The beautiful Alcestis has agreed to die so her husband, King Admetus of Pherae, can live. Her husband is distraught at the thought of losing her (though not so distraught as to call the deal off). The whole kingdom is in tears, but at least they have the consolation of knowing it'll make a beautiful story. And so the maiden goes to her death, and everyone agrees it's all beautifully tragic. Everyone, that is, except the hero Heracles. Hard-drinking, over-sexed, in love with life, Heracles can't see the point in being sad when you don't need to. If Alcestis' death makes his friend Admetus sad, he'll bring her back--even if he has to fight Death to do it. But if that happens, what becomes of the beautiful tragedy?