Essay on Analysis of Aeschylus Agamemnon

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Analysis of Aeschylus Agamemnon

Characters- The Watchman
Clytaemnestra
The Herald
Agamemnon
Cassandra
Aegisthus
The Chorus

1). The Watchman:

• The watchman sets the time and place for the play (Agamemnon’s palace in Argos, the house of Atreus); he describes the many miserable nights he has spent on the rooftop of the palace watching for the signal fires that will herald the fall of Troy.
• The watchman is one Aeschylus’s small characters, but like the herald he serves an important role as he not only sets the scene but also perhaps portrays the mood of Argos awaiting their king and soldiers return.
• “That woman – She manoeuvres like a man” is the important first reference to Clytaemnestra, it ominously
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• Helens promiscuity is alluded to as she is described as a “woman manned by many” and the cause of the Trojan War.
• The chorus talks about the inevitability of crime and punishment by the gods. Zeus will punish Paris because he is the god of hospitality and it is his laws of hospitality that have been broken; they also suggest that there is no way to “enchant away the rigid fury”.
• The Chorus introduce themselves as “the old dishonoured ones, the broken husks of men” alluding to the fact that they are the old men of Argos and could not go to war “old men are children once more” makes us sympathise with the Chorus in their old age.
• A change of pace in the chorus’s speech signals that the chorus have become narrators outside the action of the play and are given divine wisdom and knowledge “The gods breathe power through my song”
• At this point the chorus narrates the omen of the birds and the hare; Agamemnon and Menelaus are likened this time to two eagles which fly from the palace west towards the sea (and Troy) and kill a pregnant hare which represents the city of Troy full of life and prosperity. The fact they are likened to eagles is important because eagles are the kings of birds and they have beaks just like the prow of a ship.
• There is a long section of praise to Zeus. The chorus then speak of a price to pay for the Trojan War (the sacrifice of the as yet unnamed Iphigenia) and hint at
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