painting by Makis E. Warlamis
The setting here is stark—an empty, windswept plane—the sort of set that Waiting for Godot is often staged on: we’re far out between towns, deep within some countryside, where two people are unlikely to encounter each other. Tiresias, the Blind Prophet of Thebes, is on a walk, and along comes Orlando, the title character from Virginia Woolf’s novel. Orlando, who is of noble birth, has only recently been changed—inexplicably—during seven mysterious days of unbroken sleep—from a man to a woman, and is crossing this plane heading from Constantinople back to England, his homeland. Tiresias assumes that Orlando will ask him for advice, and so speaks first.