Agamemnon Essay

Superior Essays
Bring Me My Battle Axsignment
A Character Critique of Clytemnestra in “Agamemnon” by Aeschylus
The Greek tragedy “Agamemnon” is the first play in Aeschylus’s trilogy “Oresteia”. It follows King Agamemnon’s return to Argos and his vengeful demise at the hands of his wife Clytemnestra (referred to as Cly). Cly is the Queen of Argos, daughter of KIng Tyndareus, wife of King Agamemnon (referred to as Aga) and sister of Helen. During the Trojan War, while Aga was gone, Cly played the role of a regent. Cly also acts as the antagonist; killing Agamemnon and Cassandra. Cly’s motivation to kill Mycenae’s king is rooted in Agamemnon’s sacrifice of their daughter Iphigenia, her affair with Aegisthus, and the curse of the House of Atreus. Cly developed
…show more content…
Deviousness has aided Cly in the execution of her plot to kill Aga. First, she misrepresented herself in front of the Chorus by portraying herself as loyal to Aga as a “house dog”(pg.28), although she was having an affair with Aegisthus. Next, by laying out a purple path for Aga to walk on, Cly led the king into a false sense of security. Finally, Cly underhandedly performed the sacrificial ritual of cleansing with lustration by planning that Aga take a bath. This led Aga into a vulnerable state where he could not defend himself. Interestingly, Cly achieves justice through destruction. First, the queen kills Aga in an effort to reunite him and his daughter. Next, Cly a personification of the curse of the house of Atreus as she continues the cycle of revenge. Also, Cly is naive and is taken advantage of by Aegisthus as she adopted his narrative of killing Aga. Her naivety is also displayed when she believed that Aga had a choice as to whether or not to sacrifice Iphigenia. However, after killing Aga she believes that “a compact will be made with the house of Pleisthenes (Atreus)”(pg.48). How can she expect Orestes to act any different than Aga and disobey the gods. Aeschylus has effectively characterized Clytemnestra to fit this …show more content…
First, Aeschylus introduced the use of a chariot which conveyed Clytemnestra wanting to bring Aga, literally off his high horse, and down to her petty level during the purple path episode. Next, by having Cly kill Aga in a bathtub Aeschylus highlighted Cly’s deviousness. She appears to want to do something but it’s really just her own good. Throughout the play we see how confidently Clytemnestra rules. However, when Aegisthus exits the palace and reveals how he was the mastermind behind Aga’s death, Cly is viewed as weak character and not intelligent nor strong. Aeschylus knew that this wasn’t the case with Clytemnestra and he highlighted her strength by her preventing the fight between the Chorus and lover. Disappointingly, at some points, the reader needed to possess prior knowledge. If the viewer didn’t know about Cly’s affair then all they wouldn’t of seen the irony when she depicted herself as loyal. Aeschylus built a very strong character in

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    In the play Agamemnon by Aeschylus, there are multiple characters that have questionable morals. But Aeschylus does give us one reliable person amidst the chaotic setting, and her name is Cassandra. She is easily the most trustworthy person in the play. Cassandra was a lady from the ruling house in Troy. When Agamemnon’s Greek forces took control of the city, she was taken back to Argos as a symbol of triumph over her home. Out of all the main characters she remains the most truthful, but ironically…

    • 917 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    an Akkadian Ruler Vs. Funerary Mask of ‘Agamemnon’ Comparing two sculptures can be overwhelming. The two pieces of artworks I have chosen are both heads of former rulers, each of them coming from a different empire. Nobody knows who made each of these artworks. The first sculpture for comparison is the head of an Akkadian ruler also known as the “Head of Sargon the Great”(). The second sculpture is to be compared and contrasted with is the Mask of Agamemnon. Both being the same type of artwork could…

    • 1051 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Ancient Greek Gods

    • 971 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The essay question tells me to look at the role of the Gods or the role of the fates. However, in my opinion, I believe that they are intertwined, fate is the will of the gods. For the ancient Greeks, Fate embodied a startling, unrelenting force. The gods in Greek literature were portrayed in diverse manners, from irrelevant to much more significant roles. The smaller roles might have included a chorus or a character referring to god in their speech, or suggestions throughout the play that the gods…

    • 971 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays