October 26, 2005

Agamemnon, Iphigenaeia and Klytemnestra, oh my!

I've just finished reading Agamemnon, an ancient Greek text (well, the text I read was translated into English but you get the idea), for a class at UBC.

It's not got the same creepy quality as some texts we've covered (like, say, Oedipus the King), but it's heavy stuff.

Agamemnon, on his way to the Trojan War, sacrificed his daughter Iphigenaeia while asea to appease the gods and receive favourable winds for his ships. Ten years and horrible losses later, he returned home to a hate-filled marriage -- in fact, his "long-suffering wife" (Klytemnestra) had long-since shacked up with a lesser man (Aegisthus). She promptly knifed Agamemnon as soon as he got home. The chorus (you know, the omnipresent group of old men that speaks as a group in Greek drama) spends most of the time bemoaning the circle of revenge, asking "when does it end?"

While we didn't have to read further, the sequel to this play has their son, Orestes, come home to avenge his father's death by killing both the murderous wife and her lover.

Anyway, add this to the Iliad of Homer that I'm currently halfway through, and there's a lot of bloodletting, bronze-tipped spears splitting lips, and gilded armour clattering around falling bodies of late.

Anyone suggest a good comedy?

2 comments:

Trent said...

Anything by Aristophenes? Lysistrata, maybe. a bunch of people dressed up as genitalia would seem to me to appeal to you.

Trent said...

Gah. Aristophanes, I mean.