The Oracle of Orange

The Oracle of Orange is a play roughly based on Oedipus Rex by Sophocles. I wrote this modern mashup version in iambic pentameter for the Protagonize community to have some fun with adding the rest of the acts. You can treat this as an exercise in metre, dialogue, playwriting, or whatever you would most benefit from. Just make sure to have fun.

The Oracle of Orange, by Caleb Jacobo
#EXT. Act I.i - A home.

1|Hello, and welcome to my humble home.
My name is KASYAN and I am your HOST.
In a moment you will witness a tale.
It’s a tale of honor, duty, and love,
That is nearly three millenniums old.

2|This tale is an exploration into
The human condition, and how it may
React when faced with incredible change.
This tale asks us questions about ourselves
That are as relevant now as ever.

3|I invite you to eat your fill of food,
Drink of the wine, and above all, enjoy.
Now, without further delay, here is a
A performance of a rendition of
An ancient tale: The Oracle of Orange.


4|I thought AMICUS would be here by now.

Hows that?

AMICUS our beloved mayor.

He’s the Californian who killed the sphinx.

The sphinx! where?

No you fool, the sphinx is dead.

She killed herself when AMICUS arrived.

5|He outwitted the beast and saved us all.

How’d he do that?

He answered a riddle.

A riddle?

Yes, damn you. Why are you here?

Because of the cursed plague on our lands.

And you do not know who you’ve come to see?

6|To see? I’ve come to see mayor AMICUS.
I followed this old man, he’s a poor priest,
But a good man who told me AMICUS
Might return prosperity to the land,
And return happiness to the people.

7|Well yes, that is the man I’m speaking of,
AMICUS our mayor. He saved us from death.
He killed the sphinx, and is the best man here.
He answered riddles that none of us could.
We were eaten when we had tried and failed.

8|Are you listening to me?

What? Of course!
Oh, yes I know, thank God for AMICUS.
Did you know that the sphinx ate my grandad?

I’d like to know where mayor AMICUS is.

I saw FLORENTINE a moment ago.

9|You did? How did she look?

Oh, She looked well.

What do you mean?

I just don’t get it.
Really, what’s so great about FLORENTINE
That would make AMICUS marry her, and
So soon after her husband was murdered.

10|Not how did she look, pretty like, I mean
Did she look upset? or was she nervous?
Like the news from AMICUS will prove bad?

I wasn’t looking too well, so I can’t
Say for sure. BRACUS was a noble mayor...


BRACUS, before he was killed by bandits
And his wife re-married to AMICUS,
BRACUS always gave the best holidays.

Quiet, here comes our mayor, it’s AMICUS!

12|Friends, Citizens, neighbors and all gathered,
I am saddened to see you sitting here,
Amongst your tears and wine; meekly moaning.
Please, one of you tell me what brought you here.
What can I do to help my weary friends?

(Priest enters.)

13|My mayor, AMICUS, my observant mayor,
Honest mayor, whose kind in his words with us,
I am just a local priest, but I might
Speak for your people gathered in the streets.
Not just here, but outside, and everywhere.

14|Your people are burdened with heavy loads.
We gathered here to hope and pray that you
Our mayor might help your people once again
And deliver us from this horrid curse
That starves our families and makes us weak.

15|We pray to God, and beg you AMICUS,
Don’t let your people starve and die away.
Not with all your royal, might and power.
Our previous mayor once gave these true words
‘There is no mayor, if there is no people.’

16|Oh dear priest, my friends, my neighbors, and all
Hear me please: You do not suffer alone.
For every child who has gone hungry,
For every unpaid bill and mournful tear,
I have suffered along with you, my friends.

17|Your dear mayor has felt your pain and acted.
I come to tell you all that this moment
I’m expecting news from The Oracle
Brought to me directly from good MICHAH,
Brother of my wife, and an honest man.

18|Oh, mayor AMICUS, yours words have brought hope,
Not only to my heart, but all our hearts.
Your words are well-timed, here comes prince MICHAH
Your friend and brother by his sister’s hand.
He must bring news from The Oracle’s mouth!

19|Honest MICHAH, let him bring us good news
And let us be rid of this horrid plague.
And look, here he comes, from just up the road.

Look, he’s smiling. That’s reassuring.
If the news matches his face I’ll be glad.

20|If his information is sound, then we
Will learn the fate our our town soon enough
MICHAH is close and he should hear me now:
MICHAH -- Is the news good from your prophet?
Please brother, don’t keep our people waiting.

(Enter MICHAH.)

21|News mayor AMICUS, from The Oracle.

Please continue and I will hear your news.

My mayor, I have found you hear, amongst guests.
Should we go into your home and speak or
Will you have me tell the news publicly?

22|We will see. Should he tell his news right now?
Then Tell what you’ve learned from The Oracle
Aloud, for these people who gathered here
Since they are the ones suffering for it,
And have the most right to hear it all first.

23|Well then my mayor, I will tell it all,
What the Oracle told me from God’s lips:
The Oracle was short with her message.
She said: ‘Orange County must drive out
All those in town unpunished for murder.’

24|What murders have gone unpunished by me?

None, while you have been mayor. But before you,
We had a good mayor BRACUS.

I’ve heard it.
Often from my wife, but we never met.

BRACUS was murdered before you were mayor,
And his vicious murder remains unsolved.

26|This will be a difficult task MICHAH.
The murder is long since done and by now,
The trail has gone cold after all these years.
Tell me brother-in-law, was your mayor
killed here in town or some faraway place?

27|BRACUS was killed on the road close to here
By bandits, on his way to reach Delphi.
He left to find an answer to the sphinx.
She whose riddle you masterfully cracked
The day you arrived in Orange County.

28|Was there a witness to your mayor’s murder?
Did anyone travel along with him?

BRACUS traveled with a small group of men,
But all were murdered along with our mayor
Except for one man who knows just one thing.

29|For God’s sake, speak MICHAH. This man’s one clue
Could be all we need to solve the murder
And lift this terrible plague from our homes.

He swears he only remembers one thing,
It was a group of men who killed the mayor.

30|That cannot be all we know of the crime

When BRACUS left to seek The Oracle,
He left us unprotected against the sphinx.
It was all that we could do to protect
Our children from the sphinx’s great claws.

31|Now that I am mayor, and I have been charged
With this task, I will find the murderers
I will drive them from this land forever.
Priest, go and gather anyone who might
Have information and bring them here.

32|We will solve the murder this very night!

The End

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