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The Oresteian Trilogy

Agamemnon; The Choephori; The Eumenides

Aeschylus - Author

Philip Vellacott - Translator

Philip Vellacott - Introduction by

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ISBN 9780140440676 | 208 pages | 30 Dec 1956 | Penguin Classics | 5.07 x 7.79in | 18 - AND UP
Summary of The Oresteian Trilogy Summary of The Oresteian Trilogy Reviews for The Oresteian Trilogy An Excerpt from The Oresteian Trilogy
‘Anger still unreconciled
Poisoning a house’s life
With darkness, treachery and strife’ (47

Aeschylus (525–c.456 BC) set his great trilogy in the immediate aftermath of the Fall of Troy, when King Agamemnon returns to Argos, a victor in war. Agamemnon depicts the hero’s discovery that his family has been destroyed by his wife’s infidelity and ends with his death at her callous hand. Clytemnestra’s crime is repaid in The Choephori when her outraged son Orestes kills both her and her lover. The Eumenides then follows Orestes as he is hounded to Athens by the Furies’ law of vengeance and depicts Athene replacing the bloody cycle of revenge with a system of civil justice. Written in the years after the Battle of Marathon, The Oresteian Trilogy affirmed the deliverance of democratic Athens not only from Persian conquest, but also from its own barbaric past.

Philip Vellacott’s verse translation makes this eternal dramatic masterpiece accessible for the modern reader. In his introduction, he examines the historical context and the literary style of the plays.

The Oreteian Trilogy Introduction

Agamemnon

The Choephori or The Libation-Bearers

The Eumenides

Notes to 'Agamemnon'

Notes to 'The Choephori'

Notes to 'The Eumenides'

Appendix
Select Bibliography
The Pronunciation of Greek Names
Genealogical Table of the House of Atreus