Melos is a naïve young shepherd with a sense of equity. The land in which he lives is ruled by Dionys, a tyrant king who, because of his distrust of people, has killed many, even his own family members. When Melos hears about the King's deeds one day, he becomes enraged. He decides to assassinate the King, and so he sneaks into the castle with a knife, but is caught and arrested. Melos pleads with the King to postpone his execution and give him three days so that he can attend his younger sister's wedding. The King agrees, but on one condition: that Melos' friend Selinuntius is left as a hostage, and if Melos does not return in three days, he will be executed in Melos' stead. (Source: Wikipedia)