Agamemnon

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Mar 21, 2013 - Drama - 55 pages
3 Reviews
Aeschylus' Agamemnon, first produced in 458 BC, is the opening play in his Oresteian trilogy. Agamemnon returns home after the Trojan Wars with his concubine Cassandra and is murdered by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover, Aegisthus. The ensuing blood feud continues until the third and final play, Eumenides, when peace is finally restored to the house of the Atreidae. It is a powerful and moving play which is difficult to interpret and which for a long time lacked an English edition.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - David.Alfred.Sarkies - LibraryThing

This is the first part of the only Greek trilogy that we have. The play is set after the Trojan War in the city of Argos, of which Agamemnon is the ruler. Agamemnon's wife learns of the defeat of the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - aoibhealfae - LibraryThing

Agamemnon is one of the Oresteian trilogy that followed the story of Agamemnon's homecoming from the Trojan Wars and the subsequent tragedy that lead from his unfaithful wife, Clytemnestra. This play ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2013)

Aeschylus was born at Eleusis of a noble family. He fought at the Battle of Marathon (490 b.c.), where a small Greek band heroically defeated the invading Persians. At the time of his death in Sicily, Athens was in its golden age. In all of his extant works, his intense love of Greece and Athens finds expression. Of the nearly 90 plays attributed to him, only 7 survive. These are The Persians (produced in 472 b.c.), Seven against Thebes (467 b.c.), The Oresteia (458 b.c.)---which includes Agamemnon, Libation Bearers, and Eumenides (or Furies) --- Suppliants (463 b.c.), and Prometheus Bound (c.460 b.c.). Six of the seven present mythological stories. The ornate language creates a mood of tragedy and reinforces the already stylized character of the Greek theater. Aeschylus called his prodigious output "dry scraps from Homer's banquet," because his plots and solemn language are derived from the epic poet. But a more accurate summation of Aeschylus would emphasize his grandeur of mind and spirit and the tragic dignity of his language. Because of his patriotism and belief in divine providence, there is a profound moral order to his plays. Characters such as Clytemnestra, Orestes, and Prometheus personify a great passion or principle. As individuals they conflict with divine will, but, ultimately, justice prevails. Aeschylus's introduction of the second actor made real theater possible, because the two could address each other and act several roles. His successors imitated his costumes, dances, spectacular effects, long descriptions, choral refrains, invocations, and dialogue. Swinburne's (see Vol. 1) enthusiasm for The Oresteia sums up all praises of Aeschylus; he called it simply "the greatest achievement of the human mind." Because of his great achievements, Aeschylus might be considered the "father of tragedy.

Bibliographic information