Aeschylus' Oresteia is a tragedy of inescapable killing within one family, such that each generation must avenge it in kind. Right and wrong are ambiguous in this harsh system. Their conflict is resolved, and the family saved from extinction, in the case of Orestes the latest and matricidalkiller. The gods' wisdom and the human process together inaugurate a way of just conduct which will ensure stable families and community; and the exemplary setting for this transition from the mythic to the historical is Aeschylus' own city of Athens.The Oresteia is majestic as theatre and poetry; its recent successful return to the stage has confirmed its very high place in world drama. This new and close translation tries to preserve these qualities: introductory and explanatory matter emphasizes the interconnection of scenes, ideas, andlanguage which distinguishes this unique work, the only trilogy to survive from Greek tragedy.
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PlayTitles and Works Frequently Cited
Dramatic form and language in Aeschylus
reception and public response
Family Trees of the Principal Characters of the Oresteia Ixxvi
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Aegisthus Aeschylus Agamem Agamemnon allusion ancient anger Apollo Areopagus Argos Athena Athenian Atreidae Atreus Aulis avenge blood bloodshed bring Calchas Cassandra chant CHORUS Chorus's Clytemnestra conjecture curse dead death Delphi dishonour door earth echo editors Electra Eumenides Euripides evil eyes fate father fear Furies give goddess gods Greek Tragedy Greek word grief hear heart Helen HERALD Homer honour house's husband idea Iliad imagery insecure Introduction Iphigenia jurors justice killed lament land Libation Bearers line missing literally Loxias lyric matricide meaning Menelaus metaphor mortal mother murder mythic oracle Oresteia Orestes palace perhaps play pollution prayer prophetic punishment Pylades revenge ritual role ruin sacrifice scene sing Sommerstein song Sophocles speak speech stanzas stichomythia stranger Strophius suppliant tell theatre things Thyestes tomb translation trilogy Trojan Troy Troy's underworld vengeance victory West's woman women Zeus