Sophocles' FRASIER

I’d apologize for the spate of Frasier content recently, but the hour makes the man, not the other way around; take it up with the present period and its anxieties if you object. From the Wyckoff.

CHARACTERS

Niles

Frasier

Chorus of Seattlites

Martin

Daphne

Eddie, a dog

Maris

Teiresias

A Messenger

Lilith


SCENE

Seattle, before the apartments of FRASIER.

NILES and FRASIER emerge from the great front door.


NILES

My sibling, my Frasier, do you know

of any suffering from our further sprung

that Zeus does not achieve for us survivors?

There’s nothing grievous, nothing free from doom,

not shameful, not dishonored, I’ve not seen.

Your sufferings and mine.

And now, what of this edict which they say

the commander has proclaimed to the whole people?

Have you heard anything? Or don’t you know

that the foes’ trouble comes upon our friends?

FRASIER

I’ve heard no word, Niles, of our friends.

Not sweet nor bitter, since that single moment

when we lost two brothers

who died on one day by a double blow.

And since the Argive army went away

this very night, I have no further news

of fortune or disaster for myself.

NILES

It's times like this that most families

pull together and draw strength from each other...

What shall we do?

FRASIER

What is it? Clearly some news has clouded you.

NILES

It has indeed. Martin will give the one

of our two brothers honor in the tomb;

the other none.

None may bury him and none bewail,

but leave him unwept, untombed, a rich sweet sight

for the hungry birds’ beholding.

Further: he has the matter so at heart

that anyone who dares attempt the act

will die by public stoning in the town.

So there you have it and you soon will show

if you are noble, or fallen from your descent.

FRASIER

If things have reached this stage, what can I do,

poor brother, that will help to make or mend?

NILES

Frasier, you know I don’t lift. I want

to prove that I’m strong and independent,

and I can’t do that alone.

Think will you share my my labor and my act.

FRASIER

What will you risk? And where is your intent?

NILES

My Taekwondo instructor tells me I'm just two moves

away from becoming quite threatening. Will you take up that

corpse along with me?

FRASIER

To bury him, you mean, when it’s forbidden?

NILES

My brother, and yours, though you may wish he were not.

I never shall be found to be his traitor. Frasier,

I've formed a fist and I'm thinking of using it!

FRASIER

I will not have you turning a minor,

albeit annoying, situation into a Martin Scorsese film!

NILES

It’s not for Martin to keep me from my own.

FRASIER

Alas. Remember, brother, how our mother

perished abhorred, ill-famed.

Herself with her own hand, through her own curse

destroyed both eyes.

Remember next her mother and her husband

finishing life in the shame of the twisted strings.

And third, two brothers on a single day,

poor creatures, murdering, a common doom

each with his arm accomplished on the other.

And now look at the two of us alone.

We’ll perish terribly if we force law

We must remember that we two are psychiatrists

so not to fight with men.

The only things we Crane boys are skilled at catching

are sarcastic nuances and the occasional virus..

NILES

Remember, I’m a Jungian.

There’ll be no blaming Mother today.

Be what you want to; but that man shall I

bury. For me, the doer, death is best.

Friend shall I lie with him, yes friend with friend,

when I have dared the crime of piety.

There shall I lie forever. You may see fit

to keep from honor what the gods have honored.

FRASIER

I shall do no dishonor. But to act

against the citizens — I cannot. Seattle needs me.

NILES

Frasier, once again you suffer the tragedy of being clever and alone.

FRASIER

Oh my poor brother. How I fear for you!

NILES

You've given me something to mull over during my herbal wrap.

For me, don’t borrow trouble. Clear your fate.

FRASIER

At least give no one warning of this act;

you keep it hidden, and I’ll do the same.

NILES

I’ll feel safer if I’m packing heat.

FRASIER

For heaven’s sake, you don’t even know how to pack a lunch.

NILES

I know I please those whom I most should please.

And so, when strength runs out, I shall give over.

I shall suffer nothing

as great as dying with a lack of grace.

You know, this is sort of exciting.

Even as a child I always fancied I might

make a first-rate society cat burglar.

FRASIER

Go, since you want to. But know this: you go

senseless indeed, but loved by those who love you.

You are a good brother

and a credit to the psychiatric profession.

NILES

You’re a good brother, too.


NILES

[in front of Polyneices’ corpse]

Well, I'm here. I forgot to gargle, I'm wearing mismatched socks,

and I'm so nervous, I could wet myself.