Outline of Aeschylus' Oresteia

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Classical Studies
Classical Studies 2301A/B
Randall Pogorzelski

OUTLINE OFAESCHYLUS’ORESTEIA AGAMEMNON Lines Events 1-263 Watchman seesAgamemnon'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 Aherald proclaimsAgamemnon's victory over Troy. 586-612 Clytemnestra discusses plans forAgamemnon'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 thatAgamemnon has domestic issues to address. 855-913 Clytemnestra explains that Orestes is elsewhere. She then invitesAgamemnon 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- Cassandra tells the Chorus of the events to follow. The Chorus (of course) refuses to believe her. 1201 1202- Cassandra explains why no one believes her prophecies. 1245 1246- Cassandra details the events leading toAgamemnon's death, and then her own. 1330 1331- Offstage, Clytemnestra killsAgamemnon and Cassandra; the frantic and terrified Chorus listens helplessly. 1371 1372- Clytemnestra explains why she murderedAgamemnon: He sacrificed Iphegenia, their daughter, for favorable sailing 1446 conditions. 1447- Using various other, analogous myths as "precedents," the Chous and Clytemnestra debate whether her actions are 1575 justifiable. 1576-1611 Aegisthus explains the curse onAtreus' house. 1612- Aegisthus and Clytemnestra reveal their plans to the chorus. 1674 THE LIBATION BEARERS Lines Events 1-105 Orestes, Electra, and Chorus individually lamentAgamemnon'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 ofAgamemnon's death. 372-460 Orestes and Electra decide the proper recourse is to kill Clytemnestra andAegisthus. 461-509 Orestes and Electra pray toAgamemnon's sha
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