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Synopsis

THE APHRODITE OF MELOS (VENUS DE MILO), THE LARGE MARBLE STATUE OF THE GODDESS OF LOVE, CARVED IN THE 1ST OR 2ND CENTURY B.C., NOW IN THE LOUVRE, HAS BEEN THE MOST FAMOUS WOMAN IN THE WORLD SINCE SHE WAS DUG UP IN GREECE IN 1820. Ben Hastings, an American art history professor, thinks she holds deep secrets that he can discover if he lives alone with a full-sized copy of the statue. But three women won't let him alone. Helen, his wife; Silvia, a curvaceous young blonde; and Xenia, a dark-haired woman with a mysterious past, try to divert him from his obsession with Aphrodite and possess him for themselves. Do they succeed? Or does the power of the goddess prevail? Ben considers her to be the essence of woman, but she is replete with contradictions: whore or nurturing mother; a fragmented figure that yet forms a magnificent work of art; an iconic female but carved by a man. Although fast-paced and comical in tone, the play investigates many of the issues pondered by the ancient Greeks: the ideal vs. the real; sacred vs. profane love; one vs. many (which is more fundamental?). Is woman forever to be a mystery? Is the truth knowable? Are there some things we should not know? Read the play and decide if Ben finds out what he is searching for.

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