He was searching for a way to comprehend and then express that horror. This is the climax of her body’s transformation from a young princess’s to an animal’s: she is naked, speechless, and completely in someone else’s power. Surely the reaping of the past is a full harvest, and not good, And wounds enough are everywhere.—Let us not stain ourselves with blood.”, The Agamemnon of Aeschylus Translated into English Rhyming Verse with Explanatory Notes. CHORUS Perhaps some unfledged rumour raised your hopes? Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. But we’ll not die without the gods’ revenge. it is lawful to crave with a fury superior to all fury. “By the sword you did your work, and by the sword you die.”, “We should know what is true before we break our rage.”. He undertook an act beyond all daring. These were dark days indeed. Agamemnon is fully aware of the moral dilemma now facing him. Under one of his many titles Zeus was also the god of hospitality and the actions of Paris in stealing Helen away was an extreme act of impiousness towards Zeus. From the creators of SparkNotes, something better. Her sacrifice is not to appease Artemis but to actually demonstrate just how bestial and barbaric the offerings demanded by the gods are and how wrong her death is. But if, as a precaution, men toss overboard some part of their rich cargo, and time their throw just right, the house, though grieving, will not completely founder, nor will its hull be swamped. His ambition has caused the extinction of his House. Yet although Agamemnon has ‘decided’ to sacrifice his daughter for the ‘greater good’ in terms of the norms and conventions of the ‘heroic’ age and in a modern utilitarian sense thereby ensuring the aristocratic hierarchical society is maintained and not destabilised, he can only carry out the barbaric act by temporarily losing his mind and act in a frenzy when performing the sacrifice of his own daughter. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. The handsome hold the graves they won in Troy; the enemy earth rides over those who conquered. Ten years have now elapsed. Yet while Zeus sits upon his throne this decree from god remains— the man who acts will suffer.

To sacrifice Iphigenia he must become like an animal. Stannis has achieved nothing and so the death of his young daughter has counted for nothing. Daughter of Leda, guardian of my home, your speech was, like my absence, far too long. An act of hubris that does not go down well with the gods or goddesses and is always punished. The mission to recover Helen was really the ‘by proxy’ revenge of Zeus against Paris, Helen and Troy. The Chorus condemns the decision made by Agamemnon, yet they agree to the necessity of such a sacrifice. It is sung by the Chorus who are the old men left behind at Argos whilst the expedition took place under the command of Agamemnon to recover Helen (who was married to his brother, Menelaus) who had been abducted by Paris and taken to Troy. CLYTEMNESTRA Not at all. To rest unsatisfied amid great wealth is in the nature of all human beings. Shireen wants to help her father and offers her services to him but is completely unaware as to what they have planned for her. They wear him out, reverse his luck, and bring him at last among the dead. Justice for Iphigenia and justice for all the innocents who will be sacrificed (murdered) at Troy. He’ll come back and, like a coping stone, bring the ruin of his family to a close. So be it. And let us work no evil more. In Aeschylus’ ‘Agamemnon’ which is the first of the three plays within the Oresteia trilogy we learn from the lyrical parodos of the sacrifice of Iphigenia. Troubles come, above all, from delusions inciting men to rash designs, to evil. It does not need foot mats made out of such embroideries. The family’s Furies cannot be dislodged. The decision was already made when Artemis demanded her sacrifice. No wonder her father must embrace madness to fulfil this act but his commands betray the full comprehension of what he is doing; the rational acceptance of murder. The resonances with the Nazi death camps are obvious and of course the pivotal scene in ‘Sophie’s Choice’ where Sophie is forced to choose takes place on the way into a Nazi death camp. The quickness of the decision is evidence to me that Agamemnon really has no choice. Error rating book.

Don’t invite envy to cross my path by strewing it with cloth. He undertook an act beyond all daring. So I’m telling you honour me as a man, not as a god. I speak to those who know about these things. Up there on that roof there sits a chorus— it never leaves. So Agamemnon steeled his heart It seems according to another source that he may have mocked Artemis over this. The powers in heaven permitted him to capture Priam’s town, to return home honoured by the gods. There is no bloodline left. We assign a color and icon like this one, Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harvard University Press edition of. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Perhaps Offred’s situation is closer to Agamemnon’s in terms of the numbers involved and the collateral damage being invoked. Welcome back. Troubles come, above all, from delusions inciting men to rash designs, to evil. Peace! How can he betray the alliance? She turns her eyes away from gold-encrusted mansions where men’s hands are black, and moves towards integrity, rejecting power and wealth, which, though praised, are counterfeit. That is what the gods have made him become. Now you wear your final garland— one long remembered for the blood which will never wash away. There should be nothing cathartic about the sacrifice of Iphigenia or even an attempt at a happy(ish) ending. “My will is mine...I shall not make it soft for you.”, “They sent forth men to battle, But no such men return; And home, to claim their welcome, Come ashes in an urn”, “Zeus, first cause, prime mover; for what thing without Zeus is done among mortals?”, “She looked just like a painting dying to speak.”, “Rumours voiced by women come to nothing.”. Drinking human blood has made them bold— they dance in celebration through the house. My students love how organized the handouts are and enjoy tracking the themes as a class.”, LitCharts uses cookies to personalize our services. The sacrifice of Iphigenia is a complicated issue. Is there proof? Agamemnon has turned his beautiful daughter into a scapegoat to show how barbaric and inhuman the Gods are. But once a murdered man’s dark blood has soaked the ground, who then can bring him back through song? CHORUS Is this report reliable? Sitting in the home, they chant their song, the madness that began all this, each in turn cursing that man who defiled his brother’s bed. Praise that’s due to us should come from others. They describe the divine phenomena that the Achaeans witnessed: two eagles, one white, one black, devouring a pregnant hare. I stand now where I struck, where I achieved what I set out to do. They sing in harmony, but the song is harsh, predicting doom. So be it. Old violent aggression loves to generate new troubles among evil men—soon or late, when it’s fated to be born, new violence springs forth, a spirit no one can resist or conquer, unholy recklessness, dark ruin on the home, like the destructiveness from which it sprang. “And there they ring the walls, the young, the lithe. For gods have made a powerful promise— his father’s stretched out corpse will bring him home. Por lo tanto, ella ordena, llana de grandes esperanzas.”, “CLYTEMNESTRA. But a good man discerns true character— he’s not fooled by eyes feigning loyalty, favouring him with watered-down respect.”. A great ox stands on my tongue. Isn’t that just like a woman’s heart, to get so jubilant?”. He refers to his daughter now as a virgin to be lawfully sacrificed with such fury that this act will remove those furious winds sent by Artemis.

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