Úvodní stránka | Ferdinand Vanek Award 2015 | The Memoirs of King Ahasuerus
Chaim Cigan

The Memoirs of King Ahasuerus

Chaim Cigan

(One Act Play)
(Paměti Krále Achašveroše)

3m, 3w

     This one-act play uses hyperbole to paraphrase one narrative from the Biblical Book of Esther.
     The Persian king Ahasuerus dictates the history of the complot against himself to his Scribe. He learnt of this complot from Mordechai the Jew. As opposed to other Jews, who are awaiting punishment in Persia, Mordechai should be rewarded. Haman arrives to dine with the king in his new, squeaking armor. The king asks him how to honor a man for his service and Haman, thinking that the king wants to reward him, says that he should be shown around the town for the whole day as a king, riding the best royal stallion. The fact that the king means Mordechai shocks Haman. Moreover, the king orders Haman as the most prominent dignitary to lead the stallion with Mordechai around the town. The Scribe warns the king: What will history think about a king, who declares that the Jews are cursed people, when they actually saved his life? It would be wiser to state that he was saved from the assassination by god, who appeared in the king´s dream.
     Haman shows Mordechai around town and tells him that it will not be long and nobody will remember that the Jews ever walked the earth and that he will find his end at the gallows. Queen Esther, who is choosing her evening sari with her maids of honor, sees Haman in this humiliating role. The horse drops some poop. Esther tells Haman that sniffing the poop of a royal horse brings luck to lovers. Haman tries it out.
     Esther picks a black sari, which makes the king unhappy. She says she decided to wear it, so that Haman would stop lusting after her. She is surprised that the king thought of her cousin Mordechai. Haman comes with a big bunch of flowers. Esther tells the king that Haman wants to revenge himself on the Israelites because Mordechai did not want to bow to him as to a god. Haman defends himself that this was the king´s order and that people, who act superior to Persian laws, should be wiped out. Esther asks to be handed over to a hangman. The king wants her to make up with Haman. When the king leaves, Haman wants Esther to kiss him. She calls for help and the king sees Haman bothering Esther. He orders the guards to kill Haman. The guards came with trombones, which now hinder the drawing of swords, and so they beat Haman to death with the trombones.
     Mordechai becomes the top dignitary of Persia. Esther says that she admires his foresight. Instead of marrying her, he gave her out to the king of the pagans. Mordechai admits that he was just afraid. He consoles Esther by saying that he loves her. In the moment when Esther runs into his arms, the king enters. Mordechai pleads that Esther is like his daughter. The king is bothered by the turnarounds of his own decisions. Too many enemies of Jews died in one day. How could he look history and all the eyewitnesses in the face? Esther asks for one more day, in which she will get rid of all the eyewitnesses, Haman´s sons, the descendants of king Agag, who wanted to exterminate all Jews. Peace in Israel depends on the impossibility of repeating the “final solution”. The king sets an example by killing one eyewitness - the Scribe – by slitting his throat with his pen-knife. The Jews shall be given the day they want. Then the king will be safe when history poses her questions.


The Memoirs of King Ahasuerus - excerpt


Chaim Cigan - about the author




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