A monologue from the dialogues of Lucian

Adapted for the stage by Baudelaire Jones

  • NOTE: This monologue is reprinted with the author's permission. All inquiries should be directed to the author at: sandmaster@aol.com
  • HERMES: It isn’t fair! Why do I have to be the whipping boy? I’m a God just like the rest of them, but it’s always “Hermes! Do this! Hermes! Do that!” I’m surprised they haven’t started tipping me! I might as well be a servant! I get all the grunt work, the mindless labor, and I never say a word! I get up early, sweep the kitchen, lay out all the cushions so Zeus can be nice and comfy—then I spend the whole day rushing his messages back and forth, up and down! No sooner am I finished with that (no time for a bath) then I have to set the table and make sure all the forks are in their proper place—before this new cup-bearer came I had to pour the nectar too! And afterwards, while everyone else is letting their food settle and enjoying pleasant conversation, I’m off to Pluto with the Shades, to play the usher in Rhadamanthus’s court! It’s not enough that I’m busy all day delivering Zeus’s proclamations in the wrestling arena and the Assembly and the schools of rhetoric—the dead must have their share of me too! Leda’s sons take turns alternating between Heaven and Hades—I have to be in both at once! And why should the mortals among us feast as they please, while I—the son of Maia, the grandson of Atlas—wait upon them hand and foot?! Here I am just back from Sidon, where he sent me to check on Europa, and before I can even catch my breath again, I’m off to Argos in quest of Danae! “And oh, by the way,” he says, “Can you stop in Boeotia and drop this note to Antiope?” I might as well just kill myself before I drop dead from exhaustion! Mortal slaves are better off than I am—at least they have some hope of being sold to a new master!