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The Return of Agamemnon. Orestes and his friend Pylades find Iphigenia still alive and serving the temple of Artemis in the land of the Taurians (the Crimea of Southern Russia today). . Aeschylus trilogy. 5 th c. BC Post-Trojan War (the returns) Cassandra Agamemnon

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the return of agamemnon
The Return of Agamemnon

Orestes and his friend Pylades find Iphigenia still alive and serving the temple of Artemis in the land of the Taurians(the Crimea of Southern Russia today).

aeschylus trilogy
Aeschylus trilogy
  • 5th c. BC
  • Post-Trojan War (the returns)
  • Cassandra
  • Agamemnon
  • Libation Bearers (Choephoroi)
  • Eumenides
the moral texture of the agamemnon
The moral texture of the Agamemnon
  • Menelaos at home with Helen
  • “When she first came to the city of Troy, call it a dream of calm and the wind dying, the loveliness and luxury of much gold, the melting shafts of the eyes’ glances, the blossom that breaks the heart with longing. But she turned in mid-step of her course to make bitter the consummation, whirling on Priam’s people to blight with her touch and nearness. Zeus hospitable sent her, a vengeance to make brides weep.”
clytemnestra at home
Clytemnestra at home
  • The watchman and the signal fires
  • Broods in the house
  • Has an affair with Aegisthus
  • Seems to be plotting something
  • A dark cloud hangs over the city
moral confusion
Moral Confusion
  • Furies (Erinyes)
  • LexTalionis
  • “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth”
  • Justice (Dike)
  • Herald: “pick-axe of Dike-bearing Zeus”
  • Agamemnon: “just penalty”
  • Clytemnestra: Dike will lead Ag. Home
  • Aegisthus: “O day that brought justice; now I know the gods exist!”
further moral confusion
Further moral confusion
  • Agamemnon’s positives and negatives
  • Clytemnestra and the rug
  • Orestes - exile
  • Electra – barred from marriage
is the system bankrupt
Is the system bankrupt?
  • “Zeus, who laid it down that man must in sorrow learn, and through pain to wisdom find his way. When deep slumber falls, remembered wrongs chafe the bruised heart with fresh pangs, and no welcome wisdom meets within. From the gods who sit in grandeur, grace comes somehow violent.”
  • Wisdom comes through suffering
libation bearers
Libation Bearers
  • Clytemnestra and Aegisthus
  • The dream
  • Electra (tomb of Agamemnon)
  • Orestes and Pylades
  • “the dead are killing the living”
  • Dog-like Furies
  • Delphi (temple of Apollo)
  • Acropolis (temple of Athena)
  • First trial by jury
  • Areopagos
  • Threats of the Furies
  • Orestes’ analogy from planting
athena s tiebreaker
Athena’s tiebreaker
  • Modification of the Lextalionis concept
  • Extenuating and mitigating circumstances
  • Harsh justice is tempered by mercy
  • Warning in the myth: Furies’ shrine in Athens
  • OT Cities of Refuge