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Transcript of Agamemnon
Revenge - Family By: Gabrielle Barone, Trevor Dickson, Dana Farkas, Alice Lee, Ryan Vyskocil, Anita Wai, & Jessica Wohlrob Fate and
Free Will Page 69-74
Right after Clytemnestra kills Agamemnon/Cassandra -The Chorus gives significant background
-The causes and events prior to the Trojan
-Sacrifice of Iphigenia [picture of her sacrifice]
-State of Argos during the Trojan War. Death of Iphigenia -Agamemnon offended the
goddess Artemis [below].
-Artemis would not allow safe passage to Troy.
-She demanded sacrifice of Agamemnon's daughter. Chorus Let's The Audience Delve Deeper into Characters and their Motives Background: Significance
Revenge- Daughter v. Husband/King
Chorus- Changing reaction, easily swayed
Power- Shifting roles & Symbolism Nets Darkness Purple - Foreshadowing death and evil
- Watchman in the beginning: Agamemnon coming home to death.
- “O Zeus our king and Night our friend/ Donor of glories,/ Night who cast ton the towers of Troy/ A close-clinging net so that neither the grown/ Nor any of the children can pass/ The enslaving and huge/ Trap of all-taking destruction” (355-61)
- Shows that even though darkness helped Agamemnon in the war, it will turn against him as it casts a net above him - Represents Agamemnon's hubris/pride
- Foreshadows retribution/revenge from Clytemnestra
- Purple represents a higher authority
- Cassandra's death - Foreshadowed her death - Agamemnon sacrificing Iphigeneia (daughter) -> Clytemnestra killed Agamemnon
- Tied to justice/judgment: did Clytemnestra kill Agamemnon for justice for her daughter or did she kill so she can be in love with Aegisthus or escape her fate - Was it Agamemnon’s fate to be killed by his wife? - Was it fate to sacrifice his daughter or was it his own free will to sacrifice his daughter to prevent ______
- Agamemnon inherited sins of father (fate)
- Tied to justice from gods -> could they have intervened and prevented Clytemnestra? -capable of giving us commentaries about a certain event or a character.
-The give us a lengthy description of Agamemnon upon his return to Argos.
-Agamemnon's excessive pride a.k.a ‘hubris’ (“the sinful Daring”) is seen in the lengthy and gruesome information about Iphigenia’s sacrifice.
-They also question Clytemnestra's reasons for the sacrifices. The Key Of Foreshadowing: - -They give us the sense of foreboding especially when the chorus converses with another "minor" character, Cassandra.
-The Chorus declares that Clytemnestra's son Orestes will return from exile to avenge his father.
-Reference to sins of the father, passed down to the son.
-Debate and deliberation.
-Made up of elders and old citizens; implication of knowledge and foresight. “Listen then to this – the sanction of my oaths:/ By the Justice totting up my child’s atonement,/ By the Avenging Doom and Fiend to whom I killed this man” (1431-3) Questions of justice from gods
- Are they just in not intervening?
- Could they have intervened? (Or is it fate?) “At once, at once let his way be strewn with purple/ That Justice lead him toward his unexpected home./ The rest a mind, not overcome by sleep,/ Will arrange rightly with God’s help, as destined.” (910-3)
- Agamemnon will walk on the purple tapestry that Clytemnestra laid out
- Bring him to his unexpected home (death)
- Shows his fate (it's destined to happen) Example 1:
- Clytemnestra: “If Agamemnon had/ Had so many wounds as those reported/ Which poured home through the pipes of hearsay, then – / Then he would be gashed fuller than a net has holes!” (865-8) Example 2:
- Cassandra: “A net, is it? Net of Hell!/ But herself is the net; shared bed; shares murder.” (1115-6)
- Cassandra knowing her fate, foreshadowing Example 3:
- “Thought to be friends, hang high the nets of doom/ To preclude all leaping out?” (1375-6)
- Could be Clytemnestra justifying Agamemnon's murder - stopping the family curse Is Agamemnon's death a result of his fate or free will? Mostly fate:
-“That he could neither fly nor ward off death;/ Inextricable like a net for fishes” (1381-2)
- Agamemnon's family is cursed, he is bound to follow same path Background info:
- Agamemnon’s father was cursed
- Causes Agamemnon's actions to sacrifice Iphigenia
- The sins get passed down by generation
- Introduction: “The sins of the fathers are visited on the children, so the children are victims of circumstance. But the children, because they are of the same blood, are tempted to sin in their turn.”
- Leads Clytemnestra to try to escape same fate as Agamemnon's family Example of family sin:
- Atreus (Agamemnon’s father) killed Thyestes’ young children (someone who seduced Atreus’ wife) and gave him them as meat. - In the end, there is no family structure
- Runs in a cycle, every generation is sinned (leads to themes of fate & free will and justice & revenge) Example:
-“That men must learn by suffering.”/Drop by drop in sleep upon the heart/ Falls the laborious memory of pain./ Against one’s will comes wisdom; (178-81)
- One's fate to suffer in order to gain wisdom Meaning:
- Easily controlled, tied down
- No escape, trapped, helpless, entanglement
- Foreshadows murder, death of both Agamemnon and Cassandra Character:
-man between two extremes
-man falls because of his mistakes
-strive for something necessary and probable
-must feel pity and fear
Tragic Hero: Agamemnon
-Agamemnon is coming back home from the war
-Artemis wants him to sacrifice his daughter
-tells people that they must thank gods
-->arrogant and pious, hubris
-under wife's control
-walks on purple carpet Plot:
-end or purpose is most important
-beginning, middle, and end
-beginning: waiting for the news of the Trojan War
-middle: Agamemnon vs. Cassandra vs. Clytemnestra
-end: Cassandra, Agamemnon, and Clytemnestra all die Melody/Language:
-powerful words used
in characters speeches
-chorus uses descriptive
(pg. 53 line 700) Thought:
-each character gives speeches that reveal their thoughts
-Clytemnestra's speech hints her anger towards her husband and her power over him
-Cassandra's speech foreshadows her and Agamemnon's death
-chorus' speech provide background and details Spectacle:
-costuming of characters,
-After Trojan War It's mainly her fault...but not entirely Helen of Troy Aeschylus (525B.C.-456B.C.) •Agamemnon has been off fighting in the Trojan War for ten years
•We learn that Agamemnon was forced to sacrifice his own daughter, Iphigenia, in order to withstand a storm en route to Troy. The earliest of the big three tragedians
first to establish the structure of a trilogy
Oresteia- his trilogy comprised of Agamemnon, Libation Bearers, & Eumenides
Agamemnon is merely part 1 of a trilogy Background of Agamemnon The Trojan War Clytemnestra is informed by a watchman that the Trojan War has ended.
she has been having an affair with his cousin, Aegisthus. We learn that Menelaus was lost in a storm returning to Troy
Agamemnon's brother and Helen's husband Agamemnon returns home with Cassandra, his prize during the Trojan War.
Obvious tension between Agamemnon and Clytemnestra
The Purple Carpet Cassandra reveals that she has been cursed by the gods
Predicts the murder of her and Agamemnon. Clytempestra kills Agamemnon and Cassandra
Joined by Aegisthus
Refer to Handout: Eris, Goddess of Discord Paris of Troy (Prince & son of King Priam) Background Simplified:
Brother of Menelaos
Decides to assist brother in retrieving his wife and engages in the Trojan War.
No wind to set sail, so he sacrifices daughter Iphigeneia to the goddess Artemis to obtain a favorable wind
10 years of warfare
Gods get involved and take sides
When Achilles is defeated, Greeks want to give up, but Odysseus (King of Ithaca) devises the Trojan Horse.
Cassandra (daughter of Priam) a prophetess warns her father the horse is not a gift and should not be taken into Troy.
The Greeks defeat Troy, and that takes us to the signal Clytemnestra recieves in the beginning of the play.