An analysis of the three plays in the oresteria

Thyestes had a son with his daughter and named him Aegisthus, who went on to kill Atreus. He is the main character of the second and third plays, and, though he does not appear in Agamemnon, he is mentioned frequently and his return home is predicted. The Elders of Argos The chorus in Agamemnon.

Moreover, Orestes stands at the end of another line, a line not of kinship this time but of vengeance or retributive justice. In the process, Proteus tells Menelaus of the death of Agamemnon at the hands of Aegisthus as well as the fates of Ajax the Lesser and Odysseus at sea; and is compelled to tell Menelaus how to reach home from the island of Pharos.

In addition, there are certain underlying themes that continue from play to play and that reach their full resolution only at the conclusion of The Eumenides. Clytaemestra is by far the strongest character in the play.

A few years previously, legislation sponsored by the democratic reformer Ephialtes had stripped the court of the Areopagus, hitherto one of the most powerful vehicles of upper-class political power, of all of its functions except some minor religious duties and the authority to try homicide cases; by having his story being resolved by a judgement of the Areopagus, Aeschylus may be expressing his approval of this reform.

It can be argued that Agamemnon did not accept moral responsibility for sacrificing his daughter, Iphigenia, in order to be able to sail to Troy without the wind interfering. To put it simply, the curse demands blood for blood, a never ending cycle of murder within the family.

Ferdinando Baldiwho directed the film, was also a professor of classical literature who specialized in Greek tragedy. To avenge her death, Agamemnon is killed by his wife, Clytemnestra, in the first play of The Oresteia.

In Composer Iannis Xenakis adapted vocal work for chorus and 12 instruments In composer Felix Werder adapted the first play of the trilogy into an opera entitled Agamemnon. He appears as the defender of Orestes in The Eumenides.

Aegisthus Aegisthus appears briefly in Agamemnon and The Choephori. 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.

This trial is made up of a group of twelve Athenian citizens and is supervised by none other than Athena herself. The tension between tyranny and democracy, a common theme in Greek drama, is palpable throughout the three plays.

Justice through retaliation[ edit ] Retaliation is seen in the Oresteia in a slippery slope form, occurring subsequently after the actions of one character to another. That Aeschylus intended this is shown in The Eumenides, where Orestes is turned into a human symbol in the great moral conflict that is fought out on stage between Apollo, as representative of Zeus, and the Furies, as representative of the primitive, pre-Olympian religion.

Electra Electra does not have anything near the importance given her by Sophocles and Euripides in their plays based on the same legend. January This section possibly contains original research. Agamemnon is the first of a trilogy, the Oresteia, the other two parts of which are The Libation-Bearers and The Eumenides.

She then changes their names from the Furies to "the Eumenides" which means "the Kindly Ones".

The Oresteia - Play 3, Part 3 (p.215-230) Summary & Analysis

He is also the object of central focus between the Furies, Apollo, and Athena. Clytemnestra in particular is one of the most powerfully presented characters in ancient Greek drama. Seen from one perspective, therefore, The Oresteia traces the development of law from the time when its enforcement rested Resources English translation by E.

After the Chorus of old men, much of the main action of the play revolves around the antagonism and debate between Clytemnestra and Agamemnon. This does not mean that Agamemnon was not morally responsible. In the intervening time, her heart has died within her, and only someone as badly wounded as she could kill with so little apparent remorse.

The entire section is 1, words. There, Agamemnon was responsible for the defeat of the Trojan army and the slaughter of many innocent victims. To end the cycle of retribution, the gods Apollo and Athena must intervene and create a new institution, a court that for all future time will replace endless reprisals with divine justice.

The events of Agamemnon take place against a backdrop that would have been familiar to an Athenian audience. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations.

Agamemnon, The Choephori, and The Eumenides

Orestes drops out of the action before the final scene of the play. Any of the three plays can be presented alone without too much loss of understanding, but the meaning and dramatic effect of the works is enhanced by production or reading of them as a group.

Agamemnon Agamemnon is a powerful king, a great conqueror and leader of men, but as characterized by Aeschylus he has certain crucial weaknesses that lead to his downfall.

Eventually, after describing some of the atrocities that have already been perpetrated within the cursed House of Atreus, she chooses to enter anyway, knowing that she cannot avoid her fate. Analysis of themes[ edit ] In this trilogy there are multiple themes carried through all three plays. Contemporary background[ edit ] Some scholars believe that the trilogy is influenced by contemporary political developments in Athens.

When Thyestes learned what he unwittingly had done, he cursed Atreus and all of his children; the curse upon the house of Atreus was thus renewed. Even years of torment by the Furies in The Eumenides do not weaken this belief.

By the end of the trilogy, Orestes is seen to be the key, not only to ending the curse of the House of Atreus, but also in laying the foundation for a new step in the progress of humanity, although he is only mentioned briefly in this first play.Summary and Analysis The Oresteia: Introductory Note Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List.

At the beginning of the fifth century, it was customary for each of the tragedians who were competing at the festival of Dionysus to present a trilogy of three plays on a related theme, followed by a satyr-play.

The Oresteia is the only ancient Greek trilogy to survive. (Sophocles’ Theban Trilogy consists of three plays that were actually written many years apart and never performed together during the.

The Oresteia Summary

Agamemnon (Ἀγαμέμνων, Agamémnōn) is the first of the three plays within the Oresteia trilogy. It details the homecoming of Agamemnon, King of Mycenae, from the Trojan War. After ten years of warfare, Troy had fallen and all of Greece could lay claim to killarney10mile.comn by: Aeschylus.

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.

Overall Analysis. Agamemnon is the first play in a trilogy, the Oresteia, which is considered Aeschylus' greatest work, and perhaps the greatest Greek tragedy. Of the plays in the trilogy, Agamemnon contains the strongest command of language and characterization.

The poetry is magnificent and moving, with skillful portrayal of major and minor characters alike. “The Oresteia” trilogy by the ancient Greek playwright Aeschylus consists of the three linked plays “Agamemnon”, “The Libation Bearers” and “The Eumenides”.The trilogy as a whole, originally performed at the annual Dionysia festival in Athens in BCE, where it won first prize, is considered to be Aeschylus’ last authenticated, and also his greatest, work.

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An analysis of the three plays in the oresteria
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