Andreas Staikos’ Alcestis and Sweet Dreams: The Dramatic Transformation of Euripides’ Alcestis


This paper explores Andreas Staikos’ Alcestis and Sweet Dreams (2012), a play inspired by Euripides’ Alcestis. Initially, the paper highlights some key, recurrent elements of Staikos’ dramaturgy. Further, it examines the main thematic motifs of the play, primarily drawn by the playwright from the dramatic myth of Euripides’ Alcestis, as well as further thematic motifs drawn from the fairy tale tradition and the European theatre tradition. It also focuses on the transformations of these motifs and the concomitant dramatic goals. A main observation is that the interest of the audience is shifted in an ingenious way from the central motif of the devoted and faithful wife to that of the playful perplexities of the game of love, while true and endless love eventually turns out to be rather a sweet dream or an illusion. Finally, the paper discusses the repertoire of dramatic techniques that are traced in Alcestis and Sweet Dreams.