The Oresteia

The Oresteia

Agamemnon; The Libation Bearers; The Eumenides


Introduction by: W. B. Stanford
Notes by: W. B. Stanford
Translator:

Format
Paperback
Price
$14.00
 
Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140443332
  • 336 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult

Overview

In the Oresteia Aeschylus addressed the bloody chain of murder and revenge within the royal family of Argos. As they move from darkness to light, from rage to self-governance, from primitive ritual to civilized institution, their spirit of struggle and regeneration becomes an everlasting song of celebration. In Agamemnon, a king’s decision to sacrifice his daughter and turn the tide of war inflicts lasting damage on his family, culminating in a terrible act of retribution; The Libation Bearers deals with the aftermath of Clytemnestra’s regicide, as her son Orestes sets out to avenge his father’s death; and in The Eumenides, Orestes is tormented by supernatural powers that can never be appeased. Forming an elegant and subtle discourse on the emergence of Athenian democracy out of a period of chaos and destruction, The Oresteia is a compelling tragedy of the tensions between our obligations to our families and the laws that bind us together as a society.

The only trilogy in Greek drama that survives from antiquity, Aeschylus’ The Oresteia is translated by Robert Fagles with an introduction, notes and glossary written in collaboration with W.B. Stanford in Penguin Classics. 

‘Conveys more vividly and powerfully than any of the ten competitors I have consulted the eternal power of this masterpiece … a triumph’ Bernard Levin
‘How satisfying to read at last a modern translation which is rooted in Greek feeling and Greek thought … both the stature and the profound instinctive genius of Aeschylus are recognised’ Mary Renault, author of The King Must Die

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Table of Contents

The Oresteia – Aeschylus Foreword
Acknowledgments
A Reading of “The Oresteia”: The Serpent and the Eagle

AESCHYLUS: THE ORESTEIA

Agamemnon
The Libation Bearers
The Eumenides
The Geneaology of Orestes
Select Bibliography
Notes:
Agamemnon
The Libation Bearers
The Eumenides
Glossary

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