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Lecture

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Department
Humanities
Course
HUMA 1105
Professor
Donald A Burke
Semester
Fall

Description
Oresteia - Agamemnon • Chorus: Aeschylus himself made more use of the chorus than Sophocles and etc. • Pay attention to the role of women. • Clytemnestra responds to the response of her being influenced by rumours. • Clytemnestra enters the palace and the chorus breaks out into dancing and singing. • Choral oath breaks up the play into the major episodes of the play. • The chorus has 2 purposes: It provides background in the tragedy of Troy, & the unity of action. The tragedy should be unified itself. • Each of the 3 plays can be read individually. • Line 483: women are depicted as susceptible to spreading rumours. • The only evidence we have is the set of beacon fires that get lit up. • 504: Menelaos is missing • 681: the choral oaths are broken up into groups of two with a total group of 12. 6 people might speak at the same time. • 681-786: The sack of Troy. The abduction of Helen and her being the cause of the Trojan war. Simile of lion cub and the consequences of Helen’s actions. The lion cub’s life is the circumstances for which she is responsible for. Such as the lion cub growing up and causing havoc. • The lion cub’s story is about the sheep that it kills, in turn representing the fall of Priam. • After this choral ode, Agamemnon enters with Cassandra (his last war prize) who is Priam’s daughter. She is also a prophetess of Apollo. • Page 24, Clytemnestra appears before the palace. She instructs the servants to spread purple sheets for him to enter. • Agamemnon hesitates, he know he will be engaging in hubris if he were to tread about them since only gods are given the right to do that. • Nonetheless, he still walks on it, and one can say that this seals his fate. • The principle reason why Clytemnestra kills Agamemnon is because he kills his daughter Iphigenia. • Act of substitution is represented a lot in plays; here a deer was proposed to be replaced with Iphigenia. • The fact that Agamemnon brought his concubine gives her additional reason to kill him. • Apollo gives Cassandra the gift of prophecy if she gives him a child, but she cheats him, she doesn’t give him a child. So Apollo decides for her to be killed. • Cassandra is able to see the death of Agamemnon but no one is able to understand her since she speaks in a cryptic way, in riddles. •
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