The Oresteia

The Oresteia

Aeschylus Ted Hughes / Jun 18, 2019

The Oresteia Ted Hughes s acting version of the trilogy of Aeschylus plays known as The Oresteia a classical work of astonishing power is quickly becoming the standard edition for English language readers and fo

  • Title: The Oresteia
  • Author: Aeschylus Ted Hughes
  • ISBN: 9780374227210
  • Page: 392
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Ted Hughes s acting version of the trilogy of Aeschylus plays known as The Oresteia, a classical work of astonishing power, is quickly becoming the standard edition for English language readers and for the stage, too.

    Oresteia The Oresteia Ancient Greek is a trilogy of Greek tragedies written by Aeschylus in the th century BC, concerning the murder of Agamemnon by Clytemnestra, the murder of Clytemnestra by Orestes, the trial of Orestes, the end of the curse on the House of Atreus and pacification of the Erinyes.The trilogy consisting of Agamemnon , The Libation Bearers

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      • Aeschylus Ted Hughes

        Aeschylus 525 BC 456 BC squilo in Portuguese, Esquilo in Spanish was an ancient Greek playwright He is often recognized as the father or the founder of tragedy, and is the earliest of the three Greek tragedians whose plays survive extant, the others being Sophocles and Euripides According to Aristotle, he expanded the number of characters in plays to allow for conflict among them previously, characters interacted only with the chorus Unfortunately, only seven of an estimated 70 plays by Aeschylus have survived into modern times one of these plays, Prometheus Bound, is sometimes thought not to be the work of Aeschylus.At least one of Aeschylus works was influenced by the Persian invasion of Greece, which took place during his lifetime His play The Persians remains a good primary source of information about this period in Greek history The war was so important to Greeks and to Aeschylus himself that, upon his death around 456 BC, his epitaph included a reference to his participation in the Greek victory at Marathon but not to his success as a playwright.There are no reliable sources for the life of Aeschylus He was said to have been born in c 525 in Eleusis, a small town about 27 kilometers northwest of Athens, which is nestled in the fertile valleys of western Attica, though the date is most likely based on counting back forty years from his first victory in the Great Dionysia His family was both wealthy and well established his father Euphorion was a member of the Eupatridae, the ancient nobility of Attica As a youth, he worked at a vineyard until, according to the 2nd century AD geographer Pausanias, the god Dionysus visited him in his sleep and commanded him to turn his attention to the nascent art of tragedy As soon as he woke from the dream, the young Aeschylus began writing a tragedy, and his first performance took place in 499 BC, when he was only 26 years old After fifteen years, his skill was great enough to win a prize for his plays at Athens annual city Dionysia playwriting competition But in the interim, his dramatic career was interrupted by war The armies of the Persian Empire, which had already conquered the Greek city states of Ionia, entered mainland Greece in the hopes of conquering it as well.In 490 BC, Aeschylus and his brother Cynegeirus fought to defend Athens against Darius s invading Persian army at the Battle of Marathon The Athenians, though outnumbered, encircled and slaughtered the Persian army This pivotal defeat ended the first Persian invasion of Greece proper and was celebrated across the city states of Greece Though Athens was victorious, Cynegeirus died in the battle Aeschylus continued to write plays during the lull between the first and second Persian invasions of Greece, and won his first victory at the city Dionysia in 484 BC In 480 he was called into military service again, this time against Xerxes invading forces at the Battle of Salamis This naval battle holds a prominent place in The Persians, his oldest surviving play, which was performed in 472 BC and won first prize at the Dionysia.Aeschylus was one of many Greeks who had been initiated into the Eleusinian Mysteries, a cult to Demeter based in his hometown of Eleusis As the name implies, members of the cult were supposed to have gained some sort of mystical, secret knowledge Firm details of the Mysteries specific rites are sparse, as members were sworn under the penalty of death not to reveal anything about the Mysteries to non initiates Nevertheless, according to Aristotle it was alleged that Aeschylus had placed clues about the secret rites in his seventh tragedy, Prometheus Bound According to some sources, an angry mob tried to kill Aeschylus on the spot, but he fled the scene When he stood trial for his offense, Aeschylus pleaded ignorance and was only spared because of his brave service in the Persian Wars.Aeschylus traveled to Sicily once or twice in the 470s BC, having


    702 Comments

    1. Let good prevail ! So be it ! Yet what is good ? And who is God? As many deeply conservative societies have discovered time and time again - societies in which there is only one right order and this order is warranted by the highest authorities recognized by the society - when change comes, and come it always must,(*) not only do those in power tumble, but the authority of the gods/priests, ancestors, laws, whatever the highest authorities happen to be in that society, comes into question. New m [...]


    2. This is pretty fantastic. I'm surprised. I think I like this old Greek trilogy of plays better than all the others that I've read. That's including Oedipus. :PThe translation is pretty awesome, the tragedy is beautiful, and the underlying theme of justice and the balance of power between men and women is stark and heavy.But isn't it about murder and eye-for-an-eye taken to extremes? Yeah, but it's still more than that.It's mainly about honoring your children and honoring your parents. It's not a [...]


    3. Murder, betrayal, revenge, torment . . . you might wonder, “Why would I bother reading three Greek plays when I could see the same sort of lurid problems on an episode of Jerry Springer? And fold laundry at the same time??” Two possible answers: First, you’re not going to get patricide, matricide, human sacrifice and unintentional cannibalism on daytime TV because we still draw the line somewhere, and you have to admit those are pretty dramatic. More importantly, though, along with the dys [...]


    4. I can only vouch for this Robert Fagles' translation, but yes, astonishingly gripping after more than 2,400 years.


    5. 1st Part. Agamémnon"Agamemnon" is based on the victorious return of the hero to Argos after winning the Trojan War and avenged the honor of his brother Menelaus, husband of Helen, who had fled to Paris. The wife of Agamemnon, Climnestra, in turn, also betrays him, and architect husband's murder with her lover.2nd Part. CoephoriIn "Choephori" Orestes and Electra, children of Agamemnon, avenges his death by killing his mother and her lover. The Climnestra's anger is materialized in the Furies.3rd [...]


    6. " que cidade ou homem poderá venerar a Justiça, se viver sem sombra de medo no seu coração?"Atreu e Tiestes são irmãos gémeos. Quando Atreu (rei de Micenas) descobre que o irmão é amante da sua mulher, decide vingar-se: mata os filhos de Tiestes e convida-o para um banquete, dando-lhos a comer. Salva-se o mais novo, Egisto.Atreu é pai de Agamémnon. Durante o tempo em que este esteve ausente, na guerra de Tróia, Egisto torna-se amante da mulher do primo, Clitemnestra, e planeia vingar [...]


    7. ForewordAcknowledgementsA Reading of 'The Oresteia': The Serpent and the Eagle--Agamemnon--The Libation Bearers--The EumenidesThe Genealogy of OrestesSelect BibliographyNotesGlossary


    8. .Just passed the Libation Bearers. Aeschylus has a way with ironic, monumental dialogues which portend tremendous climaxes. The language is so deep and seeps into the interaction- apparantly he suggests that there are no good options in life, merely the best of the worst, and that one must take their place amid the roil. Wisdom. This resonates with me, in the way that a drama read on the page will, as I imagine the perfect language and staging to bear witness to iter review to follow, as it dese [...]


    9. The penguin classics version is to be particularly recommended - The translation works very well and the 90 page introduction is just brilliant. As for the plays, welley are essential reading obviously. And like all great works in translation, one should really read 2 or 3 different versions in order to get as close as possible to the “original”. The Fagles translation should certainly be one of those versions.


    10. Oresteia is the only surviving trilogy of Greek tragedy plays, performed in 458 BCE - two years before Aeschylus's death in 456 BCE. This review summarises all three plays as a trilogy, and because I think that it's easier to read them if you know what to expect, I do give away all the relevant plot points.The first play, "Agamemnon", is about betrayal: King Agamemnon returns home to Argos after the successful sacking of Troy (in modern-day Turkey), only to be killed by his wife Clytemnestra and [...]


    11. মহৎ সাহিত্য করতে হেন করতে হবে তেন করতে হবে এইটা মনে হয় খুব বেশি সত্য না, এখন, বা অ্যাস্কাইলাসের আমলেও। মানে, এই লোক আর কী করছে, নিজেদের চারদিকে ছড়ানো কাহিনীরে ইচ্ছামত পাল্টাইছেন, নিজের সময়ের স [...]


    12. Even compared to other Greek tragedies, the Oresteia stands out. It's not just about the family drama or the bloody cycle of revenge. It's more than that. It's about peering deeply into the darkness of the human soul, stripping any semblance of control over one's destiny, and seeing what would result--madness.Orestes was driven by forces more ancient and far bloodier than his mere judgment. In a society divinely centered on the family, Orestes was ordained to avenge his father's death, even if i [...]


    13. Aeschylus' prose certainly deserves five stars, so dense and moving. Even though his primary focus in Oresteia was ethics, justice, crime/punishment, and changes in social order, the subjective emotions and psychologies of characters are conveyed powerfully. Orestes is not really "heroic" in a Homeric sense, but he presents a less egoistic and more god-fearing type of man in a tormenting pursuit of righteousness. The Oresteia combines both tragic and comic elements, and presents both optimism an [...]


    14. Agamemnon (Oresteia, #1):The First StrikeThe Libation Bearers (Oresteia, #2): The Course of The CurseEumenides (Oresteia, #3): Pending


    15. ماجرا چیست؟پاریس، شاهزادۀ زیبای تروا، حق نمک میزبان را به‌جای نمی‌آورد و از سرزمین آخایی (یونان)، هلن، همسر زیبای منلائوس، برادرِ فرمانروای یونان، آگاممنون را اغوا می‌کند و با خود به تروا می‌آورد. آگاممنون با هزاران کشتی به سمت تروا لشکر می‌کشد، اما در میانه گرفتار طوفان [...]


    16. Robert Fagles' translation is excellent.The Oresteia was written as a trilogy, and according to the scholars is the only Greek drama that survives as such. I would definitely recommend reading all 3 parts together, as they build one after the other. This trilogy is deceptively simple, in some ways, but the excellent introductory essay by W.B. Stanford, titled "The Serpent and the Eagle", helped me to see the much deeper issues that are explored in the play. I don't want to put any spoilers in th [...]


    17. This is perhaps ancient Greece's most famous tragic trilogy that has survived antiquity. "Agamemnon" deals with the treacherous murder of King Agamemnon, just returned from the Trojan war, at the hands of his wife, Clytemnestra, and his brother (who had an affair with his wife and coveted the throne). "The Libation Bearers" brings karmic and bloody retribution upon Clytemnestra at the hands of her only son, Orestes, avenging the death of his father. "The Eumenides" deals with Orestes flight from [...]


    18. Q: How many great authors were inspired by the characters in these plays?A: Bazillions, give or take.The Furies-- wrathful, smelly, wraith-like she-beasts-- are among the most fascinating creatures ever spawned by our collective unconscious. (Delivered by Dr. Aeschylus, no doubt via one putrid and grizzly c-section) these girls predate the Olympian pantheon and specialize in erasing people who murder their own family members.Every time I experience a taste for revenge (and it happens more freque [...]


    19. At the beginning of the fifth century, it was customary for each of the tragedians competing at the festival of Dionysus to present a trilogy of three plays on a related theme, followed by a satyr-play. The Oresteia is the only surviving example of a Greek tragic trilogy, so it has immense importance in the history of drama. Each of the plays is self-contained; however, the endings of the first two plays transition naturally into the following plays. Each play has its own chorus and an almost se [...]


    20. I actually read this twice. Back-to-back in the style of Mortimer Adler. The first time through I read it with only some of the initial commentary of the translator. Additionally, I had some background provided by a Great Courses lecture. The second time through I read along with the translator's entire commentary. I would have enjoyed the trilogy very much without the second reading but it was with the second reading that I developed a real appreciation for the work.Mind you, I'm a skeptic when [...]


    21. I tried to read 'Prometheus Bound' years ago, and couldn't finish it. Clearly I should have waited a while- The Oresteia, in the Fagles translation, is one of the most remarkable books I've ever read. Darker and more violent than anything the 20th century could come up with, it's also brighter and more hopeful than anything from the 19th century. It's as if someone had written both Schiller's 'Ode to Joy' and Eliot's 'Waste Land', and it was one book, only there was far deeper social, political [...]


    22. Like so many other things that I've been reading lately, Aeschylus's trilogy is concerned with human beings thrown into the crucible of extremest intensity, pressured from every direction my conflicting obligations, driven to violent action and violent remorse. Few poets are as willing as Aeschylus to stare into the profound darkness of human suffering and name the curse that seems to hold us to the wheel of our own violence. Yet, even fewer are ultimately as hopeful about the possibility of our [...]


    23. “I have suffered into truth.” Orestes makes that declaration in The Eumenides, the third of the trilogy of plays dealing with the House of Atreus’s tendency to take empassioned revenge as their only acceptable call to action in a crisis. You expect excellence from Robert Fagles. His translations of Homer are superb. And you also expect it from Aeschylus, whose surviving plays endure and thrive in the hands of translators of craft and imagination across the centuries.Aeschylus presents a ge [...]


    24. Fenomenal, a Oresteia: Agamémnon e Euménides em primeiro, em mérito equiparáveis; Coéforas em segundo, não por isso menos notável. Surpreendi-me ao pensar que o final da primeira peça pudesse ser o ponto alto da trilogia, pois revejo nas Euménides o expoente máximo da perícia lírica de Ésquilo. Embora a primeira seja, de facto, a peça que mais explora o «carácter trágico da tragédia», é nesta última que o poeta revela toda a sua mestria e irreverência, no bom sentido do ter [...]


    25. Un antico proverbio è diffuso tra gli uomini, che la felicità dei mortali, raggiunto il suo culmine, partorisce, non muore sterile: dalla fortuna germoglia alla stirpe dolore insaziabile.Chiunque è incline a piangere con l'infelice; ma il morso del dolore non gli penetra fino nell'infinito; così, per mostrare di gioire con chi è felice, sforza il suo volto che fa resistenza al sorriso.


    26. 38. The Oresteian Trilogy: Agamemnon; The Choephori; The Eumenides by Aeschylus, translated by Philip Vellacott first performed: 458 bceformat: 197 page paperback - 1965 Penguin classicsacquired: 2006, from my neighbor read: June 9-10, 17-22rating: 3½ stars The story of Orestes is told in The Odyssey, where he comes across as a hero of a tragedy, and a role model for young princes. Agamemnon, a valiant warrior but also somewhat incompetent as leader of the Greeks, or Achaens, returns home from [...]


    27. I had in my mind that the these plays were full of mythology of the pantheon of Greek gods.There are gods, yes, and other mythological creatures like the Furies, but there is so much more there, themes of duty, of humility, hubris, sin and forgiveness, the weight and fullness of history (the Trojan War) and family. Out of these three plays Aeschylus sharply defined characters that still are echoed today. Clytemnestra, Cassandra and Iphigenia are still used as descriptions and figures today.I lik [...]


    28. Η μόνη τριλογία αρχαίου δράματος που σώθηκε. Αν και υπάρχει τεράστια απόσταση από την εποχή που γράφτηκε και παίχτηκε και ως εκ τούτου το χάσμα είναι σχεδόν αγεφύρωτο, μπορεί κανείς να νιώσει, ακόμα και μέσα από την ανάγνωση, την ανησυχία των γερόντων και την πανουργία της Κ [...]


    29. A dramatic trilogy for both Gods and men. Aeschylus' ability to weave and connect his tragedies seems second nature in today's world of sequels, trilogies, and Star Wars prequels, but Aescheylus' genius existed both in the original form and the brilliant substance of his surviving plays. I can understand how Swinburne could call the Oresteia trilogy the "greatest spiritual work of man." The Oresteia is at once brilliant, creepy, and infinitely tragic (only family dramas can be so damn full of pa [...]


    30. This is more like it! I read Agamemnon and The Libation Bearers in the Grene translation, and Agamemnon was great, but The Libation Bearers was a bit "meh." So I got another copy, this one translated by Fagles, and What a Difference! Going by reviews, Grene seems to be regarded as more "literal," which sounds like a good thing, but I'll take "vigorous and engaging" over "literal and (a bit) dry" any day. Fagles' introductory essay was fascinating, if sometimes a little abstruse, and both The Lib [...]


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