The play consists of three movements, divided into numerous scenes: 7 in the first movement, 20 in the second movement, and 3 in the third movement. The play begins with Eurydice and Orpheus, two young lovers, who are about to get married. During the wedding, Eurydice goes outside to get a drink of water and she meets a man the "Nasty Interesting Man" who tells her he has a letter from her father. At the beginning of the second movement, there is no set change, but "the movement to the underworld is marked by the entrance of stones":  [ incomplete short citation ] Little Stone, Big Stone, and Loud Stone, who serve as a chorus.
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Ruhl explained that "in the myth, we never hear from Eurydice — she is always a cipher. Orpheus proposes to Eurydice and she accepts. Her deceased father is seen in the underworld , writing a letter to her and wondering how to get it delivered. At her wedding, Eurydice steps outside and expresses a wish to see more interesting people.
A mysterious "interesting man" appears and invites her to his apartment. After giving her champagne, he shows her the letter from her father. She tries to grab it but trips and falls down a long flight of stairs to her death in the underworld. Act 2[ edit ] The three Stones, a kind of Greek chorus , explain that Eurydice has crossed the river of forgetfulness which is portrayed as a shower in the elevator descending to the underworld , and now has no memory and no power of language.
Her father greets her, but she does not know who he is. It flutters down to the underworld, where her father reads it to her. The name of Orpheus helps her to regain her memory and recognize her father. Orpheus then lowers the collected works of Shakespeare on a string, and her father reads it to her, helping her to relearn language.
Orpheus resolves to go to the underworld and bring Eurydice back. He sings outside the gate and rouses Hades , the lord of the underworld, who was the "interesting man" she met just before her death. Act 3[ edit ] Orpheus tells Hades that he is determined to take Eurydice back to the land of the living. Hades explains that she can follow him, but he must not look back to see if she is there; if he does she will be lost to him forever. Eurydice is fearful and does not want to leave her father, but he insists she must return with her husband.
Afraid that she is being tricked and that it not really Orpheus she is following, she calls out his name. He turns around and she is pulled back to the underworld. Meanwhile her father, desolate at losing her, dips himself in the river of forgetfulness. Eurydice, returning after her second death, finds that her father now has no memory or power of speech. Hades declares that he will take Eurydice as his bride.
She writes a letter to Orpheus, lays it on the ground, and steps into the river of forgetfulness. Orpheus arrives and sees her, but then the shower robs him of his memory.
He finds the letter she wrote him, but does not know how to read it.
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Ruhl explained that "in the myth, we never hear from Eurydice — she is always a cipher. Orpheus proposes to Eurydice and she accepts. Her deceased father is seen in the underworld , writing a letter to her and wondering how to get it delivered. At her wedding, Eurydice steps outside and expresses a wish to see more interesting people. A mysterious "interesting man" appears and invites her to his apartment.
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