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07-11-05 --- LTWL19A Lecture 11

07-11-05 --- LTWL19A Lecture 11 - Aeschylus Agamemnon 1...

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07-12-05 Aeschylus’ Agamemnon 1. Mythic background a. House of Atreus i. The brothers’ quarrel: Atreus and Thyestes ii. Aegisthus iii. Agamemnon and Clytemnestra iv. Orestes and Electra b. The Erinyes (Furies) i. Drive the Greeks in their pursuit of vengence 2. System of justice in Agamemnon a. Kin-based b. Sanctioned by gods (53-67) i. Compared to having young stolen (Helen is the young) ii. the ‘lost young’ are very important in this play iii. driven by kinship and Erinyes c. This system of justice is criminal i. The one who received the justice may, too, seek justice if they feel they received too much 3. Critique of retributive justice a. Omen of the vultures (eagles) (122 ff.) i. They devour a pregnant hare ii. Interpretation: 1. Eagles are the Greeks; the pregnant hare is Troy 2. Good news: they will take Troy 3. Bad news: they are inflicting more damage than just to Paris and Helen etc. b. Lines 189-209: i. Artemis demands a sacrifice of Agamemnon’s daughter as
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