The Oresteia

The Oresteia

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Description

Aeschylus' famed plays Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and The Eumenides comprise the Oresteia, which uses the dark and convoluted story of a family curse, and a long history of murder and revenge, to raise haunting questions about the nature and the price of justice. In Agamemnon , the Argive king reaches home following his victory in the Trojan War, only to meet his death at the hand of his wife, Clytemnestra. Horrible as this deed is shown to be, we also come to understand in the course of the play how justice has been satisfied by Agamemnon's murder. The second play in the trilogy, The Libation Bearers (Choephoroe), portrays the vengeance of Agamemnon's son Orestes, who returns from exile to exact the price of his father's murder. With the aid of his sister Electra, Orestes kills Clytemnestra, and her lover, Aegisthus. By spilling his mother's blood, however, he invites the wrath of the ancient Erinyes, or Furies, and they begin to pursue him. The Eumenides shows the Furies' pursuit of Orestes, who is protected by the younger god Apollo. Orestes is ultimately tried for his crime in Athens, and Athena, goddess of wisdom, casts the deciding vote on his behalf, and releases him from the ancient familial blood-guilt. Athena persuades the Furies to accept the new legal justice and a new role in the polis, as Kindly Ones, who will bless the city of Athens and its land. In this exciting new translation, at once faithful to the original and as fully alive as a poem in English, Alan Shapiro and Peter Burian showcase the complexity and intricate imagery of this great work of Athenian tragic poetry.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 118 x 202 x 24mm | 381.02g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 019513592X
  • 9780195135923
  • 1,025,107

Review quote

-A wonderful collaboration of scholar and poet...vividly responsive to the variety and power of Aeschylus' writing.... A great achievement.---David Ferry, poet and translator, and author of Of No Country I Know: New and Selected Poems and Translations-Enthusiastically recommended...produces a language that is easy to read and easy to speak.---Library Journal [starred review] "A wonderful collaboration of scholar and poet...vividly responsive to the variety and power of Aeschylus' writing.... A great achievement."--David Ferry, poet and translator, and author of Of No Country I Know: New and Selected Poems and Translations"Enthusiastically recommended...produces a language that is easy to read and easy to speak."--Library Journal [starred review] "A wonderful collaboration of scholar and poet...vividly responsive to the variety and power of Aeschylus' writing.... A great achievement."--David Ferry, poet and translator, and author of Of No Country I Know: New and Selected Poems and Translations"Enthusiastically recommended...produces a language that is easy to read and easy to speak."--Library Journal [starred review] "A wonderful collaboration of scholar and poet...vividly responsive to the variety and power of Aeschylus' writing.... A great achievement."--David Ferry, poet and translator, and author of Of No Country I Know: New and Selected Poems and Translations "Enthusiastically recommended...produces a language that is easy to read and easy to speak."--Library Journal [starred review] "A wonderful collaboration of scholar and poet...vividly responsive to the variety and power of Aeschylus' writing.... A great achievement."--David Ferry, poet and translator, and author of Of No Country I Know: New and Selected Poems and Translations "Enthusiastically recommended...produces a language that is easy to read and easy to speak."--Library Journal [starred review] "A wonderful collaboration of scholar and poet...vividly responsive to the variety and power of Aeschylus' writing.... A great achievement."--David Ferry, poet and translator, and author of Of No Country I Know: New and Selected Poems and Translations"Enthusiastically recommended...produces a language that is easy to read and easy to speak."--Library Journal [starred review]show more

About Aeschylus

Alan Shapiro is Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the author of a number of prize-winning volumes of poetry and prose, including The Dead Alive and Busy, winner of the 2001 Kingsley Tufts Award. Peter Burian is Professor of Classics at Duke University. Together, they act as the general editors for Oxford's Greek Tragedy in New Translations series.show more

Rating details

28,172 ratings
3.99 out of 5 stars
5 36% (10,098)
4 35% (9,839)
3 23% (6,435)
2 5% (1,481)
1 1% (319)
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