The "Eumenides", the concluding drama in Aeschylus' sole surviving trilogy, the "Oresteia", is not only one of the most admired Greek tragedies, but also one of the most controversial and contested, both to specialist scholars and public intellectuals. It stands at the crux of the controversies over the relationship between the fledgling democracy of Athens and the dramas it produced during the City Dionysia, and over the representation of women in the theatre and their implied status in Athenian society. The "Eumenides" enacts the trial of Agamemnon's son Orestes, who had been ordered under the threat of punishment by the god Apollo to murder his mother Clytemnestra, who had earlier killed Agamemnon.In the "Eumenides", Orestes, hounded by the Eumenides (Furies), travels first to Delphi to obtain ritual purgation of his mother's blood, and then, at Apollo's urging, to Athens to seek the help of Athena, who then decides herself that an impartial jury of Athenians should decide the matter. Aeschylus thus presents a drama that shows a growing awareness of the importance of free will in Athenian thought through the mythologized institution of the first jury trial.
Along with Sophocles and Euripides, Aeschylus (circa 524-455 B.C.) is one of the triumvirate of Ancient Greek playwrights responsible for much of the establishment of Western drama as it exists today. Aeschylus was the first whose work survived and is credited as the Father of Tragedy, though the other two are probably better known in the West today. He was famous even among his contemporaries; Aristotle mentions how he revolutionized plays by creating more characters and having them interact with each other to produce conflict. Some of the Ancient Greeks' most famous characters are famous because of Aeschylus, none more so than Orestes. Aeschylus is believed to have written nearly 100 plays, but less than 10 survived, chief among them being the trilogy known as The Oresteia, consisting of the three tragedies Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers and The Eumenides. He's also credited for Prometheus Bound, though the authorship of that one is still in dispute.
From the Penn Greek Drama Series, this volume offers translations by David Slavitt of the great trilogy of the House of Atreus, telling of Agamemnon's murder at the hands of his wife, Clytemnestra, and her lover, Aegisthus, and of Electra's rebelliousness and Orestes's ultimate revenge.
Precious Ramotswe is back and, as usual, her plate is full! She's called in to tackle a mysterious disciplinary problem at her adopted daughter's school. Her infinitely trustworthy assistant, Grace Makutsi, is having trouble adjusting to wedded bliss, a problem to test even the formidable talents of Mma Ramotswe.