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Agamemnon essay
← Native American Author: Paula UnderwoodBetween Two Gardens →

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Mythology writings considerable to be everlasting literature with vivid contribution to modern society and the issued we deal today. One of the most well known mythological writings is Aeschylus - the story of love and hate, potion and bedrail. Aeschylus introduces the theme that one crime breeds another and provides a history of sinfulness for which must eventually be punished. In this paper I will try to identify key themes and factors that had contributed to Agamemnon's death. The theme of revenge can be traced back two generations to the time of Agamemnon's father, Atreus, who had quarreled violently with his brother Thyestes. As a result of this quarrel, Atreus killed Thyestes's sons and fed them to him at a reconciliation banquet. Thyestes, overcome with horror, produced a child with his surviving daughter. The offspring of that sexual union was Aegisthus, the future lover and coconspirator of Clytemnestra.( Prag, p.54) The Curse on the House of Atreus prevails as the chorus alludes to the sacrifice by Agamemnon of his daughter, Iphigenia, "By gagging her lovely mouth to stifle a cry that would have brought a curse upon his house," (Fagles, Robert & W. B. Stanford, p.41). Nonetheless, Clytemnestra hears Iphigenia's cries and blames the chorus for "raising no opposition to Agamemnon, who sacrificed his own child" (Fagles, Robert & W. B. Stanford, p.105). Clytemnestra cites the sacrifice of Iphigenia as justifiable means for murdering Agamemnon. Thus, it appears that the cycle of murder and revenge will go on forever unless an acceptable moral solution is found. The depraved cycle resumes in the first play of The Oresteia, when Clytemnestra deceptively murders her husband, Agamemnon, upon his return from the battle of Troy.( Prag, p.54) She "swears by the justice accomplished for her child" (Zeitlin, p.106), but it is all too evident that she revels in the murder. The Chorus describes "the blood-fleck in her eyes as clear to see" (Zeitlin, p. 105). The audience learns of Agamemnon and Cassandra's murder "from the king's cries of pain from inside" (Zeitlin, p.101), but upon her return she basks in the glory of the murder saying, "I rejoice, if you will rejoice, but I exult in it," (104). The reality that she exults and rejoices in the murder is unmistakable from the words she utters afterwards. She has no doubts about what justice involves: it is based upon revenge. She acts in accordance with the old ethic to destroy those in the name of vengeance. However, she fails to reflect that "blood once shed necessitates revenge" (Fagles, Robert & W. B. Stanford p.126).
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Orestes must kill his mother to avenge wrongs done to his father. The diction in The Oresteia reveals the true character of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon, through their usage of personal pronouns in their speeches.( Prag, p. 76) These two characters are considerably egomaniacal, never considering the warnings of other characters due to their vanity. Agamemnon could have ended the cycle of revenge if he had listened to the Chorus when they told him, "In time shall you learn by inquiry which of the citizens has guarded the city justly and which has failed to keep the proper limit" (Fagles, Robert & W. B. Stanford, p.72). The Chorus was warning Agamemnon that while he was gone Clytemnestra did not act as a devoted wife should act, but he ignores their warning. Furthermore, he is easily coaxed into dishonoring the gods by walking on "embroidered splendors that you should only honor the gods with" (Fagles, Robert & W. B. Stanford, p.77). ...
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