Aeschylus

Aeschylus: The Oresteia

The Murder of Agamemnon, from Stories from the Greek Tragedians (1879)The Oresteia (Ancient Greek: Ὀρέστεια) is series of plays by Aeschylus which won the dramatic competition in Athens at their original production in 458 BC. The component plays, the Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and The Eumenides, make up the only surviving trilogy from Classical Attic Tragedy.

The successive episodes are centred on the murder of Agamemnon by his wife Clytemnestra, the revenge of Agamemnon's son Orestes, and Orestes' subsequent trial at Athens. The resolution of the trilogy arguably represents a transition from the clan-based vengeance of Archaic Greece to a new form of justice associated with the classical polis.

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Free online texts

Gutenberg: The House of Atreus; Being the Agamemnon, the Libation bearers, and the Furies, translated by E.D.A. Morshead. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Plays of Aeschylus, translated by Walter Headlam and C.E.S. Headlam. Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L146 - Aeschylus -- Agamemnon. Libation-Bearers. Eumenides. Fragments. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Poetry in Translation: Agamemnon, The Choephori, The Eumenides; translated by George Theodoridis (2009). Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Multiple translations and Greek texts. Multiple formats.

Performances and Reviews

Cambridge Greek Play, Cambridge, 1933.

Almeida, London, 2015: IndependentObserver - Time Out

Translation Reviews

Anne Carson

Note that Carson's An Oresteia combines Aeschylus' Agamemnon with Sophocles' Electra and Euripides' Orestes, thus bringing together the approaches of all three major tragedians to the material provided by the myth of the House of Atreus.

London Review of Books: Lets Cut to the Wail, by Michael Wood, June 2009.

The Nation: Violent Grace: Anne Carson’s An Oresteia, by Emily Watson.

New York Times, Family Feuds, by Brad Leithauser.

Ted Hughes

The Ted Hughes Society: The Oresteia.

Other Resources

BBC In Our Time: The Oresteia - Melvyn Bragg in discussion with Edith Hall, Professor of Greek Cultural History at Durham University; Simon Goldhill, Professor of Greek at the University of Cambridge; Tom Healy, Professor of Renaissance Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London.

Classical-literature.com: The Oresteia - synopsis and analysis.

History of Ancient Greece: Early Tragedy and Aeschylus, podcast by Ryan Stitt.

Librivox: The Oresteia - public domain audiobook.

L’Istituto Nazionale del Dramma Antico: Aeschylus' Oresteia and its Characters - Professor Bob Wallace interviewed by Michele La Ferla.

Literature and History: Episode 26 - Ancient Greek Theater | Episode 27 - The Bloody King - The Oresteian Trilogy, Part 1 - Agamemnon | Episode 28 - A Mother's Curse - The Oresteian Trilogy, Part 2 - The Libation Bearers.| Episode 29 - The Mound and the Furies - The Oresteian Trilogy, Part 3: The Eumenides. Podcasts by Doug Metzger.

Penguin: The Oresteia - reading guide.

Reed Magazine: Darkness, Light, and Drama in the Oresteia - lecture by Professor Thomas Gillcrist.

Society for Classical Studies: Unanimous Gods, Unanimous Athens? Voting and Divinities in the Oresteia, by Amit Shilo.

Theatre Database: The Oresteia - synopsis and analysis.

Theatre History: The Oresteia - synopsis and analysis.

Theatricalia: The Oresteia - list of past productions.

Vancouver Island University: Lecture on the Oresteia, by Ian Johnston.

Youtube: Oresteia Summary (Agamemnon, Libation Bearers and Eumenides) - by Macmillan films.

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Aeschylus: Eumenides

The Eumenides sometimes known as The Furies, is the final play of the Oresteia, a sequence by Aeschylus, originally produced at Athens in 458 BC, when it won that year's dramatic competition. Along with its precursors, Agamemnon and The Libation Bearers, it forms the only trilogy from classical Attic tragedy to survive in full, although an accompanying satyr-play, the Proteus is lost.

The plot opens with the Furies, goddesses of vengeance, in pursuit of Orestes, who has killed his own mother, Clytemnestra, in revenge for her killing of his father Agamemnon. Orestes flees first to the shrine of Apollo at Delphi, and then to Athens, where Athena arranges his trial by the court of Areopagus. The theme of the play is thus revealed as the transition from clan-based vengeance to the justice of the polis.

The Eumenides at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Gutenberg: The House of Atreus; Being the Agamemnon, the Libation bearers, and the Furies, translated by E.D.A. Morshead. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Plays of Aeschylus, translated by Walter Headlam and C.E.S. Headlam. Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L146 - Aeschylus -- Agamemnon. Libation-Bearers. Eumenides. Fragments. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: Eumenides - Greek text and translation by Herbert Weir Smyth (1926). HTML and XML formats.

Poetry in Translation: Eumenides, translated by George Theodoridis (2009). Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: The Eumenides, translated by E.D.A. Morshead. Multiple formats.

Vancouver Island University: The Eumenides (The Kindly Ones), translated by Ian Johnston. HTML format.

Wikisource: Eumenides - multiple translations and Greek text. Multiple formats.

Other Resources

History of Ancient Greece: Early Tragedy and Aeschylus, podcast by Ryan Stitt.

Librivox: The Furies (Morshead Translation), public domain audiobook.

Literature and History: Episode 26 - Ancient Greek Theater. Podcast by Doug Metzger.

Literature and History: Episode 29 - The Mound and the Furies - The Oresteian Trilogy, Part 3: The Eumenides. Podcast.

Wikipedia: Aeschylus

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Aeschylus: See Agamemnon and The Libation Bearers for texts and resources related to the other plays of the Oresteia.

Aeschylus' other extant plays are The Persians, Prometheus Bound, The Suppliants and The Seven Against Thebes.

Aristotle: The Poetics.

A.E. Haigh: The Tragic Drama of the Greeks (1896).

Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.


Aeschylus: The Libation Bearers

Electra and Orestes, from Stories from the Greek Tragedians (1879).The Libation Bearers, or Choephoroi, is the second play in the Oresteia, a sequence by Aeschylus, which won the dramatic competition at Athens in its original production of 458 BC. Together with its precursor Agamemnon, and the succeeding Eumenides, it forms the only surviving trilogy from Attic tragedy.

The plot centres on the return to Argos of Orestes, the son of the murdered Agamemnon, his recognition by his sister Electra, and his vengeance against his mother, Clytemnestra.

The Libation Bearers at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Gutenberg: The House of Atreus; Being the Agamemnon, the Libation bearers, and the Furies, translated by E.D.A. Morshead. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Plays of Aeschylus, translated by Walter Headlam and C.E.S. Headlam. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Choephoroe (Libation Bearers), translated by Gilbert Murray (1923). Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L146 - Aeschylus -- Agamemnon. Libation-Bearers. Eumenides. Fragments. PDF of public domain Loeb edition.

Perseus: Libation Bearers, Greek text and translation by Herbert Weir Smyth. Multiple formats.

Poetry in Translation: Choephoroi, translated by George Theodoridis (2009). Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: The Choephori (Libation-Bearers), translated by E.D.A. Morshead. Multiple formats.

Vancouver Island University: Choephoroi (The Libation Bearers), translated by Ian Johnston. HTML format.

Wikisource: Choephori (Aeschylus) - multiple translations and Greek text. Multiple formats.

Other Resources

History of Ancient Greece: Early Tragedy and Aeschylus, podcast by Ryan Stitt.

Librivox: The Libation-Bearers (Morshead Translation), public domain audiobook.

Literature and History: Episode 26 - Ancient Greek Theater. Podcast.

Literature and History: Episode 28 - A Mother's Curse - The Oresteian Trilogy, Part 2 - The Libation Bearers. Podcast.

Wikipedia: Aeschylus

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Aeschylus: Agamemnon

The Return of Agamemnon, from Stories from the Greek Tragedians (1879).The Agamemnon (Ancient Greek: Ἀγαμέμνων) is a tragedy by Aeschylus, the first play of the Oresteia, a sequence which won the dramatic competition at Athens in its original production of 458 BCE.  Together with its sequels, The Libation Bearers (Choephoroi) and the Eumenides, it forms the only trilogy from classical Attic drama to survive intact. 

The plot centres on Agamemnon's return from Troy with his concubine Cassandra, whose gift of prophecy allows her to foresee that they will be murdered by his wife Clytemnestra, and her lover Aegisthus.

The Agamemnon at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Gutenberg: The House of Atreus; Being the Agamemnon, the Libation bearers, and the Furies, translated by E.D.A. Morshead. Multiple formats.

Gutenberg: Agamemnon, verse translation by Gilbert Murray. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Plays of Aeschylus, translated by Walter Headlam and C.E.S. Headlam. Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L146 - Aeschylus -- Agamemnon. Libation-Bearers. Eumenides. Fragments. PDF of public domain Loeb edition.

Perseus: Agamemnon, translated by Robert Browning (1889). TXT and XML formats.

Perseus: Greek text and translation by Herbert Weir Smyth. TXT and XML formats.

Poetry in Translation: Agamemnon, translated by George Theodoridis (2009). Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: Agamemnon, translated by E.D.A. Morshead. Multiple formats.

Vancouver Island University: Agamemnon, translated by Ian Johnston. HTML format.

Wikisource: Agamemnon, multiple translations and Greek text. Multiple formats.

Other Resources

History of Ancient Greece: Early Tragedy and Aeschylus, podcast by Ryan Stitt.

Librivox: Agamemnon - Audiobook readings of Browning and Morshead translations.

Literature and History: Episode 26 - Ancient Greek Theater. Podcast.

Literature and History: Episode 27 - The Bloody King - The Oresteian Trilogy, Part 1 - Agamemnon. Podcast.

Vancouver Island University: Lecture on the Oresteia, by Ian Johnston.

Wikipedia: Aeschylus

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Aeschylus: The Suppliants

The Suppliants or The Suppliant Maidens (Greek: Ἱκέτιδες, Hiketides; Latin Supplices) is an ancient Greek tragedy by Aeschylus, the first part of a tetrology along with the lost tragedies Aegyptii and Danaides, and the satyr play Amymone. The sequence was originally produced for a dramatic competition in which Sophocles was also a participant, possibly that of 463 BC.

The fact that the chorus functions as a protagonist in the title role has been seen as evidence that the play reflects a relatively early stage in the development of Athenian tragedy. The suppliants are the fifty daughters of Danaus, who have fled to Argos from Egypt to avoid marriage to their cousins, the fifty sons of King Aegyptus.  The loss of the later plays has left broad scope for debate about the plot's significance for Aeschylus's view of the institution of marriage.

The Suppliant Maidens at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts
Gutenberg: Four Plays of Aeschylus; The Suppliant Maidens, The Persians, The Seven against Thebes, The Prometheus Bound, translated by E.D.A. Morshead. Multiple formats. 

Internet Archive: The Plays of Aeschylus, translated by Walter Headlam and C.E.S. Headlam. Multiple formats.

Loebulus. L145 - Aeschylus -- Suppliant Maidens. Persians. Prometheus. Seven Against Thebes. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: Suppliant Women. Greek text and translation by Herbert Weir Smyth. Multiple formats.

Poetry in Translation: Suppliant Maidens, translated by George Theodoridis (2009). Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: The Suppliants, translated by E.D.A. Morshead. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Suppliants (Aeschylus) - multiple translations.

Other Resources

History of Ancient Greece: Early Tragedy and Aeschylus, podcast by Ryan Stitt.

Librivox: The Suppliant Maidens (Morshead Translation), public domain audiobook.

Literature and History: Episode 26 - Ancient Greek Theater. Podcast.

Wikipedia: Aeschylus  - The Suppliants (Aeschylus).

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Aristotle: The Poetics.

A.E. Haigh: The Tragic Drama of the Greeks (1896).

Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.

Bloom's Western Canon: The Suppliants is listed.


Aeschylus: Seven Against Thebes

The Oath of the Seven Chiefs, from Stories from the Greek Tragedians (1879).Seven Against Thebes (Greek: Ἑπτὰ ἐπὶ Θήβας, Hepta epi Thēbas; Latin: Septem contra Thebas) is a tragedy by Aeschylus, originally produced in 467 BC as the conclusion of a trilogy including the lost plays Laius and Oedipus.

The drama centres on Oedipus's sons Eteocles, King of Thebes, and his exiled brother Polyneices, who is leading an Argive army against the city. Eteocles dispatches Theban champions to the city's gates, each of which is being attacked by one of seven heroes: Adrastus, Tydeus, Parthenopaeus, Capaneus, Hippomedon, Amphariaus, and Polyneices himslef, who is confronted by the king in person. 

In its original version, the play ended with mourning for the two brothers after they slay each other in single combat. The text was modified some fifty years later to set the scene for the events of Sophocles' Antigone.

Seven Against Thebes at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Bacchicstage: Seven Against Thebes, translated by G. Theodoridis. HTML format. Other formats available at Poetry in Translation.

Gutenberg: Four Plays of Aeschylus; The Suppliant Maidens, The Persians, The Seven against Thebes, The Prometheus Bound, translated by E.D.A. Morshead. Multiple formats. 

Internet Archive: The Plays of Aeschylus, translated by Walter Headlam and C.E.S. Headlam. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Seven Against Thebes, translated by Edwyn Bevan. Multiple formats.

Internet Classics Archive: The Seven Against Thebes, translated by E.D.A. Morshead. HTML and TXT formats.

 Loebulus. L145 - Aeschylus -- Suppliant Maidens. Persians. Prometheus. Seven Against Thebes. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

University of Adelaide: Seven Against Thebes, translated by E.D.A. Morshead. Multiple formats.

Perseus: Seven Against Thebes, translated by Herbert Weir Smith. HTML and XML format.

Wikisource: Seven Against Thebes, multiple translations and Greek text. Multiple formats.

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Aeschylus: Prometheus Bound

Prometheus Bound (Greek: Προμηθεὺς Δεσμώτης, Promētheus Desmōtēs) is an ancient Greek tragedy attributed to Aeschylus. Some modern scholars have suggested it was completed by another hand after Aeschlyus' death in 456 BC due to stylistic differences with his other plays. No record of the play's original production survives. It is thought to have been part of a trilogy with Prometheus Fire-carrier (Prometheus pyrphoros) and Prometheus Unbound (Prometheus lymenos). The order of the three plays is uncertain and the other two survive only in fragments.

The drama is set on a mountain in the Caucasus where Prometheus is chained by Hephaestus for defying Zeus and giving humans the gift of fire. The play's theme of resistance to a tyrannical traditional order has provided a motif of wide appeal in modern times. The poet Shelley famously wrote his own Prometheus Unbound, which vindicated the play's prophesy of Zeus' overthrow.

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Free online texts

Bacchicstage: Prometheus Bound, translated by G. Theodoridis. Multiple formats. Also available at Poetry in Translation.

Bartleby: Prometheus Bound, translated by E.H. Plumptre. HTML format. Harvard Classics edition.

Gutenberg: Four Plays of Aeschylus; The Suppliant Maidens, The Persians, The Seven against Thebes, The Prometheus Bound, translated by E.D.A. Morshead. Multiple formats. 

Internet Archive: Prometheus Bound, translated by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1833). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Prometheus Bound, and Other Poems, translated by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1851). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Prometheus Bound, translated by Augusta Webster (1866). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Prometheus Bound, translated by C.B. Cayley (1867). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The voyage of the Phocæans, and other poems, with the Prometheus bound of Æschylus done into English verse, translated by E. H. Pembry, (1895). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Prometheus Bound and the Seven Against Thebes, translated by T.A. Buckley (1897). Multiple formats. Also available at Gutenberg.

Internet Archive: Prometheus Bound, translated by P.E. More (1899). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Prometheus Bound, translated by E.R. Bevan (1902). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Prometheus Bound, translated by R. Whitelaw (1907). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Plays of Aeschylus, translated by Walter Headlam and C.E.S. Headlam. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Prometheus Bound, translated by M.C. Wier (1916). Multiple formats.

Internet Classics Archive: Prometheus Bound. English translation, HTML and TXT formats.

Liberty Fund: The Lyrical Dramas of Aeschylus, translated into English Verse by John Stuart Blackie (1906). Multiple formats.

 Loebulus. L145 - Aeschylus -- Suppliant Maidens. Persians. Prometheus. Seven Against Thebes. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: Prometheus Bound, translated by Herbert Weir Smyth (1926). Greek text- English translation. HTML and XML formats.

Textkit: Prometheus Bound, Greek text, edited by F.D. Allen.

Theoi: Prometheus Bound, translated by Herbert Weir Smyth (1926). HTML format.

UC San Diego: Prometheus Bound, translated by Marianne McDonald. PDF format.

University of Adelaide: Prometheus Bound, translated by G.M. Cookson.

Wikisource: Prometheus Bound, multiple translations including Henry David Thoreau (1843), as well as the Greek text.

Performances and reviews

Kings College London: Prometheus Bound (2017).

Jay Harvey Upstage: EclecticPond's 'Prometheus Bound' takes Aeschylus up to the Age of Snowden, 25 March 2016.

Theatermania: Prometheus Bound, Aquila Theatre Company, New York City, reviewed by David Finkle, 22 March 2007. | Wilborn Hampton, An Ancient Greek Lesson About the Abuse of Power, New York Times, 27 March 2007.

Theatricalia: Prometheus Bound.

The Getty: Getty and CalArts Center for New Performance Join to Present Prometheus Bound in Annual Outdoor Theater Production at the Getty Villa, 23 April 2013. | This Stage: Deborah Behrens, Preston’s Prometheus Bound Brings Poetic Revolution to Getty Villa, 5 September 2013. 

YouTube: Prometheus Bound, New York University (2013).

Other Resources

Ancient-Literature.com: Prometheus Bound.

Boston University: The Political Philosophy of Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound: Justice as Seen by Prometheus, Zeus, and Io, by Judith A. Swanson.

Bryn Mawr Classical Review: Ian Ruffell, Aeschylus: Prometheus Bound. Companions to Greek and Roman Tragedy. London:  Bristol Classical Press, 2011. Reviewed by Ian C. Storey, Trent University (2013).

Duke.edu: The Date of Prometheus Bound, by Dana Ferrin Sutton (1983).

Flavorwire: Torture and Surveillance of the Gods: A Brilliant New Translation of ‘Prometheus Bound, by Jonath Sturgeon.

Harvard Library: Thoreau's translation of Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus, 12 July 2013.

History of Ancient Greece: Early Tragedy and Aeschylus, podcast by Ryan Stitt.

Librivox: Prometheus Bound, public domain audiobooks of several translations.

Literature and History: Episode 26 - Ancient Greek Theater. Podcast by Doug Metzger.

New York Review of Books: Prometheus Bound derived from Aeschylus, a free adaptation by Robert Lowell (1967).

The Pathology Guy: Enjoying "Prometheus Bound", by Aeschylus, by Ed Friedlander.

Theatre Database: Prometheus Bound, a synopsis and analysis. Originally published in The Tragic Drama of the Greeks. A.E. Haigh. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1896. pp. 109-14.

TheatreHistory: Prometheus Bound, summary and analysis.

Wikipedia: Aeschylus - Prometheia -  Prometheus Bound.

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Aeschylus: The Persians

The Persians (Greek: Πέρσαι, Latin Persae) by Aeschylus is the oldest surviving Greek tragedy and the only one to deal with recent historical events, portraying the Persian court during Xerxes' invasion of Greece, which ended with defeat at Salamis and Plataea in 480 BC. The play was produced at Athens only eight years later in 472 BC, with the statesman Pericles acting as choregos or producer. Aeschylus himself was a veteran of the Persian Wars, fighting at Marathon in 490 BC. The tone of the work is one of compassion for the defeated mixed with pride in the Greek victory.

The Persians at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

 Free online texts

Gutenberg: Πέρσαι. Greek text, multiple formats.

Gutenberg: Four Plays of Aeschylus; The Suppliant Maidens, The Persians, The Seven against Thebes, The Prometheus Bound, translated by E.D.A. Morshead. Multiple formats. 

Internet Archive: The Plays of Aeschylus, translated by Walter Headlam and C.E.S. Headlam. Multiple formats.

Internet Classics Archive: The Persians. English text, HTML and TXT formats.

Loebulus. L145 - Aeschylus -- Suppliant Maidens. Persians. Prometheus. Seven Against Thebes. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: The Persians. Greek text, edited by Herbert Weir Smith, Cambridge (1926). HTML and XML formats.

Perseus: The Persians, translated by Herbert Weir Smyth (1926). HTML and XML formats.

Poetry in Translation: Persians, translated by G. Theodoridis. HTML format.

Wikisource: Πέρσαι - Greek text, edited by Herbert Weir Smith, Cambridge (1926). HTML, other formats via bookcreator.

Wikisource: The Persians, multiple English translations. HTML, other formats via bookcreator.

Other Resources

The Guardian: The National Theatre of Wales does battle with Aeschylus' The Persians. Review by Charlotte Higgins.

History of Ancient Greece: Early Tragedy and Aeschylus, podcast by Ryan Stitt.

The Iris: A Guide to Aeschylus's 'Persians', by Shelby Brown, 13 August 2014.

KCET: The Persians - Performing Aeschylus' Tragedy Today by Victoria Looseleaf, September 18, 2014.

Librivox: The Persians. Public domain audiobook.

Literature and History: Episode 26 - Ancient Greek Theater. Podcast.

On Teaching Aeschylus' Persians, by K.O. Chong-Gossard. Essay in PDF format.

Theatre Database: The Persians, an analysis of the play by Aeschylus, from The Tragic Drama of the Greeks. A.E. Haigh. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1896. 

Wikipedia: AeschylusThe Persians.

The Great Conversation: Related reading at Tom's Learning Notes.

Herodotus: The Histories - The classic contemporary account of the Persian Wars.

Aristophanes: The Frogs - includes an apparent reference to The Persians.

Aristotle: The Poetics.

A.E. Haigh: The Tragic Drama of the Greeks (1896).

 Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.

Bloom's Western Canon: The Persians is listed.