Essay Clytemnestra's Deception as Depicted in the Oresteia Trilogy

615 Words Nov 22nd, 2013 3 Pages
Clytemnestra Deception
In The Agamemnon book of the Oresteia trilogy, the Chorus in each play represents the people who feel under represented and disrespected by the society’s changing values. They also fear the control of an effective woman in Clytemnestra rather than the leadership of Agamemnon. The Chorus takes direct actions, thought to ensure their prominence.
Agamemnon, the king of Argos, returns home from the war at Troy. As his war prize he brings with him the prophetess-maiden Cassandra, daughter of King Priam of Troy. She was chosen by Apollo and granted the gift of prophecy, but as a result of Apollo's anger towards Cassandra, no one believes her predictions. Cassandra knows she and Agamemnon are going to die, but is
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This is an intentional and important aspect of her character and a way for the queen to assert her power. She makes the elders of Argos wait for her answer at the palace, when they came to ask her about the sacrificial fires burning in every major and minor shrine in the town. “The elders are skeptical of Clytemnestra’s reasons for believing that the expedition to Troy has been successful, and the conversation between the queen and the elders is reminiscent of a duel” (258-60). However, Clytemnestra masterfully uses rhetoric worthy of a man, and in the end the elders admit defeat (351–54). The queen disparages the herald who arrives to inform her of the safe return of Agamemnon. Clytemnestra cuts off his announcement by telling him that she already knows of the victory and claims that her husband will tell her everything she needs to know (587–614). Once again, she has successfully been undermined by her ‘unfeminine’ strength of mind and speech. When Agamemnon arrives, Clytemnestra assumes control of the situation by arriving late and giving a lengthy and garrulous welcoming speech to her husband (855–913).
Finally, in the famous carpet-scene (914–74), the queen persuades Agamemnon to offend the gods by walking on the luxurious purple clothes and straight to his death by her actions, Clytemnestra has managed to break with all the traditional Greek customs and rituals related to the homecoming of a king. That is the theme that

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