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Chapter

Classical Studies 2301A/B Chapter Notes -Klis, Aegisthus, Clytemnestra


Department
Classical Studies
Course Code
CS 2301A/B
Professor
Randall Pogorzelski

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OUTLINE OF AESCHYLUS’ ORESTEIA
AGAMEMNON
Lines Events
1-263 Watchman sees Agamemnon's fleet approaching. The Chorus enters and provides background information on the
situation.
264-319 Clytemnestra explains to the Chorus that the Greeks have sacked Troy.
320-502 The Chorus summarizes the causes of the Trojan War, especially in relation to "Guest-Friendship."
503-585 A herald proclaims Agamemnon's victory over Troy.
586-612 Clytemnestra discusses plans for Agamemnon's glorious return.
613-680 The herald and the Chorus talk about a storm that sank many Greek ships.
681-781 Long choral monologue on Helen and the downfall of Troy.
782-854 Agamemnon enters. The Chorus hints that Agamemnon has domestic issues to address.
855-913 Clytemnestra explains that Orestes is elsewhere. She then invites Agamemnon to walk on a purple cloth.
914-974 Agamemnon debates whether he should walk on the carpet. Eventually, "on his own will," he does.
975-1068 Clytemnestra addresses Cassandra and tells her (in no uncertain terms) to enter the palace.
1069-
1201
Cassandra tells the Chorus of the events to follow. The Chorus (of course) refuses to believe her.
1202-
1245
Cassandra explains why no one believes her prophecies.
1246-
1330
Cassandra details the events leading to Agamemnon's death, and then her own.
1331-
1371
Offstage, Clytemnestra kills Agamemnon and Cassandra; the frantic and terrified Chorus listens helplessly.
1372-
1446
Clytemnestra explains why she murdered Agamemnon: He sacrificed Iphegenia, their daughter, for favorable sailing
conditions.
1447-
1575
Using various other, analogous myths as "precedents," the Chous and Clytemnestra debate whether her actions are
justifiable.
1576-1611 Aegisthus explains the curse on Atreus' house.
1612-
1674
Aegisthus and Clytemnestra reveal their plans to the chorus.
THE LIBATION BEARERS
Lines Events
1-105 Orestes, Electra, and Chorus individually lament Agamemnon's murder.
106-211 Exchange between Electra and Chorus. Electra learns that Orestes has returned.
212-264 Orestes reveals himself; Electra eventually recognizes him.
265-371 Orestes, Electra and Chorus lament the unheroic nature of Agamemnon's death.
372-460 Orestes and Electra decide the proper recourse is to kill Clytemnestra and Aegisthus.
461-509 Orestes and Electra pray to Agamemnon's shade and various gods for permission to carry out the murders.
510-584 Orestes develops his plan of attack. Clytemnestra's dream shows his plan will succeed.
585-651 The Chorus discusses some analogous myths.
652-718 Dressed as foreigners, Orestes and Pylades (Orestes’ companion) talk with Clytemnestra. Orestes, claiming to be a
messenger, says he is dead.
719-782 Clissa (Orestes’ nurse) and the Chorus talk. Clytemnestra and her clan have fallen for Orestes' plan.
783-837 The Chorus pleads with Zeus.
838-884 Aegisthus briefly talks with the Chorus. As soon as he moves off-stage, Orestes and Pylades kill him.
885-930 Orestes and Clytemnestra: Clytemnestra argues Orestes has no ground on which to kill her; Orestes and Pylades see
it differently and drag her inside.
931-971 Choral monologue. Meanwhile, Orestes kills Clytemnestra off-stage.
972-1043 Orestes reiterates his justification for killing Clytemnestra and Aegisthus.
1044-
1076
The Eumenides attack Orestes.
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