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Act II
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Act II

Palinurus:  Land ho!

Eurylaus: Oh, what beautiful country!

Nisus: Yes, it is Eurylaus,  absolutely exquisite.

Eurylaus:  Just lovely.

(Achates and Aeneas confer briefly)

Achates: Men, we shall disembark here!

Aeneas:  We can get off this boat here!

Men on board: Hooray!

(Beroe You better put on your sandals before you think of leavind this boat)

Aeneas:  Achates, our hometown is in ashes, my father just died, my wife is dead.  We are lost.  Ever since we fought those wild Harpy wild bird quacking thingies, we have been sailing without and direction or sign of whatever Hesperia is that our psycho friend Helenus promised.  I am so confused and lost.

Achates: What is your problem Aeneas?  You want everyone to feel sorry for you.  You at least had some family left - a father and you still have your son.  But me- no family at all, and I have to listen to you prattling all the time about how miserable your life is.  I mean, you are the son of a goddess - Aphrodite.  I wish!  Granted, we havenít heard from her in a while.  I guess you are right - we are lost and doomed.

Aeneas (not listening): Achates. hey, Achates.  Somebody is over there.  Maybe someone else is lost.  Come out, come out whoever you are.

Aphrodite:  Shhhhhh.   Aeneas, you are scaring off the deer.

Aeneas: What deer?  I donít see any deer.  Who are you?  How do you know my name?  Where are these deer?

Aphrodite:  they were right here until you and the other pudboy scared them off with all that clamor.

Aeneas:  What is a pudboy?  What is a clamor? Who are you?

Aphrodite:  Nevermind. 

Aeneas:  Where are we?   You see, weíve been lost, sailing off course, of course. on the high seas.  We fled from a burned(sob), looted (sniffle), ruined(snortle), cit WAAAAAH!

Aphrodite: There, there.  Catch your breath.  Swallow.  Breathe.  Maybe I can help.  You will be fine.  You are now standing on the continent of Africa near Carthage.  Right over there, just past the woods, is the favorite city of Hera.  Go there and I am sure that the queen will provide for you and your people.  Those Carthaginians, the Punics, really do work as diligently as bees.

Aeneas:  Really?

Aphrodite:  Yes.  go quickly so you donít get lost again.

Aeneas:  Weíll find it. Thank you.

Achates:  I smell something.  - itís Ö.itís ummmm.

Aphrodite:  I have to leave - keep tracking those deer.

Achates: Who was that?

Aeneas: That smell.  It is that new perfume by Calvin Klein.  Golden Apple.  Wait!  Mom!  Come back, mommy!  Aphrodite!! AphroooooÖ!  Just hopeless.  She did not even stick around long enough to tell me who she really is.  I am just certain that was my mother, Achates.

Achates: Letís get out of here.  What did she say?

Aeneas: She said go find the city of Carthage.

Achates: Letís hasten there. I am starving.  Maybe they have some good food there.

Look at all these incredible, colorful murals all around the city.   No wonder these people keep busy.  they donít want to see these pictures.  These seem to chronicle a war of some sort.

Aeneas:  Look, you fool.  It is a war story.  What war could be THE one to make such a fine mural.  THE TROJAN WAR!!!  Great.  Fabulous.

Nisus:  look at these walls.  Amazing.

Eurylaus:  Just fabulous.

Dido and Anna enter.

Dido:  Look at those handsome and rugged men, Anna.

Anna looks all over the place.

Dido:  Anna! Look, over there!

Anna: Oh. I was looking for handsome men. I might be persuaded to say rugged, but ahh handsome, attractive - címon Dido.  I am your sister.  I am armed with an attitude that gives us our only defense from guys like that.

Dido:  True, but letís eavesdrop anyway.

Aeneas: Oh, the pain.  The memories.Look, there is my friend Hector. That Mamaís boy, Achilles.  He got what he deserved.

Achates:  Look at poor Priam. Aggravating Agamemnon.  Mindless Menelaus.  Awful Ajax,

Aeneas: Oooooooh  - Odysseus - that dang horse!

Achates:  Pretty boy Patroclus, Dumb Diomedes.  Lousy Laocoon.  Sneaky Sinon.

Dido: Peace, Trojans - you famously strong and talented warriors.  Welcome to Carthage.  Relax, stay for a while and tell us your story.  (they sit in a semicircle)

Aeneas:  You seem to already know the details of the war so I will tell you of my Odyssey from Troy to Carthage.


Scene ii

Aeneas: and so that is how we ended up here.

Ascanius: Dad, is this another one of those plays about Greek guys?

Aeneas:  Ascanius, I canít believe you just asked me that.  This is the Aeneid.  It tells the story of the wanderings of Odysseus and the founding of Rome. Not Greece, Rome. They are entirely different.

Ascanius: Sorry .  I guess I am a little bit tired from listening to your story. 

Aeneas:  It probably is time for your nap anyway.  Go on, why donít you go on to bed for a bit.

Ascanius leaves and Cupid comes back while Aeneas gloats in his glory.

Cupid:  Is that a deer over there? (All look, he stabs Dido with an arrow) Oops, nope, sorry it was just a shadow.  (he giggles) Oh well, good night.

Dido: Aeneas, you are so strong and brave.  Letís go hunting.

Aeneas:  Well, you know, I have been known to be quite a shot with the bow.

Dido: there is a wonderful forest where the deer are abundant.  I could take you there and you can impress me with your skill.

Anna: Dido, I will not let you go off alone for one second  in the forest with this scoundrel.  Do you hear me?  I am looking out for you.  He is not all that.

Dido: What could possibly happen while I am walking with that gorgeous man.

Aeneas:  Thank you so much for all you have done for us.

Dido:  Anything for you, you hunk.  I just have this funny feeling about you.  I burn for you.  You light the flames of passion in me.  It is so warm for this time of year.

It begins to rain (umbrella)

Aeneas: Oh no, it is starting to rain.  We better seek shelter before these flames of yours burn out.

Dido:  There is a cave over here.  We can wait there.


Scene iii.

Anna: Dido, what on earth have you done?

Dido:  It was beautiful Anna.  The rain.  The cave. We held hands there.  It was like we were already married.

Anna:  What do you meanĒalreadyĒ?  Why would you say something like that?

Did:  He is the tough yet sensitive guy of the nineties.  He is just perfect.  I would just die without him.

Anna: DidoGirl, you in trouble.  Aeneas is kinda cute.  Well, I guess he could help make Carthage a powerful city.  Ok, if you have to have him, keep him, but use him for your own ends.

Dido: The gods must have had some hand in this.


Council of the gods.

Zeus:  Immortals, come to order!  The chair of the executive council of the last Order of the Olympians is calling this meeting to order.

Hera:  We already handled that Odysseus and war business.

Aprhodite: Thanks for agreeing with me on the Aeneas-Dido situation, Hera.

Hera:  It is probably best that we leave the men out of some important decision making around here.

Zeus: Wha-wha-what?  That is not the fate of the lost Trojan.  He must continue on to Italy to struggle against powerful foes and found his city. 

Aprhodite:  We have already made our decision, sorry.

Zeus: We will see about that.  Hermes!  Take your hyper self down to this man, Aeneas, and carry out my will.  He will leave Dido.

Hermes:  Super speedy delivery.  Ding. Ding. Ding.  Spaz. Spaz. Spaz.

Zeus:  What is this Olympus coming to?  As men, we have really let things go.


Hermes:  Aeneas. Aeneas. Aeneas. Aeneas. Aeneas. You must leave.  You must leave.  Exit.  Egress.Evacuate.  Disappear.  Depart.  Zeus commands.  Zeus commands.  Zeus says, ďmake it so.Ē  Zeus says so.

Aeneas:  You have a certain appeal.  You must be Hermes.  Fine, I will exit, egress whatever that means, and all that other stuff.

Dido:  You will not!! We are married

Aeneas:  What?  No we are not.  I could really go for a nice girl like you, but the gods have sent their messenger.

Dido:  Talk to the pinkie because you are not good enough for the hand.  I can never seem to figure men out.  How can he go and trust some sugar high hyperactive fairy that wings in from nowhere.

Hermes: Nope. Nope. Nope.  I carry the will of Zeus, the big guy.  Youíd better do as he says.   Move. Jump. Hop. Go. Run. Sail. Now. Now. Now. NOW. NOW. NOW.

Aeneas:  I am leaving.  Relax.  Take a breath, oh mighty winged one.

Achates:  Look at the smoke over there.  It seems to be coming from Carthage. 

Aeneas:  Iíll be.  There is smoke.  Itís coming from Didoís living room.

Achates:  Knowing what women can do in madness, you had better fear the worst.

Aeneas: What does that mean.

Achates:  You will find out later.  Letís get out of here.


Scene ___

Achates:  Palinurus!  How are you holding up?

Palinurus:  Wide awake, old boy (big yawn)

Achates:   Good, well , I am going to bed.  See you in the morning.

Palinurus:  Sure thing, number one. Me too. (Yawns and falls asleep.  Dragged off by Poseidon.)

Men wake up sometime later.

Aeneas:  Where is Palinurus?

Achates:  He said he was fine last night when I went to bed.

Aeneas:  Heís gone.  Rats.  How can we go on without a helmsman?  He used to make me laugh.  Oh, well.  He must have given his life for some greater cause.

Achates.  Aeneas! We are at Cumae, home of the sibyl Deiphobe, prophetess of Apollo.

Aeneas: Yeah, we  were supposed to talk to her, werenít we?

Achates:  Yep.  Do you remember anything? Ever?

Aeneas:  Eurylaus and Nisus, help us find the Sibyl.

Eurylaus:  sure thing, captain Aeneas sir

Nisus:  We would just love to

Eurylaus:  Love to.

Achates.  It sure smells funny.

Eurylaus.  Right this way, sirs.

Aeneas:  Oh great sibyl, what have you to tell us?

Sibyl screams nonsense.

Achates:  What?

Sibyl screams again.

Aeneas:  It is a sign.

Sibyl screams again.

Achates: What?

Aeneas:  Oh, great sibyl, show us the way.

Sibyl screams again.

Acahtes: What?

Aeneas:  We shall follow.

Achates:  What did she say?

Aeneas: I donít know, but whatever I said was the right answer because she is taking us somewhere.  How do you like that?

Achates: Do you know where she is taking us?

Aeneas : No..oh.

Sibyl: I said ďWelcome, Aeneas. I have been waiting for you.  We must visit the Underworld to see your father.Ē

Achates:  Is that where we are going?

Sibyl:  But remember the descent is easy, itís coming back that is the hard part.

Aeneas: These steps are rather steep.

Ahcates: I donít think that is what she meant.

Aeneas:  well, look how steep they are. This is gonna be such a pain to climb back up.

Sibyl:  Watch your step, gentlemen.  On the left you will see the Elysian Fields, a land where the good go to spend their eternities.  On the right, the various people who have done wrong.  There is the 6th grade Latin class, they were so bad - look at the torment they are experiencing.  This is the people who once did wrong look they have no cable -

Aeneas: Oh -  Latin - Show me no more, Sibyl.  Take me from this place.

Achates:  They still teach people Latin.  What a torture!  Latin is dead

Aeneas:  It killed Caesar.

Aeneas and Achates:  And now itís killing me! 

Achates:  Who is Caesar?

Aeneas:  No idea.

Sibyl:  Onwards, we must find your father.

Aeneas:  My father, oh no, is he all right?

Sibyl:  he is fine. Look.

Anchises seems to really be enjoying himself.  Sitting in a lounge chair sipping a drink with an umbrella in it wearing a straw hat.

Aeneas:  Dad!

Anchises:  What are you doing here?  Listen to me.  You have got to sail on.  Donít stay here.  You have more important things to do.

Achates: (aside) he is still out of it.

Aeneas:  what are you saying?

Anchises:  Listen up, boy.  You sail on to Hesperia, Italy, whatever it is called.  You are destined to found a new race.  It is fate.  Your people will one day rule the world.

Achates:  The descendants of Aeneas are going to rule the world.  They will be lucky if they can tie their shoes.

Anchises:  Leave this place.  This is no place for you.  Sail on.

Aeneas:  If I must, father. 

Achates:  Isnít that Dido?

Aeneas:  It sure is.  Hey, Dido, how is it going?

Achates:  The silent treatment.  This is going to be very effective. 

Aeneas:  Hey Dido?  Can I at least get you to smile?  Címon.  Just a little grin?

Achates:  It is no use.  Aeneas, we must go.

Aeneas:  How about a little hug. Just one.  Canít I just get a hug.  Please.  What about a handshake? Is that too much?  Just point at me.  A high five?







Copyright 2000 - Stephen Mitchell.  This play may not be distributed or duplicated or performed without the express permission of the author.  Write to: