Monday, 21 November 2011

F is for… Furies

This is a story about the time I drank too many energy drinks and went crazy. And is the reason why I will never take drugs because if this is what happens when I get too much caffeine, imagine how much worse it could get??

It was my final year in college and one of my final assignments too. I can’t even remember what the class was called, something to do with ancient Greek drama. My assignment was writing about the Oresteia by Aeschylus. The story goes that Orestes kills his mother because she killed his father and is swanning around with her new lover and in general being a total b*tch- oh and was planning to kill her son. Even though we're all cheering when Orestes kills his mum, he's still in trouble. Mainly from the Furies.

The Furies are some super scary mythological beings. They are these three old women with snakes for hair and burning coals for eyes who fly around chasing down someone who has done something naughty. Like an evil version of Santa, they know if you’ve been bad or good- so be good for goodness sake! They would basically hound someone to death, the very sight of them was so terrifying that it drove most people crazy. And if they catch you, they’ll kill you in the most hideous of ways. Orestes realises that these ladies will be on his tail so he goes on the run but it’s a little difficult to hide from supernatural beings. Luckily the gods love Orestes and he’s saved, cutting a very long story short.

I had the most fantastic professor for that class whose name I can’t remember. Seriously, can I remember ANYTHING from college?!?! He brought to life all those old and dusty plays, making the comedies funny and the tragedies horrific. The one thing I do remember is that he said something along the lines of “You must never call The Furies by their name. You must always call them ‘The Eumenides’, meaning the Kindly Ones. If you call them that, you can talk about them as much as you want because they'd never think you were talking about them with a name like that. But the second you say their name, it brings their attention onto you and they’ll be standing behind you, suddenly reminded of that thing you did that one time… waiting for you to run”

I still remember him saying that and the way it sent a chill down my spine. Those Greeks sure knew how to spin a good yarn! Anyway, *this* story is getting far too long. I had to pull an all-nighter and I had my bottles of energy drink. It says on the label only to drink one a day. I had four. As I was writing the essay, I realised I had written ‘Furies’ instead of ‘Eumenides’. I remembered my teacher’s words. And I was convinced, ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED, that those old bags were going to come and find me. However, I was more worried about not finishing my assignment in time so I kept writing but I was so, so afraid. Every sound in the night’s silence were the Furies after me. I finished the assignment but was still too afraid to go to sleep. Every time I shut my eyes, I would picture the Furies convening in my room standing around my bed, watching me, waiting for me to wake up.

So in conclusion, next time you find yourself in ancient Greece always call the Furies, the Eumenides. And hopefully I’ll come up with something less nerdy and more interesting for ‘G’.


Abigail said...

Dear Laura, I love you forever. This is the best story about ancient Greek drama that I've ever heard, and I'm in a theatre program! From now on this is how I'm going to teach the Oresteia-- "an evil version of Santa Claus" PERFECT.

Janette said...

4 in one dayyyyy???????????????????????????????!!! Oh my word!!

Janette, the Jongleur

ladykate63 said...

I'm guessing you've never watched Xena: Warrior Princess? That show had an awesome and very memorable version of the Furies in an episode titled ... The Furies! :)