The Oresteia: Agamemnon; The Libation Bearers; The Eumenides
In the Oresteia Aeschylus addressed the bloody chain of murder and revenge within the royal family of Argos. As they move from darkness to light, from rage to self-governance, from primitive ritual to civilized institution, their spirit of struggle and regeneration becomes an everlasting song of celebration. In Agamemnon, a king's decision to sacrifice his daughter and turn the tide of war inflicts lasting damage on his family, culminating in a terrible act of retribution; The Libation Bearers deals with the aftermath of Clytemnestra's regicide, as her son Orestes sets out to avenge his father's death; and in The Eumenides, Orestes is tormented by supernatural powers that can never be appeased. Forming an elegant and subtle discourse on the emergence of Athenian democracy out of a period of chaos and destruction, The Oresteia is a compelling tragedy of the tensions between our obligations to our families and the laws that bind us together as a society.
The only trilogy in Greek drama that survives from antiquity, Aeschylus' The Oresteia is translated by Robert Fagles with an introduction, notes and glossary written in collaboration with W.B. Stanford in Penguin Classics.
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THE SERPENT AND THE EAGLE
THE LIBATION BEARERS
THE GENEALOGY OF ORESTES
THE LIBATION BEARERS
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action Aegisthus Aeschylus Agamemnon Apollo Argos Athena Atreus avenge become begins birth blood break bring Cassandra child chorus clear Clytaemnestra comes crime curse dark daughter dead death Delphi dreams Earth effect ELECTRA Eumenides eyes fate father final fire force Furies give glory gods Greek grief guilt hand hear heart hope human husband Introduction judges justice kill kind king land LEADER leads Libation light lines lives Look lord mean mother murder never night notes Olympian once Oresteia Orestes pain perhaps Persians play prayer purges queen reach revenge rise rites robes Saving sense sing spirit stands struggle suffer tears tell terror things third trial triumph Troy truth turn vengeance victim victory vision woman women young Zeus