His wife Clytemnestra convinces him to walk on a red carpet symbolizing hubris and later kills him and the slave Cassandra while he is in his bath. Each play has its own chorus and a nearly separate cast of characters, but the trilogy is given unity by the basis of its plots in the same cycle of legends.
A complete account of the legend, with reference to all its sources and variant versions, will be found in Volume II of The Greek Myths by Robert Graves, available in paperback edition, or in any other good handbook of classical mythology.
The story of The Eumenides, the last play, begins a few days later. So the Erinyes, or Furies, attack him instead. Athena persuades the Eumenides to accept a less vicious and hostile place in the pantheon of the gods and in the process of seeking justice and then names the Aeropagus as her earthly representatives, the embodiment of ultimate human justice in the world.
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 An analysis of the play the oresteia by aeschylus and is compelled to tell Menelaus how to reach home from the island of Pharos.
Contemporary background[ edit ] Some scholars believe that the trilogy is influenced by contemporary political developments in Athens. Athena gives the Eumenides a less powerful position among the gods and makes the Aeropagus her representatives and the holders of justice in the human world.
Each play of the trilogy is a self-contained dramatic unit, although the endings of the first two plays lead naturally into the play that follows them. Therefore, she found a new lover Aegisthus. When the vote of the Aeropagus turns out to be a tie, Athena casts the final vote—in favor of Orestes, who is freed from the torturous pursuit of the Eumenides.
The characters in the play often face difficulty when it comes to accepting the blame for their actions. 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.
Pindar and other poets made use of the legend also, and it provided the plots for many tragedies in addition to the trilogy by Aeschylus, including Electra by Sophocles, and Electra, Orestes, Iphigenia at Aulis, and Iphigenia in Tauris by Euripides.
The third play explains the end of the curse. Orestes is said to be the end of the curse of the House of Atreus. Athena appears at the temple and hears the stories of both sides.
Seen from one perspective, therefore, The Oresteia traces the development of law from the time when its enforcement rested The death of Cassandra, the princess of Troy, taken captive by Agamemnon in order to fill a place as a concubine, can also be seen as an act of revenge for taking another woman as well as the life of Iphigenia.
Before his departure to destroy the city of Troy, Agamemnon had sparked the wrath of Clytemnestra. Clytemnestra has been plotting her revenge against Agamemnon since his departure. Orestes would be cleared of murder, finally ending the family curse.
When Agamemnon finally returns, bringing a captured Trojan princess with him as a mistress, Clytemnestra puts her plans into action. The action of The Choephori, the second play, takes place a few years later. The god appears and tells him to seek justice at the temple of Athena, the goddess of justice, in Athens.
When Agamemnon returns, he has with him a mistress, a Trojan princess captured in the battle. He seduced Helen and carried her back with him to Troy.
He seeks out his sister Electra, then gains admittance to the palace by disguising himself and kills Clytaemestra and Aegisthus. The goddess rules in favor of Orestes meaning the pursuit by the Eumenides has come to an end.
Agamemnon was then told by the goddess Artemis that the only way he could get a favorable wind was to sacrifice his daughter to her.
The ancient Furies are transformed into benevolent spirits. She establishes a panel of judges, referred to as the Aeropagus, which will listen to the case and pass judgment. 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.
After that she kills the princess mistress as well. Athene casts the deciding vote and Orestes is acquitted. Revenge[ edit ] The theme of revenge plays a large role in the Oresteia. It is also in this part of the novel that it is discovered that the god Apollo played a part in the act of vengeance toward Clytaemnestra through Orestes.
January Learn how and when to remove this template message There are many didactic motives in the Oresteia, one of them being the matter of moral responsibility. A slave on a rooftop in Argos sees the distant fire, which has long been awaited as a signal that Troy has fallen and that the conquering hero, Agamemnon, King of Mycenae and Greek general, will soon be returning home from the ten-year ordeal.The Oresteia (Ancient Greek: Ὀρέστεια) is a trilogy of Greek tragedies written by Aeschylus in the 5th century BC, concerning the murder of Agamemnon by Clytaemnestra, the murder of Clytaemnestra by Orestes, the trial of Orestes, the end of the curse on the House of Atreus and pacification of the Erinyes.
The Oresteia Summary This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on The Oresteia by Aeschylus. The first play of the. 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.
The Oresteia is the only surviving example of a Greek tragic trilogy and thus has great importance in the history of drama. Each play of the trilogy is a self-contained dramatic unit, although the endings of the first two plays lead naturally into the.
The Oresteia consists of three plays, Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and The Eumenides. Agamemnon takes place when Agamemnon returns from Troy with two female slaves. His wife Clytemnestra convinces him to walk on a red carpet symbolizing hubris and later kills him and the slave Cassandra while he is in his bath.
Complete summary of Aeschylus' The Oresteia. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Oresteia.Download