[Ajax and Odysseus]; Achilles Armour

This dialogue is about the elements in Cynics that support virtue.  The first character is Ajax or Telamonian Ajax.  He is at one end of the heroic scale:  strong, blunt, and frank in speech.  Then there is Odysseus, who is intelligent, and has a talent for subterfuge and deceit.  Both are moulting  over the right to lead the army, since Achilles is dead.  In this spirit, I have imagined them being two different sides of the same coin:  the Cynics.

Ajax:  I see you shine your armour.

Odysseus:  Of course, the men must see me to follow me into battle.

A:  Why not throw your armour into battle and let the men do their best fighting.

O:  Your cunning wit disarms me.

A:  If you can not take my little joke, shut up!

O:  I call the men to train with me.  What do you say?

A:  Go play games, coward.  I go to war.  Those that join me will fight and be victorious.

O:  You are right Ajax.  I am not that bold, but my army will join the fight on your side.

A:  Good, I will fight with any man.

O:  You, prefer to fight alone.

At that insult, the two men part company.  Ajax bounding outside becomes enraged and starts to slaughter the animals.  Odysseus hearing the crying horses, says one last comment to those nearby.

O:  I fear Ajax’s rage will be his undoing;  his emotions will get the better of him.

Once Ajax regains his senses and realizes that he has killed all the animals, he commits suicide.



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