Aeschylus: Eumenides
Haigh: The Tragic Drama of the Greeks

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. 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.

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

Aeschylus: See Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and The Eumenides for texts and resources related to the individual plays of the trilogy.

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

Homer: The Iliad.

Homer: The Odyssey.

Sophocles: Electra.

Euripides: Iphigenia at Aulis - a version of the events which prompted Clytemnestra's desire for revenge.

Euripides: Orestes.

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 Oresteia is listed.


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