201 - Aeschylus

201 - Aeschylus - AESCHYLUS Agamemnon (Watchman's speech) I...

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AESCHYLUS Agamemnon (Watchman’s speech) I pray the gods to quit me of my toils, To close the watch I keep, this livelong year; For as a watch-dog lying, not at rest, Propped on one arm, upon the palace-roof Of Atreus' race, too long, too well I know The starry conclave of the midnight sky, Too well, the splendours of the firmament, The lords of light, whose kingly aspect shows- What time they set or climb the sky in turn- The year's divisions, bringing frost or fire. And now, as ever, am I set to mark When shall stream up the glow of signal-flame, The bale-fire bright, and tell its Trojan tale- Troy town is ta'en: such issue holds in hope She in whose woman's breast beats heart of man. Agamemnon (Clytemnestra after murdering Agamemnon) Oh, lies enough and more have I this day Spoken, which now I shame not to unsay. How should a woman work, to the utter end, Hate on a damnèd hater, feigned a friend; How pile perdition round him, hunter-wise, Too high for overleaping, save by lies?
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A thing of ancient hate. 'Twas very slow In coming, but it came. And here I stand Even where I struck, with all the deed I planned Done! 'Twas so wrought--what boots it to deny?-- The man could neither guard himself nor fly. An endless web, as by some fisher strung, A deadly plenteousness of robe, I flung All round him, and struck twice; and with two cries His limbs turned water and broke; and as he lies I cast my third stroke in, a prayer well-sped To Zeus of Hell, who guardeth safe his dead! So there he gasped his life out as he lay; And, gasping, the blood spouted . .. Like dark spray That splashed, it came, a salt and deathly dew; Sweet, sweet as God's dear rain-drops ever blew O'er a parched field, the day the buds are born! . .. Which things being so, ye Councillors high-born, Depart in joy, if joy ye will. For me, I glory. Oh, if such a thing might be As o'er the dead thank-offering to outpour, On this dead it were just, aye, just and more, Who filled the cup of the House with treacheries Curse-fraught, and here hath drunk it to the lees! Sophocles (Oedipus Rex)
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This note was uploaded on 10/31/2011 for the course CLAS 201 taught by Professor Nickmaes during the Fall '11 term at Waterloo.

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201 - Aeschylus - AESCHYLUS Agamemnon (Watchman's speech) I...

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