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Agamemnon (play)

Aeschylus' Agamemnon details the return of Agamemnon, King of Argos, from the Trojan War to his death. Waiting at home for him is his wife, Clytemnestra, who has been planning his death as revenge for the sacrifice of their daughter, Iphegenia[?].

The play opens to Clytemnestra awaiting the return of her husband, having seen the sign that Troy had fallen. However, when Agamemnon arrives, he has in tow as a slave, the prophetess Cassandra. This, of course, serves to anger Clytemnestra further.

The main action of the play is the agon[?] between Clytemnestra and Agamemnon. She attempts to persuade Agamemnon to step on a purple (sometimes red) tapestry or carpet to walk into the their home. The problem is that this would be indicative of hubris on Agamemnon's part, and he does not wish to do this. Eventually, (the reasons why are highly debated) Clytemnestra does convince Agamemnon to enter the house, where she kills him in the bath.

Whilst Clytemnestra and Agamemnon are offstage, Cassandra discusses with the chorus whether or not she ought to enter the house, knowing that she too will be murdered. In Cassandra's speech, she runs through many images of the history of the House of Atreus[?], and eventually chooses to enter the house.

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