS SHIT THAT SHE SETS HER GANG OF LADY FRIENDS ON HIM AND RIPS HIS FUCKING EYES OUT AND DRINKS HIS BLOOD FOR GOOD MEASURE.
SHE THEN TURNS INTO A DOG SINCE STATISTICALLY DOGS ARE MUCH HAPPIER THAN TROJAN WOMEN.
El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos, Greek, 1541 - 1614), 1610-1614
Agesander, Polydorus, and Athenodorus of Rhodes, possibly 40-20 CE
Francesco Xanto Avelli (Italian, 1487 - 1542), 1539
Laocoön was a priest of Poseidon in ancient Troy. He suspected that the Trojan Horse was a trick, and he warned, “Do not trust the Horse, Trojans - Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks even bearing gifts.”
“But they went on straight toward Laocoön, and first each serpent Seized in its coils, his two young sons, and fastened the fangs in those poor bodies. And the priest Struggled to help them… They seized him, bound him with their mighty coils… He uttered horrible cries, not even human More like the bellowing of a bull, when wounded.”
Greek Hemidrachm issued by the tyrant Alexander, Pherae, Thessaly, c. 369-358 BC
This coin shows the youthful head of Jason wearing a petasos. On the reverse is ALEXA - NDREION on either side of a horse’s hoof and lower leg to right. An extremely rare and fine coin, the very best of few known examples, as close to perfection as any Greek coin can be.
Pherae was an ancient Greek town in southeastern Thessaly. In history, Pherae is famous as the home of the fourth-century BC tyrants Jason and his son, Alexander of Pherae, who took control of much of Thessaly before their defeat by the Thebans.
The accounts of how Alexander of Pherae came to power vary somewhat in minor points. Diodorus Siculus tells us that upon the assassination of his father, the tyrant Jason of Pherae, in 370 BC, his brother Polydorus ruled for a year, but he was then poisoned by Alexander, another brother. However, according to Xenophon, Polydorus was murdered by his brother Polyphron, who was, in turn, murdered by his nephew Alexander, son of Jason, in 369 BC. Plutarch relates that Alexander worshiped the spear he slew his uncle with as if it were a god.
Alexander’s tyranny caused the intervention of a number of city-states in Thessalian affairs. The other Thessalian cities, refusing to recognize Alexander as head magistrate, appealed to the Thebans, who sent Pelopidas to their assistance. Alexander imprisoned Pelopidas, and the Thebans had to send a large army to procure his release. In 364 Pelopidas defeated Alexander at Cynoscephalae in Thessaly. Alexander was then compelled by Thebes to acknowledge the freedom of the Thessalian cities, to limit his rule to Pherae, and to join the Boeotian League. He was murdered at his wife’s instigation in 357-356 BC. She waited until he was sleeping and then let her brothers in his chambers to assassinate him. His body was then cast into the street and ridiculed.