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Dood Paard plans to stage a production of the oldest known play in western history: De Perzen (The Persians) written by Aeschylus (525 –456B.C.)
Xerxes was a young king
The son of the legendary Darius
He mobilized an enormous army
All the Asian kings and viceroys joined in
They marched against the small city of Athens
And over land
Xerxes ordered a bridge to be built over the Bosphorus
Ten thousand soldiers marched across
An impressive feat
An easy war
All the Greeks would soon be defeated
Aeschylus the Greek has written De Perzen from the perspective of the arrogant foe. He criticizes the imperialistic course taken by the Greece of his time and warns of overconfidence. This tragedy is extraordinary because it takes its subject from a political situation of that period and not from mythology.
The play refers to current conflicts or political situations and to anyone who crosses an invisible boundary and thereby triggers a disaster.
“The death of the poet Aeschylus is noteworthy, because it was so unusual. One day in Sicily, outside the town where he lived, Aeschylus was out for a walk when he stopped and sat down in a sunny spot. His shiny head (he was bald) confused an eagle flying high above him with a tortoise in its claws. The bird thought that Aeschylus’ head was a rock and dropped the tortoise on top of it to break the shell and get at the meat. The creator and master of the noble tragedy was killed on impact.” (Gela in Sicily 456 B.C. Val. Maximus IX, 12).