The Complete Aeschylus: Volume I: The Oresteia
Based on the conviction that only translators who write poetry themselves can properly re-create the celebrated and timeless tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, the Greek Tragedy in New Translations series offers new translations that go beyond the literal meaning of the Greek in order to evoke the poetry of the originals. Aeschylus' Oresteia, the only ancient tragic trilogy to survive, is one of the great foundational texts of Western culture. It begins with Agamemnon, which describes Agamemnon's return from the Trojan War and his murder at the hands of his wife Clytemnestra, continues with her murder by their son Orestes in Libation Bearers, and concludes with Orestes' acquittal at a court founded by Athena in Eumenides. The trilogy thus traces the evolution of justice in human society from blood vengeance to the rule of law, Aeschylus' contribution to a Greek legend steeped in murder, adultery, human sacrifice, cannibalism, and endless intrigue. This new translation is faithful to the strangeness of the original Greek and to its enduring human truth, expressed in language remarkable for poetic intensity, rich metaphorical texture, and a verbal density that modulates at times into powerful simplicity. The translation's precise but complicated rhythms honor the music of the Greek, bringing into unforgettable English the Aeschylean vision of a world fraught with spiritual and political tensions.
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Aegisthus Aeschylus Agamemnon Agamemnon’s death altar anapests Antistrophe Apollo Areopagus Argive Argos Athena Athenian Atreidae avenge blood bring cassandra chorus leader choral chorus leader chorus leader apollo chorus leader cassandra chorus leader electra chorus leader orestes Chorus members Clytemnestra clytemnestra orestes crime Cronus curse dark dead Delphi dikeˆ earth electra electra chorus leader Erinyes Erinys Eumenides evil exits fate father final god’s goddess gods Greek hand hear heart herald Hermes honor house of Atreus Iphigenia jurors justice killed king land leader cassandra chorus leader orestes chorus Libation Bearers man’s Menelaus mother murder note on Agamemnon oracle Oresteia Orestes orestes chorus leader palace Phocis play prayer Pylades retribution rite robes sacrifice savior scene sing slaughter song sorrow spirit stage story Strophe suppliant tell there’s third libation Thyestes tomb translation trial trilogy Troy vengeance vote woman women words Zeus