Allan, what a great, epic feel this has! The machinations and deceptions are very intriguing, and I'm excited to read more and see how events unfold.
Unfortunately, the first scene, with the guards, doesn't grab my attention at all. I didn't get into the play until scene 2. I certainly understand the role of the chorus in ancient dramas, but they're pretty out of fashion now, so if you're going to use the guards in that way, you need to make sure there's is a really interesting scene. Think more of the guards' scene in _Hamlet_. We don't just get exposition from that scene. Interesting things happen in it.
I'm also unsure as to why the scene note in some scenes have so much explanation in them. The audience will never see them, so they won't be any help in that regard, and they won't be of much use to a director and cast, either. The dialogue in the Laertes/Adelfo scene lays out why Laertes is there and what he needs from Adelfo; there's no need to summarize it beforehand. Similarly, just saying that Syntyche (is it "Syntyche" or "Sytyche"? You have it written both ways throughout the act) and Casta arrive at merchant's is sufficient; no one is helped by knowing that it is "far away".
Be wary of anachronistic speech. You have a good ear for the loftier, more high-flown language of older plays, but you periodically lapse into modernisms, like "We need to talk" and "It's so boring". Those are likely to throw audiences out of the story.
One last small note: in Scene 4, Laertes says
"I have another friend that Syntyche
Trusts most defiantly."
I'm guessing you meant "definitely" there. I don't normally point out minor mechanical errors, but those are two *very* different words.
I really like it too, you've done an excellent job of defining characters and setting up the conflict. I like a lot of the metaphors, such as Laertes comparing marriage to wine-making.
I agree with Awfly about the first scene. the writing is pretty loose there, it needs tightening. I know they are merely guards, but they speak in a way that isn't particularly interesting and often have a sort of "spongy" quality to their speech, where they meander and use more words than are required. Make the guards more interesting, perhaps make them funnier - it's important that the audience finds them interesting and listens to what they say for they are revealing to the audience the premise. If they are interested in the guards, they are interested in the premise.
Thanks for all the feedback! It is great to hear what I cannot see with my own eyes.
I was fighting over the guards, but I like the fact that they can start as just a chorus then perhaps come into the story later. It's good to get a break from the intense too with their laid-back style.
It is pretty loose all around, but I'm not surprised with one of my first drafts, haha. It's always hard to avoid new-age idioms when dealing with a historical work. And you're right about the 'definitely', I blame spell-check!
Again, thanks for the feedback! If you have works that need a pair of eyes, let me know.
I will try and upload the second act as soon as possible (It's getting close).