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The Oresteia: Agamemnon / The Libation Bearers / The Eumenides

by Aeschylus, David Greene

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Oresteia

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,21367693 (3.99)166
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 theirson 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, humansacrifice, 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 powerfulsimplicity. 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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» See also 166 mentions

English (63)  Spanish (2)  Finnish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (67)
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
I found this cycle of plays to be quite profound for what it has to say about breaking a cycle of violence and revenge. The exploration of what justice is can also be seen as the plays progress. I think this is a classic that I will be revisiting again. ( )
  psalva | Apr 20, 2022 |
For class we were supposed to only read part 1, "Agamemnon", which leaves off at a weird cliffhanger, so I read the rest and the story made more sense. These plays, unlike other Greek trilogies, don't work as standalone pieces at all; reading all of them in quick succession at least resolved the story but it was so so boring. From my non-academic perspective the main reason to read Greek tragedy is because they're metal as hell (Medea!) and while the Oresteia had moments of being metal while the family's caught in a Godfather-like cycle of retribution, the resolution is just... a courtroom scene. I understand what the story is saying with this, but it was very anticlimactic after all that! On top of everything this was very misogynist (especially when compared to later plays like Medea) and I'm honestly getting sick of reading men writing about men.
I guess Meineck's translation was pretty good, it was pretty easy to read, but for whatever reason the footnotes at the bottom of each page didn't correspond with any in-text superscript or asterisk or other markers! This was a very stupid publishing decision! ( )
  jooniper | Sep 10, 2021 |
Classics
  hpryor | Aug 8, 2021 |
This tragedy takes place after the fall of Troy. The main characters are Clytemnestra and Agamemnon, queen and king of Argos, respectively. Orestes is their son. Agamemnon is killed by Clytemnestra and Clytemnestra by her son, Orestes. This play examines the difference between justice and revenge. Quite frankly, there were just more characters in this play than I wanted to process. Also at 208 pages, it is longer than most of this type of work. The chorus played a very major role in the advancement of this story. ( )
  Tess_W | Jun 14, 2021 |
Democracy > Blood revenge. Got it. ( )
1 vote poirotketchup | Mar 18, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (271 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Aeschylusprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Greene, Davidmain 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, RichmondTranslatorsecondary 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, W.B.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stanford, William BedellEditor and Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stern, ErnstIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stoneman, RichardConsultant Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomson, George DerwentTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Traverso, LeoneTranslatorsecondary 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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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)
Watchman:  
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]
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Disambiguation notice
This LT Work is the complete Oresteia trilogy of plays by Aeschylus, including:

Agamemnon,
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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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 theirson 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, humansacrifice, 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 powerfulsimplicity. 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.

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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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