The Agamemnon Of Aeschylus Essay

2327 words - 9 pages

The Agamemnon of Aeschylus

Prologue: The Watchman on the roof of the Palace of Agamemnon at Mycenae presents the facts. He has been watching a year for the fire signal that will announce Troy's capture, and all is not well within the house. He sees the beacon at last and will tell Clytemnestra, Agamemnon's wife. He rejoices at the news for it means his master will be coming home.

Parodos or Entry of the Choros, who are Elders of Argos, counsellors to the Queen Regent. They chant about the expedition against Troy. The sons of Atreus (Agamemnon and Menelaus) are seen as birds whose nest has been robbed by the stealing of Helen. Par is who stole her thereby offended against Zeus, the God of the host and guest. With legal images the old men say that Paris will be punished. They themselves were too old to go to war ten years ago; like the old man in the Sphynx's riddle they lean on staffs. Clytemnestra enters with slaves to make sacrifice at the altars; the choros ask her why sacrifices are being made but she ignores them and does not answer.

The choros continue with the first Ode, a song about Aulis and what happened there, The omen of the pregnant hare attacked by the eagles: Calchas the prophet interpreted it to mean that Troy would fall but that the goddess Artemis will try to prevent the destruction of Troy. The sons of Atreus, he said, must not annoy the gods. There will be ominous sacrifice; the refrain to this Ode is "Sing sorrow, sorrow, but may the good prevail!" (Almost a summary of the Oresteia).

Hymn to Zeus: A special appeal to the god who, as the third in succession of father gods triumphed over a more primitive past. The choros say that man learns by suffering and that is Zeus' rule.

Returning to the Ode about Aulis: the choros narrate how Agamemnon's expedition against Troy was disastrously held up by contrary winds and Calchas said that a maiden had to be sacrificed to Artemis Iphigeneia, Agamemnon's daughter, so that he should be forced to give up the expedition -( a maiden for a whore). When Agamemnon decided to sacrifice her the choros thought him wrong. She did not die willingly but had to be gagged -ominous in a sacrifice, so that it would bring a curse.

Episode 1: Clytemnestra enters; when the choros leader asks the news she tells them that Troy is taken. They do not at first believe her, thinking that it is a woman's fancies and baseless. This annoys her and in a brilliant speech she details the beacon chain that brought the news to Argos. She then imagines sympathetically what is now going on in Troy and warns the absent Greeks to be respectful of the gods since they still have to get home safely, and if they have annoyed the gods they will be...

Find Another Essay On The Agamemnon of Aeschylus

The Tragedies of Agamemnon Essay

671 words - 3 pages Agamemnon is a Greek play that has a wonderful balance of drama and action. Despite all of the thrilling and impressive dialect, the story remains a tragedy. It has several deaths mentioned and recalled, as well as thick plots being plotted, and a gripping storyline. All of these things are tragedies because of the human emotion behind them. It is what makes this story interesting. One of the tragedies in this play is that Agamemnon kills his

Black Fate- Analysis of Aeschylus' The Persians

929 words - 4 pages Aeschylus' play, The Persians, took place at the Persian Royal Palace in Susa. It depicted the emotional response of the Persian Elders, the Queen Mother Atossa, a herald, King Xerxes, and the ghost of Darius upon hearing the news of the Persian defeat at the Battle of Salamis against the Greeks. The play began with a conversation amongst the Persians elders about their war with the Greeks. They possessed grave trepidations because of a lack

Oresteia - The Issue of Justice in Aeschylus' Eumenides

2550 words - 10 pages Oresteia - The Issue of Justice in Aeschylus' Eumenides The concept of justice is manifested through the three plays of Aeschylus' Oresteia. The old tradition of justice, the private blood feud, caused an ungoverned succession of violent acts that spiralled uncontrollably. Aegisthus, Clytemnestra's lover, is introduced in Agamemnon; he desires vengeance for the plot contrived by Agamemnon's father (Ag: 1605-1611).1 Neither Agamemnon nor

Discuss the portrayal of women in The Agamemnon

1155 words - 5 pages away,' cheating on Agamemnon with Aegisthus. Also Clytaemestra performs the ultimate betrayal to Agamemnon when she 'Struck him down' and kills him. Cassandra's description of Clytaemestra as a 'viper, double-fanged' seems to fit the portrayal of women as treacherous perfectly.It seems likely that in writing this Aeschylus is warning men to be careful of their wives, as they are not to be trusted. Even Cassandra who the Chorus call 'wise' and

Comparing the Portrayal of Clytemnestra in Agamemnon and Electra

2201 words - 9 pages Comparing the Portrayal of Clytemnestra in Agamemnon and Electra In both Electra and Agamemnon, Euripides and Aeschylus have chosen to represent Clytemnestra as a complex character being neither all bad nor all good - the signature of a sophisticated playwright. In Agamemnon, Clytemnestra is a morbidly obsessive woman, utterly consumed by the murder of her daughter for which the audience cannot help but sympathise; she

The Philosophy and Psychology of Sophocles’s Antigone and The Eumenides in Aeschylus’ Oresteia

2452 words - 10 pages same house!” (Euripides, 232). The play Iphigenia at Aulis supports the idea that Clytemnestra should not kill Agamemnon because he sacrificed their child. Iphigenia tells her mother that she must not be mourned, “Do not hate my father, your husband” (Euripides, 350). Therefore Clytemnestra cannot use the sacrifice of her daughter to justify the murder of her husband as she does in Aeschylus’ Oresteia: “No stealthier than the death he dealt

Agamemnon by Aeschylus

803 words - 3 pages . Clytemnestra wants to be there for her daughter’s supposed wedding, She wants to be the one to raise the bridal torch, and plan the wedding, unaware that there is no marriage at all. Also, she gives Agamemnon a guilt trip about how he killed her last husband, and how she learned to love him and bore 3 children for him. She thinks it is cruel to take one of them away from her. Achilles finds out what is going on and says that since they have been

Account for the different interpretations and perspectives of the Battle of Salamis as described by Herodotus, Aeschylus and Plutarch

1177 words - 5 pages Herodotus, Aeschylus and Plutarch are all directed by the views of the society of their time. While the three classical writers have similarities, they came from different periods in history. They have gathered evidence or information from varying sources, focused on different aspects, and used different text types to tell the tale. These factors have influenced their thinking, and accounts for their differences in perception and interpretation

Why does Agamemnon die? An analysis of Aeschylus's 'Agamemnon' from the Orestia trilogy which examines the multiple causes of his death. Based on a reading of the play in translation

1337 words - 5 pages Aeschylus' Oresteia: AgamemnonWhy did Agamemnon die?Aeschylus' tragedy, the Agamemnon, is the opening play in the only surviving Greek trilogy: the Oresteia. The Agamemnon has a multifaceted plot, charting the reasons for the hero's legendary unexpected death on his victorious return from Troy. Aeschylus manipulates the original myth in order to accentuate the dangers of giving power to a woman, hence Clytemnestra's murder of Agamemnon as

Agamemnon a Tragedy by Aeschylus

2061 words - 8 pages Aeschylus’ well-known tragedy of Agamemnon allows one to closely look at the treasured polytheistic religious ideas of Ancient Greece and how the Grecians relied heavily on the thought of free will versus fate determined by their gods. With the play being set and written in Greece, the polytheistic lifestyle is apparent and unabashed as the culture of the time would have seen the play to be easily believable; the entire audience would have been

Death by Aeschylus Reasons Why Teachers Should not Force Students to Study Agamemnon

1077 words - 4 pages quarrelsome era. No compassionate instructor should teach Agamemnon. Agamemnon is a laborious play written by the caustic character commonly known as Aeschylus. There are reasons for the abhorrence. It is boorish, it does not fit Aristotle?s definition of tragedy nor does it fit his six elements. It is contrived, and it serves no purpose in the actor?s repertory. It is the bane of theatrical history students everywhere, and therefore the work should burn

Similar Essays

Analysis Of Aeschylus Agamemnon

4886 words - 20 pages Analysis of Aeschylus Agamemnon Characters- The Watchman Clytaemnestra The Herald Agamemnon Cassandra Aegisthus The Chorus 1). The Watchman: • The watchman sets the time and place for the play (Agamemnon’s palace in Argos, the house of Atreus); he describes the many miserable nights he has spent on the rooftop of the palace watching for the signal fires that will herald the fall of Troy. • The watchman is one Aeschylus’s

The Importance Of Structure In "The Agamemnon" Is A Classic Greek Tragedy Written By Aeschylus

1586 words - 6 pages The Agamemnon is a classic Greek tragedy written by Aeschylus in which he entails the continuation of the curse on the house of Atreus in the time period following the end of the Trojan War and the return of King Agamemnon. This play tells of the murders of Cassandra and Agamemnon-by-Agamemnon's wife Clytemestra. Throughout the play many aspects have a profound effect on the structure. Things such as the chorus, audience, the use of common

Gender Roles In The Play: Agamemnon By Aeschylus

1091 words - 5 pages In the play Agamemnon, Aeschylus depiction of gender roles are both typical and atypical of a standard male or female behavior in the culture and era because male characters in ancient Greece resemble the powerful nature of a warrior. They are seen as the head of the household where the male role is to go out and do hard labour to provide for the family and bring honor to the country, while females are to stay home to tend the kids and do house

Chorus Intervention In Aeschylus' The Eumenides And Agamemnon

982 words - 4 pages In The Eumenides and Agamemnon of The Oresteia trilogy, Aeschylus constructs an over-arching metaphor for elements of the new Athenian democracy. The chorus in each play represents the people who feel under-represented and disrespected, by the society's changing values. In The Eumenides, the chorus of Furies is frustrated with the younger gods and infringements on their power; in Agamemnon the chorus fears more the control of an effective woman