Agamemnon – Book Review

Agamemnon is a Greek Tragedy written by Aeschylus in 458 B.C.E… It is the first play in the trilogy, Oresteia. The story is an ancient myth-family tragedy, involving blood guilt acts of curse, vengeance, and the wrath of Gods. Oresteia marks the end of the curse on the House of Atreus and the peace with the female deities, Furies.

About the Author :

Aeschylus was an ancient Greek writer. He is specialized in writing Greek tragedies and is often referred to as the father of tragedy. Literary critics and scholars acknowledge that his earlier tragedies and plays form the basis for the genre of ‘tragedy’. Some of his surviving plays are The Persians, Seven against Thebes, Prometheus Bound, and The Suppliants. His trilogy, The Oresteia, includes Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and The Eumenides.

About the Book :

In the trilogy of The Oresteia, Agamemnon is the first play. The play occurs during the Trojan War revolving around the murder of Agamemnon. King Agamemnon returns after winning the Trojan War at Troy. He brings with him the enslaved daughter of the Trojan king, Cassandra as his concubine. Cassandra is gives the power of foreseeing future events but is cursed by Apollo that no one will believe her prophecies until it happens. She understands the gruesome events forthcoming to the House of Atreus.

Clytemnestra, the wife of Agamemnon plots to kill Agamemnon. She dares to do it as a revenge for sacrificing their daughter, Iphigenia at Aulis as an offering to the Goddess Artemis. On arrival of Agamemnon, she persuades him to walk on purple carpet, which would indicate hubris, challenging the Greek gods, and would lead to his downfall. However, Agamemnon crosses the purple tapestry, angering the Green god nemesis. Later, Clytemnestra kills Agamemnon in his bath, strangling him with his robe and cuts him with three stokes of a pelekus.

Soon, Clytemnestra joins with her lover and Agamemnon’s dispossessed cousin, Aegisthus, who is now the king. When the chorus starts a brawl with them, Clytemnestra wildly swings the axe and halts the dispute. The play ends with the chorus reminding the audience about the arrival of Orestes, the son of Agamemnon, seeking for a vengeance.

The role of Gods in the play is inevitable. The curse and wrath of Gods causes all the consequences. The play shows how the Greek gods affected the lives of the humans in the Greek myths. Some of the themes in this trilogy are revenge, fate, injustice, and violence.

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