What’s Hecuba to him, or he to her, that he should weep for her?

And here we have it: both the power of theatre and the power of empathy in one simple idea.
What is anyone to anyone, really?
Why should we cry over the story of the woman who lost her child in the storm? Who is she to us or us to her that we should weep for her?
Why should we be moved by any story full of strangers?
And in truth, sometimes it is easier to weep for Hecuba than someone close to us. Hecuba’s loss is so vivid, so singularly focused.
And when the Player weeps for Hecuba, so do we then echo that feeling of sadness, that empathetic impulse radiates out.
Sometimes I wonder if theatre is just a spectacularly complex empathy delivery system.


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