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Siccitas - Act 1 Scene 1

by Luci Cae


Act 1 Scene 1

Enter Chorus

Chorus

Tis a tale of shock and rage,

Written in so cursed a page,

Brendon’s vile deformation.

Born base of stock, in the good City,

Young lad, seventeen years of age,

Good of virtue, with Senecan fate,

Sought to avenge a love deflowered,

And henceforth, in blood and sin showered.

For Hephaestus did forge well,

And unhappy Aphrodite he did obtain,

Though it was with Mars with whom she mated.

Our good Ares Hephaestus did slay, and slew (vice versa)

For our Hephaestus specious may be,

And lurking ‘neath the golden fleece,

Typhon did reside. Oh! The agony!

For here, where ancient prince met the beast,

The good land of the centaurs’ feast,

A tragic story doth unfold,

With Sarah at its centerfold.

Come! Sweet death! For this lass tortured by kin!

For not related by blood, they gravely sin,

And tear the womb of the shepherdess,

The Mower did pursue.

And hence the mower they did mow (oh, he did),

Guided by an insidious hand.

Welcome! Prince of Darkness! Cast your wicked blessing

Unto this man afore named, and like in the tales of Kafka,

Change this man (he will pass),

Into the great Siccitas!

Exeunt Chorus

Enter BRENDON

BRENDON

Oh! Lament my great woe, and curse sullen fate!

For ne’er a fairer lass did I see,

Than Sarah, her name precious to me

As orient pearl, and diamonds from the Ganges!

Her fingers, a snowy white,

A cage of ivory, encase my plight,

For I know, in her breast (in here)

Beats an aching heart just like mine,

And like mine own, doth reaches out,

To no avail.

Oh, blind love, temper your arrowheads!

Doth afford thee no more joy, as thou wilt,

To see lovers, suffer?

For she is the esteemed daughter of the Senator,

And I am but a poor clerk’s son,

Woe! Oh, cursed destiny,

That I should love such an unattainable lady!

I had just come downhill from the great cathedral

Where I prayed for redemption from this burning love,

To no avail.

Her father, severe as he is, will not let a prince approach her,

Let alone me. Oh, will I cry tears of my lifeblood!

For life has granted me

No less a burden than hers.

For the poor girl’s in love with me! Oh, sweet Lord!

Just yester-night she has sought me out under the blanket of darkness,

At my run-down residence in the shadow of her manor,

And brought me out to the flower-fields

Where we used to frolic in secret in our younger days

And come clean to me of her love!

Oh! Then we made a wish upon a star

For her to be born

To a willing father, and a living mother,

(For hers is dead, oh woe!) And I to be a great general

Instead of the clerk’s (my father’s) assistant,

Where I will wage great wars and bring her the trophies of my slain enemies!

Then we wished that I was a great Doctor of Sciences,

So I could give a sound reply to her queerest queries

And enlighten her of her Music of the Spheres.

Glittering jewels and gold gilded books, all

To no avail.

Oh! Thou had’st ravished me! I am but a simple boy,

Ne’er did I deserve her love.

Now! I shall quench these fires of love in a secret spring!

Oh, spring of clear water, locus amoenous,

I sin erroneous.

Brendon! No more talk! I shall ambulate,

To the secret spring of my youth, tucked away behind my humble residence.

Eden on earth, sinless paradise!

Go hither!

Exeunt BRENDON

Enter DOCTOR LUCI, dressed in magic robes, with crystal ball in hand

LUCI 

Gazing into my crystal ball, I see,

So hastily, he retreats!

Oh Brendon, child of sin,

How will you navigate

This unforgiving labyrinth?

For even Perseus a fair lady’s thread doth have,

To guide his way in its swallowing depths.

For the beast you must slay, not by your own hand (but also),

For this Romeo is a tragic hero.

Append the wrongdoings of authority,

Learn not of sin’s polarity,

And will I grant you what you seek!

Now, my fair lass he soon will see,

In his cowardly attempt to flee,

The love which puts him ill at ease!

Bathing in the waters of the spring,

Sarah fends off summer heat.

When he chances upon our heroine,

Wherein scars run deep,

Will he take it upon himself

To venge the oath (of parental love) unkeep?

Mephisto!

Enter MEPHISTO

MEPHISTO

Yes, my good master?

LUCI

See to the completion of the draught immediately.

MEPHISTO 

Apologies, dear master.

Of all the sin, of all the pleas,

We lack magic gin and wild beast’s grease

For we are but spirits in the guise of scholars, not gatherers.

This draught, made from the torment of seventy-two grave sinners,

One for each demon of Solomon (Goetia)

Can grant power to rend the seas and summon lightning.

Yet we lack pride, the sin of our great lord,

That will unleash the true power within,

And grant true immortality to the consumer,

And demons, nay, even Michael the angel,

Will not be able to slay the drinker!

Oh! What power! Tis a pity that ingredients we lack,

For sickly fate has once again found us dumbfounded.

LUCI

Foolish Mephistopheles! If you hath any faith in your lord,

You would have raised the issue to me sooner.

LUCI draws a dagger from his garments

Hereto, take my hand,

And behold the power of the Prince of Darkness!

Soon my agent on earth shall stand

Ever tall, and ne’er fall.

LUCI cuts off his right hand and gives it to MEPHISTO

Hell on earth soon encroach,

And Brendon, thy shall be my right hand,

In this God-forsaken land!

Go Mephisto, and add my hand to the draught,

And prepare the welcome, with most fanfare.

Infernus egredietur et peccatores succendent!

Exeunt DOCTOR LUCI and MEPHISTO


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Fri Nov 26, 2021 9:42 pm
Luci Cae says...



Hi, Luci here. I just wanted to post a comment elaborating a bit more on the choice of rhyme scheme in my piece. As mentioned, the erratic rhyme scheme is a deconstruction of renaissance norms and a critique of the tendency to romanticize gruesome tales. Especially in the context of Senecan tragedy and revenge tradition, events are bloody and graphic, yet the language is refined and carefully curated. The dichotomy creates cognitive dissonance, which can cause the subject matter to be interpreted as "beautifully tragic in a twisted fashion". What I aim to do here is to completely strip the intricate beauty from the retelling of events, leaving a superficially shiny shell of a rhyme scheme coating unfiltered, unmediated horror. In short, I just don't quite like renaissance norms.

As mentioned in my reply to @Plume, word play and rhyme is portrayed as devilish and demonic. Is it inherently evil then? Not necessarily. I would like the readers to consider the case of Sarah, who eloquently speaks a self-composed poem in the upcoming act 1 scene 2. What could this mean for the character? I shall not spoil any readers, though I suspect @Plume is my only reader at the moment :(. Renaissance plays are just so hard to read, from allusions to the greek gods and concepts such as courtly love and the music of the spheres, it takes a great deal of knowledge to truly appreciate such a piece of work. Also, I would like to ask something of Plume. Is it alright if I include your reviews in a finalised transcript of the play as footnotes? No pressure, just casually state your opinions. i just find your reviews insightful.

I am just a poor artist girl trying to write a good story to be appreciated, haha. But that's alright :).




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Sun Nov 21, 2021 11:17 pm
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Plume wrote a review...



Hey there! Plume here, with a review!

As someone who adores reading and writing scripts, I was so excited to see your piece in the green room!! It very much gives me Greek classic vibes, what with the chorus and the references to gods, with a bit of Shakespeare mixed in, too. It was full of rich vocabulary, and you did such a great job of establishing the tone of the piece right away. Nice work!

One thing I enjoyed about this was how consistent and believable your writing voice was. I'm not an expert on archaic language patterns, but it sounded very nice to me. I loved how consistent you were able to make it while still giving each character a distinct. The problem you've presented is one I feel happens in a lot of classics, so I enjoyed that bit of homage to the age-old tales. I'm very curious to see how you continue with this.

One thing I did wonder about throughout the piece is your rhyme scheme. There were certain lines that had end rhymes, and then some that didn't. They would be spaced differently too; sometimes you'd have rhymes every other line, sometimes it would be two isolated lines. I thought that your piece might be improved if you made the flow and rhyme scheme more consistent. Of course, it's also possible that this is a rhyme scheme I'm not familiar with that could be an archaic form used in older plays. I'd love to hear your reasoning behind the unique rhyme scheme!

Specifics

And enlighten her of her Music of er Spheres.


I think that that "er" is supposed to be "her?" Not quite sure, though. Just thought I'd bring it up in case it was a mistake.

Overall: great job!! I think you've got a really interesting start here, and I'm curious to see how you'll continue/how you'll put your own spin on it. I look forward to reading more! Until next time!!



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Luci Cae says...


Thanks for the encouragement! There is indeed a reason for the chaotic (for the lack of a better word) rhyme scheme used. Some spoilers here, but here are a few lines from the start of the second scene:

Oh! Brendon, enough with the rhymes!
For they are merely the twinkling of a starry mind,
The language of infernal fire-flies
That erratically blink to fool our eyes
With false paradise.

There is some double meaning behind these lines. On one hand they are a critique of the literary technique - during the renaissance, writers and poets often used rhyme schemes to display their great wit, but here the erratic rhyme scheme, although seemingly elegant, serves instead as a deconstruction of the romanticization of hideous events such as those told in this particular tale. On the other hand, the use of free verse suddenly breaking into rhyme, the "language of infernal fire-flies" suggests a certain subconscious affinity with hell that Brendon possesses. As for the chorus, Doctor Luci and Mephisto, they themselves are devils, and intentionally rhyme some lines. Hence, elegant language, or word play, is intentionally associated with demonic ideas.




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