A Brief Look at Agamemnon

562 WordsJan 31, 20182 Pages
Aeschylus first portrays the blood feud as an unending cycle of bloodshed. However, in his play The Agamemnon, he shapes the idea of law replacing the blood feud through Agamemnon’s sacrifice of Iphigenia, Clytemnestra’s murder of her husband, and Orestes’ potential matricide to avenge his father’s death. This vendetta establishes the conditions necessary for the replacement of the blood feud with law and justice. The blood feud began in the early generations of the House of Atreus, which was cursed with pride and violence. The prophetess, Cassandra, described the blood-filled palace at Argos as “an abominable place, full of guilty secrets . . . yea, of unnatural murderers . . . aye, truly, a place of human sacrifice, sprinkled with blood of babes” (Aeschylus 37). After many horrific crimes in the House of Atreus, there seemed to be an end to the blood feud, but it was only a pause. Agamemnon reignited the blood feud by sacrificing Iphigenia, which began the events shaping the transition of the blood feud into law. The Chorus warned about a later event saying, “For patient, terrible, never to be laid, is the wrath of the wife still plotting at home revenge for the unforgotten child” (19). Because of the reignited blood feud, the sacrifice of Iphigenia leads to the shedding of Agamemnon’s blood by the hands of Clytemnestra, further shaping the replacement of the blood feud. Agamemnon’s brutal death, executed by Clytemnestra, established the first conditions embodying the

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