The Lucretia Experience

By: Jeffery Berry

The story of a wife who lived in purity and faithfulness ended drastically due to the jealousy and envy of others.

Today, I went to the Krannert Center of Performing Arts to attend an opera called, “The Rape Of Lucretia.” This was my second time coming to see a performance at the Krannert Center, and I was excited to see what the day had in store.

The opera was performed in the “Tyron Festival Theatre.” There were many people there to see the performance. The lights went dim, then completely dark before the start of the opera. There was singing the synchronized with the orchestra under the stage of the performance. I was amazed to see a narrative performed so harmonically. I feel the orchestra added much more emotion to the story. Without the music, it would have been very boring. Also, there was a projector above the entire opera, displaying word for word of what was was being sung during the performance. This was very helpful because sometimes the performers were all singing different lines which made it hard to keep up. The overhead display screen was able to solve that problem for most of the opera.

In the beginning, there were three comrades. Two men began to envy the faithfulness of the other man’s wife. However, only one was bold enough to test her faithfulness, and he was the Prince of Rome. He then entered her house at the darkest hour, which startled the faithful wife, Lucretia, and her two maids. The Prince did not leave. He pursued Lucretia as she did her best to resist him. She was not strong enough to keep him off of her. Her husband showed up the next morning, but by then the prince had already fled. Lucretia then spoke of the horrific events of the previous night with overwhelming shame. The hurt and embarrassed wife ended her own life with a blade, leaving her husband and maids devastated, and the last comrade to become the new ruler of Rome.

This story reminds me of present society because this is can be related back to a bullying incident, as well as a rape incident. Some kids become fed up with bullying and are so hurt mentally that they choose to take their own lives. Lucretia experience an extreme form of bullying. Rape victims are often too embarrassed to speak up about their experience. I’m sure some have even taken the route the Lucretia took in the opera by deciding to end their lives as well. It is very sad and unfortunate that people decide to take their lives instead of seeking help and justice for themselves. If people started to share their stories and experiences, they won’t only be saving their lives, they would be saving someone else’s as well.

I was extremely surprised that the opera had such a tragic ending. Yet, it was the main reason I enjoyed the performance. The unpredictability of what was going to happen once the husband came home was very astonishing. I really enjoyed tonight’s performance at the Krannert Center, and I am looking forward to attending the next.

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