Course site for Classical Studies 200, Greek and Roman Mythology, at the University of Pennsylvania
This Greek tragedy in three parts is a continuation of the life of Agamemnon and his family following the Trojan War. The house of Atreus is in big trouble. Agamemnon's father, Atreus had a brother, Thyestes, who seduced his wife. In return, Atreus killed Thyestes' kids and served them to Thyestes as dinner. Escaping with only one surviving child, Aegisthus, Thyestes cursed the house of Atreus and vowed revenge. Atreus had two sons, Menelaus(Helen's dear husband) and Agamemnon. Both brothers fought for a decade against Troy to avenge Paris's seduction of Helen. Before heading off to war, Agamemnon sacrificed his virgin daughter to the gods in order to petition for good travelling winds on the trip. While gone, his wife had a lot of time to fuel her resentment of this act and found solace in the arms of Agamemnon's cousin, Aegisthus, who returned from exile and made himself at home in Agamemnon's house. Oresteia begins with Agamemnon's return to his loving family. Clytaemnestra (the Mrs.) provided a unique "Welcome Home, Honey" party by murdering her husband, kicking out the kids,disgracefully burying her ex, and continuing to shack up with her new man. A dream of warning alerted Mrs. Agamemnon that "what goes around - comes around" once again. Her exiled son reappears to team up with her daughter to avenge their father's untimely death. Unfortunately,this family fails to recognize that revenge demands more revenge. Can Wisdom save the day? Will more blood be shed? Read and find out.
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