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The Persians By Aeschylus Analysis

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In the 472 BCE play, The Persians by Greek playwright Aeschylus, the story of a bloody battle is told through a messenger. The play opens and takes place in the city of Susa, one of the four centers of government in the Persian Empire, as the chorus of men from the King’s council enter the scene. The chorus is waiting for the return of King Xerxes, after bringing the Persian army to go fight the Greeks. The Persians is famous for being one of the first ancient Greek plays to tell a story of contemporary history rather than a play about the gods; in the play Aeschylus recounts the Battle of Salamis between the Persian army and the Greek army. Xerxes, King of the Persian Empire, goes to battle with the Greeks to avenge his loss in the battle at Marathon many years prior.…show more content…
Soon, a messenger arrives to tell the tale of carnage and defeat that occurred at the battle. The messenger starts off by announcing the fall of Persia and describes the scene of the battle, the Persian ships had been destroyed and “the shores of Salamis, and all the region near them, are full of corpses wretchedly slain” (Aeschylus 22). The messenger also describes how some of the important Persian generals also perished, some drowning in the seas by Salamis and some killed by arrows from the Greek enemies. The messenger portrays images of destruction and despair through his messages and exhibits the way that many Persians died during the Persian Wars. Aeschylus included the messenger as a way to describe the horrors and hardships that the armies faced during the wars. Some of his audience members may not have fought in the war and they did not have the resources to learn about
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