The play was written by the ancient Greek playwright Aeschylus or Aeschylus. He is one of the three oldest Greek tragedy writers, whose writings have not been completely lost. The other two are Sophocles and Euripides. Agamemnon is the great tragic trilogy, Orestier’s first play. Aeschylus wrote Oresteia in about 456 Pages. This is his only surviving trilogy. The other two plays in this trilogy are Choephori and Eumenides.The play takes place at the palace of King Agamemnon in Argos, Greece. The peninsula is located south of the Gulf of Corinth and north of the Mediterranean Sea. Argos is located in the northeastern part of the peninsula. The citizens of Argos were called Argives.
Agamemnon: Agamemnon, king of Argos, chief of the Greek army, and brother of Menelaus.
Clytemnestra: Clytemnestra is the wife of King Agamemnon and she ruled the kingdom in his absence.
Iphigenia: Iphigenia is the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra.
Cassandra: Cassandra is the daughter of King Prayam of Troy. After the fall of Troy, King Agamemnon accompanied him.
Aegisthus: Aegisthus is the cousin of King Agamemnon and the lover of Queen Clytemnestra. Agamemnon’s father killed Aegisthus’ brother and cooked and fed his father Thyestes.
Chorus: Chorus The old men of Argos play the role of chorus in this play. They were very weak so they did not go to war but helped Queen Clytemnestra.
The watchman: The watchman, he was assigned to sit on the roof of the palace. His job was to keep a watchful eye when light signals could be seen in the distance after the fall of Troy.
The Herald: The newscaster tells the chorus that Agamemnon has returned home safely. He tells them horrible stories of war.
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Agamemnon by Aeschylus Summary
At the beginning of the play, a guard is seen guarding the roof of King Agamemnon’s palace in the city of Argos. A beacon flashed in the distance. It was a sign of Greek victory over Troy. Seeing this, he jumped for joy and ran to tell Queen Clytemnestra the news. While the guards were running, the old men gathered at the palace of Argos and told the old story of how Helen, the wife of the Greek king Menelaus, was abducted by Prince of Troy, Paris, and how the Greeks fought them for ten years.
The chorus also commemorates King Agamemnon’s disgusting incident, in which Agamemnon killed his daughter Iphigenia for the sake of their god Artemis in order to get favorable sea air along the way. Queen Clytemnestra thanks . Chorus wants to know the reason for his sacrifice. He then said that he had learned through a flash of light that Troy had fallen last night. The elders are happy to hear this but cannot fully believe him. The news bearer arrives and reveals the truth of the news. They further say that they have had to go through a lot of hardships but they have won.
Queen Clytemnestra told him to go to King Agamemnon’s fleet and inform him that King Agamemnon should return soon. Before he left, the elders wanted to know the story of Menelaus, the brother of King Agamemnon. He told them that King Menelaus’s fleet had not been seen. Because on the way there was a terrible sea storm and many people ran towards the ship. Many, including Menelaus, are still missing after the storm.
This time the chorus sang about the horror of Helen’s beauty. Agamemnon finally returned. King Priam’s daughter Cassandra is taken in a chariot and he accepts Cassandra as his maid. Queen Clytemnestra greets him and tells the king that his love is as strong as ever. The king ordered a purple carpet to be laid to enter the palace. The king treats him very coldly and says that walking on this carpet is a kind of terrible arrogance for him. He kept urging the king to walk through it and enter the palace. However, King Agamemnon finally entered the palace.
At this time the elders of the chorus realized the foreboding of a kind of evil. Clytemnestra comes out so that Cassandra can go inside. This princess of Troy is completely silent at this point, and Queen Clytemnestra leaves her in such a depressing state. At this point Cassandra starts talking and she makes some incoherent predictions. He comments that there is a curse on Agamemnon’s house. Cassandra tells the chorus that their king will die soon, and then he too will die. He then further predicted that a person avenger would come forward. No one believes him. At this point he surrenders himself to fate and enters the house.
At one point the fear of the chorus increased. In the next scene, Agamemnon screams in pain. The chorus team is in a dilemma as to what to do next. Queen Clytemnestra opens the door. She is seen standing between her husband’s corpse and Cassandra. He (the queen) tells them that he has avenged the murder of his daughter Ephigenia. She then joins her boyfriend Agamemnon’s cousin Aegisthus. They both took over the reins of the state. The elders of the chorus say that Agamemnon’s son Orestes will come to avenge his father’s murder.