Synopsis: Die toten Augen

from Eugen d' Albert

The Dead Eyes

The prelude (and postlude) relate the parable of the Good Shepherd.

The drama takes place on the original Palm Sunday. The hunchbacked Roman ambassador Arcesius has a beautiful blind wife, Myrtocle. Jesus's healing hands restore her sight, although a voice warns her that she will regret the miracle. Myrtocle returns home but first sees and kisses Arcesius's friend Galba (himself in love with her) whereupon Arcesius kills Galba in a jealous fury. Myrtocle remorsefully burns her sight away in the rays of the sun and tells her husband that she could not identify Galba's killer, so she continues to hope that one day she will see Arcesius for the first time.