Deceitful Clytemnestra of Euripides' Electra Essay

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Deceitful Clytemnestra of Euripides' Electra


Agamemnon returns from Troy, a victorious general, bringing home spoils, riches and fame. He is murdered on the same day as he returns. Clytemnestra, his adulterous wife, has laid in wait for her husband's homecoming and kills him whilst he is being bathed after his long journey. During the Agamemnon, large proportions of the Queen's words are justifications for her action, which is very much concerned with the sacrifice of Iphigenia to the gods, in order for the fleet to set sail for Troy. Aegisthus, the new husband of the Queen Clytemnestra, and partner in the conspiracy to murder the war hero, had reasons, which stemmed from the dispute between the Houses of Atreus and Thyestes. Was the
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No blame is placed upon him by the people and they believe he "slipped his neck in the strap of fate" 217, only after which did his spirit become "black, impure, unholy" 218. The people of Mycenae, typically represented by the elders, and thus the Chorus have absolved him of blame in their minds. All their words about the leader are nothing but in praise of their king. They are nearly "faint with longing" for the return of their king, though we can also partly attribute this to a desire to be rid of Clytemnestra more than their wish to return to the rule of Agamemnon. They indeed emphasise the tyranny of the Queen ("she commands, full of her high hopes...manoeuvres like a man" 13). The sentry echoes the love for the King though ("My king, I'll take your loving hand in mine" 37), and the herald is similarly well disposed toward him, and he hasn't been under the yoke of Clytemnestra ("he brings us light in the darkness...Agamemnon lord of men"). The people absolve the King of blame over Iphigenia, and give him unconditional loyalty, but Clytemnestra rests it all upon his shoulders ("girl of tears...here you are repaid" 1554). She understands the grandeur of her action and the scale of it but believes that "what we did was destiny" 1692. Though, it is my belief that the honourable King of Mycenae was commanded by the fates to kill his daughter, and it was by no means his will to carry…