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The Oresteia: Agamemnon / The Libation…

The Oresteia: Agamemnon / The Libation Bearers / The Eumenides

by Aeschylus

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8,05152705 (3.98)141
Based on the conviction that only translators who write poetry themselves can properly re-create the celebrated and timeless tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, the Greek Tragedy in New Translations series offers new translations that go beyond the literal meaning of the Greek in order to evoke the poetry of the originals. Aeschylus' Oresteia, the only ancient tragic trilogy to survive, is one of the great foundational texts of Western culture. It begins with Agamemnon, which describes Agamemnon's return from the Trojan War and his murder at the hands of his wife Clytemnestra, continues with her murder by their son Orestes in Libation Bearers, and concludes with Orestes' acquittal at a court founded by Athena in Eumenides. The trilogy thus traces the evolution of justice in human society from blood vengeance to the rule of law, Aeschylus' contribution to a Greek legend steeped in murder, adultery, human sacrifice, cannibalism, and endless intrigue. This new translation is faithful to the strangeness of the original Greek and to its enduring human truth, expressed in language remarkable for poetic intensity, rich metaphorical texture, and a verbal density that modulates at times into powerful simplicity. The translation's precise but complicated rhythms honor the music of the Greek, bringing into unforgettable English the Aeschylean vision of a world fraught with spiritual and political tensions.… (more)

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English (50)  Spanish (2)  All languages (52)
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
The Oresteian Trilogy is the foundation of tragedy. You need to read it just like you need to read The Odyssey. This was my first time through even though I was familiar with the tropes and scenes through references from other works. The plays are a lot of things, but at its root it's a metaphor for the ascension of society's motivation for good from fear of reprisal as embodied in the Furies, to duty (and fear of its retribution) as embodied by Apollo, to a kind of holy rationality, as embodied by Athene and her counsel. It is ultimately a Whiggish work, convinced society moves ever forward in progress towards harmony.

The one thing that shook me as a modern reader coming to the book in 2017, and a reader who knows the connotations of "maleness" and masculinity in ancient Greek and Roman writing, was that in the climactic scene of The Eumenides, Athene says she sides with Orestes, saying that killing a man as his mother killed his father is a worse crime than killing a woman, as Orestes killed his mother, because of "male supremacy in all things". It's kind of a shit explanation, especially coming from a woman written by a man.

Anyway, read the book. It's embedded in many works of tragedy and worth knowing how the building was built these 2400 years later. ( )
  jtth | May 4, 2020 |
882.01 AES
  alessandragg | Apr 26, 2020 |
Includes Agamemnon, The Libation-Bearers, & The Eumenides.
Translation by Hugh Lloyd-Jones.
  treehorse | Nov 7, 2019 |
These are great to read - full of humanity, but also a bit confusing - translating thousands year old drama to a modern audience can always be hit or miss. These are the stories are the stories of the Agamemnon and his family - full of tragedy, damned if you do, damned if you don't.

The first play that makes up "The Oresteia" starts when Agamemnon returns from the Trojan War. Clytaemnestra is still upset at the sacrifice of her daughter (understandable so). When Agamemnon returns with a captured Cassandra, it tips Clytaemnestra to murder her hustband.

The second play has Orestes, son of Agamemnon and Clytaemnestra, in a bind - he is charged with avenging his fathers killer, but matricide is one of the big sins in Ancient Greek Culture. The last book, "The Eumenides" is a tale of redemption, kind of. Orestes has been hounded by the Kind Ones for the crime of killing his mother. But Apollo takes pity on him, and purifies him. Orestes is put on trial, and at the end, everybody survives. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Oct 27, 2019 |
A piece of advice. Always refuse an invitation to an Agamemnon family reunion. Just say no. They are people to leave your mouth agape, and not in the Greek and Biblical senses of the word either. You needn’t take only my advice on this. Ask Aeschylus. Oh, wait . . . he’s gone. You’ll have to read his Oresteia instead to understand. And you should. ( )
2 vote dypaloh | Sep 1, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (42 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Aeschylusprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Albini, UmbertoIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Allman, SylviaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Altena, HermanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Aryton, MichaelIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ayres, RosalindNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Østbye, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baldick, RobertEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Battezzato, LuigiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bolognese, DonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boutens, P.C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brandes, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burian, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Canfora, LucianoPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cantarella, RaffaeleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cardó, CarlesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Collard, ChristopherTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Corrigan, Robert WilloughbyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
d'Hane-Scheltema, M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Del Corno, DarioIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Di Benedetto, VincenzoIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Doniger, WendyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Droysen, Johann GustavTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Due, Otto SteenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ebener, DietrichTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eichman, RichardFrontispiecesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fagles, RobertEditor and Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foley, Helene P.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foxworth, BoNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
García Valdés, ManuelaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gerbrandy, PietAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grene, DavidEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hughes, TedTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koolschijn, GerardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lattimore, RichmondEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Levi, PeterIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lowell, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Medda, EnricoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morshead, E. D. A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Murray, GilbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nash-Williams, A. H.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Flaherty, Wendy DonigerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Padel, RuthIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palli Bonet, JulioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pattoni, Maria PiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perea Morales, BernardoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pontani, Filippo MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Preece, LaurenceIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Purl, LindaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Radice, BettyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raphael, ElaineIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raphael, FredericTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ricci, DomenicoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roche, PaulTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salvatierra, FernandoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Savino, EzioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seaford, RichardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shapiro, H. A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simonsuuri, KirstiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Slavitt, David R.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sommerstein, Alan H.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stanford, William BedellEditor and Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stern, ErnstIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stoneman, RichardConsultant Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomson, George DerwentTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Untersteiner, MarioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vaara, ElinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valgimigli, ManaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vallacott, PhilipTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vanderpool Jr., EugenePhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vellacott, PhilipTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vellacott, Philip HumphreyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vollmoeller, Karl GustavTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vos, ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walton, J. MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warner, RexTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, AdrianDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Young, DouglasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zilliacus, EmilTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
I ask the gods some respite from the weariness/ of this watchtime measured by years I lie awake/ elbowed upon the Atreidaes' roof dogwise to mark/ the grand processionals of all the stars of night/ burdened with winter and again with heat for men,/ dynasties in their shining blazoned on the air,/ these stars, upon their wane and when the rest arise. (tr. Lattimore 1953)
Dear gods, set me free from all the pain,
the long watch I keep, one whole year awake..
propped on my arms, crouched on the roofs of Atreus
like a dog.

[tr. Fagles 1984]
Last words
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Disambiguation notice
This LT Work is the complete Oresteia trilogy of plays by Aeschylus, including:

Choephori (a/k/a, The Libation Bearers), and
Eumenides (a/k/a, The Furies).

Please do not combine this trilogy with any of the individual plays, or with any other collection. Specifically, do not combine this work with any edition that also includes Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound. Thank you.
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Translations of the extant plays of Aeschylus.
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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140443339, 0140440674

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