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  1. From Suffering, Knowledge? Aeschylus’ Agamemnon 1

  2. Agenda • Recap & Update • Aeschylean Patterns, cont’d. . . • Victim or Monster? • Or, Is Clytemnestra “Tragic”? aeschylus agamemnon 1

  3. Recap & Update Aeschylean Patterns, cont’d. . .

  4. Play-Facts • Playwright • Aeschylus 525-456 • Plays (tetralogy) • Oresteia 458 • Agamemnon • Libation Bearers • Eumenides • Proteus (lost) • Historical context • Troubles of 461. . . aeschylus agamemnon 1

  5. Backstory. . . • Feast of Thyestes • Abduction of Helen • Sacrifice of Iphigenia • Sack of Troy genealogy map aeschylus agamemnon 1

  6. Epiphany, Formula Aeschylean Epiphany “Tragic Formula” koros (excess, extravagance) hubris (arrogance, violation) ate (delusion, ruin) dike (justice) verbal ambiguity human visual clarity divine to aeschylus agamemnon 1

  7. Tragic Cycle • Crime begets crime • Blood guilt • Tragic knowing Pathei mathos(“from suffering, knowledge”) aeschylus agamemnon 1

  8. Agamemnon: Analysis • 3rd stasimon (141 ff.) • Foreboding • 4th episode (143 ff.) • Clyt., Leader. Cassandra to enter palace • Cass., Leader, whole Chorus. Cass.’s visions (spoken, sung) • Choral recitation (158) • Perils of power • Choral scene (159) • Leader, whole Chorus, Ag. (offstage) • Exodos (160 ff.) • Clyt., Leader. Ekkuklēma with corpses • Clyt., Chorus (lyric dialogue). Recriminations • Clyt., Aegisthus, Leader (dialogue). Gloating in victory, more recriminations • Prologue (pp. Penguin 104 f.) • Watchman • Parodos (105 ff.) • Entry march (recited). misgivings: expedition • Lyric (sung, danced). portent of eagles and hare • 1st episode (112 ff.) • Leader, Clyt. Fire signals • 1st stasimon (117 ff.) • Paris’ crime • 2nd episode (121 ff.) • Herald, Leader, Clyt. Victory. Menelaus lost? • 2nd stasimon (129 ff.) • Helen’s blood wedding • 3rd episode (132 ff.) • Chorus (reciting). Ag., Clyt. Red-carpet welcome

  9. Associative Poetics Lyric exposition: parodos. . . Imagery: fire signals, carpet • Portent: eagles, hare. • Artemis’ anger. • Clytemnestra’s stewardship. • Hymn to Zeus. • Sacrifice of Iphigenia. “The terror raging back and back in the future / . . .Memory womb of Fury child-avenging fury!”(Calchas’ prayer, quoted Chorus, p. 109) map aeschylus agamemnon 1

  10. Victim or Monster? Or, Is Clytemnestra “Tragic”?

  11. Is Clytemnestra a monster? For if she is, perhaps she isn't tragic. . . .

  12. Victim or Monster?. . . aeschylus agamemnon 1