Monday, August 21, 2017

The Fall of the House of Usher

Usher (photo: George Biard, derivative work Lampel)
The recent lawsuits against Usher by women who claim they’d contracted herpes from him ("Usher sued by fans who say he exposed them to herpes without warning," Los Angeles Times, 8/7/17) and the pushback on the accusations from the singer's camp ("Usher Reportedly Doesn't Have Herpes, Plans to Take Legal Actions Against Accusers,"Vibe, 8/8/17) bring back the myth of Herpes and Arestes and The Fall of the House of Usher (also the title of a story later employed by Edgar Allen Poe) as laid out in Escalus’s trilogy, The Aresteia. As you may recall during the course of the play the local seer prophecies doom that results from a tragic flaw—otherwise known as hamartia. The flaw comes down to hubris or excessive pride. It’s hubris that causes big time stars to think that they will be immune to the forces that affect lesser men. On the other hand rock stars like kings face greater temptations since their company is so much in demand, particularly from irresistible and “comely” fans--though the case of Nushawn Williams a totally unknown personality who suffered from a similar flaw indicates that hubris is an equal opportunity employer ("Jamestown and the story of 'Nushawn's Girls,'"The Washington Post, 6/1/99). The Aresteia begins on a note of great hope with promoters hanging around the entrance to the open air theaters, but ends in the last play when Herpes and Arestes find themselves at loggerheads in the presence of human volition, or what a later playwright G.B. Show termed “The Life Force.” As darkness engulfs the stage we realize that life is not a rehearsal.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.