Classical Studies 2200 Lecture Notes - Lecture 16: Clytemnestra, Thyestes, Iphigenia

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Trilogy of 3 plays (agamemnon, libation bearers, eumenides) about agamemnon returning from the trojan war. Birth of tragedy simultaneous with establishment of democracy, late 6th century, performed at the. City dionysia, athens, 458 bc recall prometheus bound (another tragedy) Written by athenians for athenians the audience knew from the odyssey and elsewhere, the story of agamemnon"s homecoming. In athenian tragedy, familiar myths are enacted on the stage. The interest lay in how the playwright chose to interpret the story. Some changes could be introduced, but the basic plot was fixed. This contributes to a sense of inevitable fate (they know agamemnon will die) Problematizes aristocratic rule the settings of the stories were archaic but the stories were made to comment on more current social political issues. Often highlights tensions between loyalty to the larger community (polis) and loyalty to the family (oikos) chooses to engage in violence against his household to fulfil his public duties.

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