Aeschylus' Persians is the earliest extant Greek tragedy and sole surviving historical tragedy. It tells the story of the defeat of the Persian king Xerxes and his return in rags to Persia to face the condemnation of his elders. The first product of the Western imagination to represent the causes and limits of imperialist conquest, the play is unflinching in its depiction of the horrors of a defeated invasion and the glory of a successful defence. But it is not merely a paean to Western freedom, democracy, courage and technological supremacy; it is a meditation on the tendency of wealth, power and success to take on a momentum of their own and to push societies to the brink of ruin.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Adonis Aegean Aeschylean Aeschylus Agesilaus anapaestic antistrophe Apollonio Aristotle army Athenian Empire Athens audience Barbarian Asia battle of Salamis Briant Broadhead capture chariot chorus conquest Cyrus to Alexander daimon Darius dead death defeat depicts destroyed disaster divine drama elders Elegies Emptiness of Asia enslave Euripides father fear fleet Fornara gods Greece Greek Tragedy Groeneboom Hall hebe Hellespont Herodotus Homer Iliad hoplites hybris hymn interpretation invading invasion Inventing the Barbarian Ionian island king kingship kommos kosmos lament land Marathon Medes messenger messenger's metre Miletus mortals narrative naval battle oikos olbos parodos pathos Pausanias performance Pericles Persian empire Phoenician Women Phrynichus pity Plataea play play's Plutarch polis political Psyttalia Queen Queen's dream revolt ritual robes sack ships sians Simonides Spartan stage stasimon Strymon suffering symbolic Taplin tears temples Themistocles Thucydides Timotheus tomb tradition tragic tribute triremes victory wealth Winnington-Ingram woes Xenophon Xerxes yoke Zeus