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Aeschylus' Oresteia

Aeschylus' Oresteia

Copyright Date: 1987
Pages: 229
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  • Book Info
    Aeschylus' Oresteia
    Book Description:

    The major part of Conacher's work is a detailed running commentary on, and dramatic analysis of, the three plays. It is supplemented in notes and appendixes by discussions of the philological problems relevant to the interpretation, and by a sampling of other scholaraly views on a number of controversial points.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7067-9
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-2)
  4. CHAPTER ONE Agamemnon
    (pp. 3-101)

    InAgamemnon, the seeds of the action on which the tragic meaning depends are all certain violent deeds of the past: the crime of King Agamemnonʹs father, Atreus, against his brother, Thyestes, when Atreus served Thyestes a banquet of his own childrenʹs flesh; the abduction of Helen, wife of Menelaus (Agamemnonʹs brother) by the Trojan prince Paris, adulterous guest at Menelausʹ table; the sacrifice by Agamemnon of his daughter Iphigenia to Artemis, to win favourable winds for the expedition bringing ʹZeusʹ justiceʹ against Troy. Each of these deeds, it will be noted, involves a crime against the house or the...

  5. CHAPTER TWO Choephori (The Libation Bearers)
    (pp. 102-138)

    The action of theChoephoriThe Libation Bearersʹ) concerns the deed of vengeance on Clytemnestra and Aegisthus, that necessary purification of the house of Atreus which Orestes must perform with Electra to vindicate their father and restore the house to its true succession. Thus theChoephoriis a sombre and terrifying play, for the vengeance, however justified, involves the deed of matricide, an act more polluting, more certain to call forth the outraged powers which support the laws of nature, than any of the deeds of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra that precede it. Aeschylus was more aware than either of the...

  6. CHAPTER THREE Eumenides
    (pp. 139-222)

    The scene is set at Apolloʹs Oracle at Delphi and the first part of the prologue (an unusually complex one for Aeschylus) is spoken by the Pythia, the priestess of the Oracle. ʹGaia … Themis … Phoebe … Apollo,ʹ in this order, are honoured in the Priestessʹ opening prayer, as she describes the peaceful transition of mantic power from the chthonic gods which once held Delphi to its present Olympian lord.¹ In the last play, we have seen the alliance of supernal and infernal powers in the execution of Orestesʹ vengeance on Clytemnestra. In this play, we are to witness...

  7. Bibliography
    (pp. 223-229)