Euripides’ Andromeda

The Play…
Cassiopeia boasted
that her daughter Andromeda
was more beautiful than all the Nereids,
invoking the wrath of Poseidon
who sent Cetus (a sea monster)
to attack Æthiopia
(a city in the Sub Sahara)
After consulting an oracle,
Cepheus and Cassiopeia
chain Andromeda to a rock near the ocean
so that Cetus (a sea monster) can destroy her.

Perseus
having just slain Medusa
finds Andromeda chained to the rock
and quickly falls in love with her
(possibly the first depiction
of a man falling in love with a woman on stage)

As Cetus emerges from the ocean
Perseus/Andromeda use Medusa’s head
to turn Cetus to stone

Alexander the Great
could perform a portion of the play by heart

Classicist Gilbert Murray
relates a story told by Lucian
from 500 years after Andromeda was first produced
that people in Abdera, Thrace
were so stricken by the play
that they walked around
“as though in a dream”
mumbling to themselves a line from the play
“O love, high monarch over gods and men…”

The Location…
Fort Funston