SÁNDOR, WEÖRES – OCTOPUS, AVAGY SZENT GYÖRGY ÉS A SÁRKÁNY HISTÓRIÁJA
OCTOPUS, OR ST. GEORGE AND THE DRAGON
(1965. A tragicomedy in five acts. 20 male and 12 female parts)
In Silene, North Africa at the time of the Roman Empire, Inganga the Queen Mother runs the city-state with the Coucil of Five. King Cannidas is dull-witted and weak. Octopus, the eight-footed water-dragon, holds the town in thrall. No-one has seen the monster, but everyone believes in him. The city is getting ready to celebrate the Spring Festival. Every year a virgin is sacrificed to Octopus. The armies of the Roman Emperor led by Giorgio the Knight are outside the gates and soon take the town. Giorgio removes Cannidas from the throne and prohibits the sacrifice of virgins. Giorgio meets Drinus, the demagogue philosopher, whom everyone considers to be lame. Giorgio forces him to walk. The people believe that he cured the lame man by a miracle. The Council of Five serving Octopus does not want to give up the sacrifice of virgins. They plan to sacrifice Isbel, the king's niece. Giorgio goes to the palace to kill the dragon, but he cannot find it. The pagan festival turns into a massacre. The members of the royal family are exterminated. A revolt breaks out. A legend is spread: Saint George has killed the dragon. One of the king's three ministers places himself at the head of the revolt. Then he places the half-witted daughter of King Cannidas, Uttaganga on the throne with the aid of the citizenry.
WEÖRES Sándor (1913-1989)
He started his school years in an ecclesiastical institution but soon became a private pupil, due to his poor health. He was an avid reader, mostly of drama. After finishing high school, he started publishing his poems and short stories in different magazines. He personally visited Dezső Kosztolányi, who was so much impressed by the young poet that he had his poems printed in the famous literary magazine of the times, Nyugat, with the approval of poet Mihály Babits, the main editor of the magazine. Nyugat became a regular publisher of his works. As a famous poet already, Weöres received a degree in Philosophy and Aesthetics at the University of Pécs, taking up a job in a library. He was temporarily sidelined by cultural politics, only being allowed to publish as a translator. His plays in verse were deliberately ignoring the rules of the stage, placing linguistic formation over dramatic effect. His characters crave an intangible fullness and happiness. His major plays include: Theomachia (1938), The Boatsman in the Moon (1941), Saint George and the Dragon (1965), The Two-Headed Beast (1972).