study guide 2003 oresteia

study guide 2003 oresteia - T heOresteia By:Aeschylus Plot...

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The Oresteia  By: Aeschylus Plot Summary The Oresteia is composed of three plays: Agamemnon , The Libation Bearers , and The Eumenides . Agamemnon begins with the sudden presence of a beacon light that signals the victory of the Atreidae in Troy. The chorus, the elder men that did not go to war, enters the stage and summarizes the cause of the Trojan War as well as Agamemnon’s decision to slaughter his daughter, Iphigeneia, for the sake of the war. In the midst of the chorus speech, the Herald brings news that confirms the Achaean success and praises Agamemnon for his valiance and greatness. Agamemnon returns home with Cassandra, a captured girl from the war who is seen as a barbarian. While Agamemnon and Clytaemestra are in the house, Cassandra cries to the chorus that she will die alongside Agamemnon. Cassandra, cursed by Apollo to know the future but have no one ever believe her, prophesizes of the death of Agamemnon and the return of Orestes in vengeance. Cassandra enters the house, and Agamemnon cries offstage that he has been stabbed. The doors of the palace open and the audience sees Clytaemestra standing over the dead bodies of Agamemnon and Cassandra. Clytaemestra reveals that she killed Agamemnon in revenge for her daughter and for punishment of his infidelity. Aegisthus enters and states that that he has avenged the sins of Atreus in feeding the father of Aegisthus his own children. Clytaemestra and Aegisthus are in power, while the chorus begs for the return of Orestes to purify the house of Atreidae. The Libation Bearers opens with the return of Orestes to witness the chorus, black veiled women from the house, and Electra bearing libations to pour over the grave of Agamemnon. Electra finds a lock of hair that matches her own that Orestes in sign of grief had laid for all the dead. She begins to pray of his return, and Orestes reveals himself to them. They rejoice and Electra claims that her mother had wrongly buried her father in the absence of his citizens, and Orestes tells of the oracle from Apollo that he will punish his father’s murderers. The chorus relates a dream of Clytaemestra that she had suckled a snake and the serpent drew in blood. Orestes and Pylades devise a plan to enter the house disguised as an outlander. Orestes enters as a messenger with the news that Orestes has died and questions his parents what they would like to do with his body. Clytaemestra and Aegisthus both feign remorse over his death. Aegisthus would like to speak to the messenger alone to question him, and Orestes kills him in the room offstage. Orestes catches Clytaemestra speak words of affection over the death of Aegisthus, and takes her into the room to kill. The doors of the palace open, as Orestes stands over the bodies of Clytaemestra and Aegisthus. Nevertheless, Orestes grieves for the death of his line, and how his victory is soiled. He claims himself an outcast and leaves. The Eumenides
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This note was uploaded on 09/08/2011 for the course HUMA 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at Columbia.

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study guide 2003 oresteia - T heOresteia By:Aeschylus Plot...

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