Aeschylus (c.525–c.456 BC), translated by Theodoridis, G., (contributor-contact-email)

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The Oresteia, a trilogy by Aeschylus from the 5th century BCE, comprises three Greek tragedies focusing on the House of Atreus. The sequence begins with Agamemnon’s murder by Clytemnestra, continues through Orestes’ killing of Clytemnestra, and concludes with Orestes’ trial, lifting the family’s curse and appeasing the Furies.

Agamemnon, the first play, narrates King Agamemnon’s return to Mycenae post the Trojan War, only to be killed by his wife, Queen Clytemnestra - driven by her desire for revenge for her daughter Iphigenia’s sacrifice, and to publicly acknowledge her lover Aegisthus. Cassandra, Agamemnon’s concubine, prophesies her own and the King’s demise.

Agamemnon probes moral complexities, questioning the justification of vengeance and the repercussions of war. Agamemnon, a respected war veteran, faces scrutiny for Iphigenia’s death and the wartime losses incurred under his leadership. The introduction of Cassandra adds further moral ambiguity, while Clytemnestra embodies the dual roles of a murderer and avenger. This exploration of moral dilemmas extends into the subsequent plays, The Libation Bearers and The Eumenides.

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Theodoridis, G.,

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