The Oresteia by Aeschylus & Robert Fagles
Agamemnon; The Libation Bearers; The Eumenides

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Synopsis

The only trilogy in Greek drama that survives from antiquity, Aeschylus' The Oresteia is translated by Robert fagles with an introduction, notes and glossary written in collaboration with W.B. Stanford in Penguin Classics. In the Oresteia Aeschylus addressed the bloody chain of murder and revenge within the royal family of Argos. As they move from darkness to light, from rage to self-governance, from primitive ritual to civilized institution, their spirit of struggle and regeneration becomes an everlasting song of celebration. In Agamemnon, a king's decision to sacrifice his daughter and turn the tide of war inflicts lasting damage on his family, culminating in a terrible act of retribution; The Libation Bearers deals with the aftermath of Clytemnestra's regicide, as her son Orestes sets out to avenge his father's death; and in The Eumenides, Orestes is tormented by supernatural powers that can never be appeased. Forming an elegant and subtle discourse on the emergence of Athenian democracy out of a period of chaos and destruction, The Oresteia is a compelling tragedy of the tensions between our obligations to our families and the laws that bind us together as a society. Aeschylus (525-456 BC) was born near Athens. He wrote more than seventy plays, of which seven have survived, all translated for Penguin Classics: The Supplicants, The Persians, Seven Against Thebes, Prometheus Bound, Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers and The Eumenides. If you enjoyed The Oresteia, you might like Euripides' Medea and Other Plays, also available in Penguin Classics. 'Conveys more vividly and powerfully than any of the ten competitors I have consulted the eternal power of this masterpiece ... a triumph' Bernard Levin 'How satisfying to read at last a modern translation which is rooted in Greek feeling and Greek thought ... both the stature and the profound instinctive genius of Aeschylus are recognised' Mary Renault, author of The King Must Die
 

About Aeschylus & Robert Fagles

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Aeschylus was born of a noble family near Athens in 525 BC. He took part in the Persian Wars and his epitaph, said to have been written by himself, represents him as fighting at Marathon. At some time in his life he appears to have been prosecuted for divulging the Eleusinian mysteries, but he apparently proved himself innocent. Aeschylus wrote more than seventy plays, of which seven have survived: The Suppliants, The Persians, Seven Against Thebes, Prometheus Bound, Agamemnon, The Choephori, and The Eumenides. (All are translated for Penguin Classics.) He visited Syracuse more than once at the invitation of Hieron I and he died at Gela in Sicily in 456 BC. Aeschylus was recognized as a classic writer soon after his death, and special privileges were decreed for his plays.
 
Published February 7, 1984 by Penguin Classics. 336 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Oresteia

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Keisel predicts rebound for Steelers as he makes the rounds at the Super Bowl Buddies building a business making bacon, kielbasa Medicare recipients may face large bill for care Monroeville manager resigns, citing ultimatum on police chief ...

Apr 18 2007 | Read Full Review of The Oresteia: Agamemnon; The ...

Austin Chronicle

(Far more successful – and teeth-baring – is another stab at poor Helen, "that venge-kitty poison-pretty whore.") Carson doesn't mince words, to the book's great benefit, and her ear for rhythm and cadence easily goes the distance from breathless to brutish to keening.

Apr 24 2009 | Read Full Review of The Oresteia: Agamemnon; The ...

Broad Street Review

We hear death screams, and a carpet is rolled out, displaying the butchered corpses of Agamemnon and Cassandra, along with Clytemnestra brandishing a bloody axe and defiantly explaining her action.

Jan 23 2013 | Read Full Review of The Oresteia: Agamemnon; The ...

Variety

While "Agamemnon" and "Electra" labor under heavy artistic hands with dark foreboding overtones, "Orestes" spins in much zanier direction.

Mar 22 1994 | Read Full Review of The Oresteia: Agamemnon; The ...

The Berkshire Review

Michael Miller, Editor and Publisher of New York Arts and The Berkshire Review, an International Journal for the Arts, was trained as a classicist and art historian at Harvard and Oxford, worked in the art world for many years as a curator and dealer, and contributed reviews and articles to Bosto...

Aug 03 2009 | Read Full Review of The Oresteia: Agamemnon; The ...

The Berkshire Review

from Williams College.An OresteiaStephanie Roth Haberle as Clytemnestra in a Scene from Aeschylus' Agamemnon, photo Joan MarcusFrom the works of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides Translated by Anne CarsonDirected by Brian Kulick, Gisela Cardenas, Paul Lazar, and Annie-B Parson Classic Stage Company...

Apr 14 2009 | Read Full Review of The Oresteia: Agamemnon; The ...

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