Agamemnon

Agamemnon
Context
Aeschylus was born in Eleusis, a Greek town near Athens, in 525 B.C. He was the first of the great Greek tragedians, preceding both Sophocles and Euripides, and is credited by many as having invented tragic drama. Prior to Aeschylus, plays were more rudimentary, consisting of a single actor and a chorus offering commentary. In his works, Aeschylus added a "second actor" (often more than one), creating a new range of dramatic possibilities. He lived until 456 B.C., fighting in the wars against Persia, and attaining great acclaim in the world of the Athenian theater.
Aeschylus wrote nearly ninety plays. However, only seven have survived to the modern era, including such famous works as Prometheus Bound and The Seven Against Thebes. Agamemnon is the first of a trilogy, the Oresteia, the other two parts of which are The Libation-Bearers and The Eumenides. The trilogy--the only such work to survive from Ancient Greece--is considered by many critics to be the greatest Athenian tragedy ever written, because of its poetry and the strength of its characters.
Agamemnon depicts the assassination of the title character by his wife, Clytemnestra, and her lover. The Libation-Bearers continues the story with the return of Agamemnon's son, Orestes, who kills his mother and avenges his father. In The Eumenides, Orestes is pursued by the Furies in punishment for his matricide, and finally finds refuge in Athens, where the god Athena relieves him of his persecution.
The events of Agamemnon take place against a backdrop that would have been familiar to an Athenian audience. Agamemnon is returning from his victory at Troy, which has been besieged for ten years by Greek armies attempting to recover Helen, Agamemnon's brother's wife, who was stolen by the treacherous Trojan Prince, Paris. (The events of the Trojan War are recounted in Homer's Iliad.) The tragedies of the play occur as a result of the crimes committed by Agamemnon's family. His father, Atreus,...
  • Agamemnon
    is welcomed home by the chorus. They sing of how proud they are of him. Agamemnon feels he's done justice. His wife seems to forget the pain over her dead child...
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    punished by his own city because his people fear him. Agamemnon shows how people have choices. Agamemnon had a choice whether or not to sacrifice his daughter, and...
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    Secretly while Agamemnon was away fighting in the Trojan War, Clytaemestra carried out an affair with Agamemnons sworn enemy, Aegisthus. Agamemnon knows nothing...
  • Agamemnon Essay 8
    that the temples in Troy were destroyed which further brings down Agamemnon's stature. Agamemnon arrives with Cassandra, his newly captured servant, and is praised...
  • Agamemnon Essay 7
    the two got word of Agamemnon's return from Troy they began to plot against Agamemnon. Clytemnestra prayed to the Gods to let Agamemnon make it home because she...