The God Apollo has tricked the Fates into sparing King Admetus when it is his time to die. Yet in exchange, Admetus has to find another mortal to take his place in the Underworld. After his aged parents refuse to step in to save him it is Admetus' noble wife Alcestis who agrees to give her life, hoping to spare her children from growing up without a father. She dies leaving her husband alive, yet alone.
Into this royal house in mourning stumbles the hero Heracles who is oblivious to the sad event that has come to pass. He will use his remarkable strength to assure that the Fates will not have the final word. This English adaptation of Euripides' classic play is in rhymed verse to create a close approximation of the rhythms and poetry of the original Greek text.