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This text is part of: Greek and Roman Materials. Table of Contents: lines Current location in this text. Enter a Perseus citation to go to another section or work. Full search options are on the right side and top of the page. The tomb of Agamemnon. Enter Orestes and Pylades Orestes Hermes of the nether world, you who guard the powers that are your father's, 1 prove yourself my savior and ally, I entreat you, now that I have come to this land and returned from exile.

Libation Bearers. Herbert Weir Smyth, Ph. Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press. He must kill in order to stop the cycle of killing, but his actions are presented not as murder, but as justice from the gods.

The play ends as he is hounded by the Furies. We are left wondering if he will survive the psychological toll of his actions, setting up the final play of the trilogy, in which he is judged by the gods, the citizens, and himself. It is this judgment that moves us from the vengeance of the past into a civilized state of justice, in which we are all held accountable for our actions, whether by judgment of the gods, by our civil society, or by our own consciences.

Mar 26, Jack Siebert rated it it was amazing. Personal Response: I very much enjoyed the imagery with the snake breastfeeding. That was very colorful. I would have preferred if Clytemnestra had an elaborate death monologue after being struck down by her son, but the argument they share is still nice. They are informed of how Clytemnestra and her new man, Aegisthus, Killed Agamemnon and of Personal Response: I very much enjoyed the imagery with the snake breastfeeding.

They are informed of how Clytemnestra and her new man, Aegisthus, Killed Agamemnon and of Clytemnestra's vision of her breastfeeding a snake that poisons her. Orestes realizes he must be that metaphorical snake and that he must avenge his father by killing the new king and queen. Aegisthus comes out unguarded and Orestes kills him. Clytemnestra hears his shout and rushes down with an ax to see what happened. She recognizes him and they argue about who is morally right, Orestes than overpowers her and kills her.

Characterization: Orestes is much somber and gloomier at the beginning, but once he hears of her vision he becomes more cunning and sinister. Clytemnestra is much more bitter than in Agamemnon.

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Recommendation: I would recommend this to anyone who has read Agamemnon. The information within is quite essential for this tragedy. This would also be great with a small group of people. Dec 24, Miles Smith rated it really liked it Shelves: classical-history , plays. I'm not a Classicist, but this is more of a clear morality tale than the Agamemnon.

Libation Bearers

Evil receives a just result, but the playwright also seems to question if human justice can ever properly be instituted, or whether retribution just perpetuates violence. The mourning for Agamemnon goes on a bit too long and slows the pace of the drama. But the last few pages are just spectacular. Orestes' conflicted feelings on what to do with Clytemenstra are very compelling, and the hallucinations he has at the end due to his guilt are very bone-chilling. A great drama about the passion for revenge and the never-ending cycles it causes.

Jun 25, Bruno rated it it was amazing Shelves: tragedies , greek-literature , aeschylus-s-tragedies. The only tragedy with three surviving works from three different writers this and Electra from Sophocles and Euripides is my number 4 of the Aeschylus's survived tragedies. It's the second part of the trilogy,revolving around the Atreus family,as the children of the Mycenaean king Agamemnon Orestes and Electra seek to avenge the death of their father,at the hands of their mother,Clytemnestra and her lover and their uncle. Of the three versions of this tragedy,I would put The Libation The only tragedy with three surviving works from three different writers this and Electra from Sophocles and Euripides is my number 4 of the Aeschylus's survived tragedies.

Of the three versions of this tragedy,I would put The Libation Bearers at the 2nd place I'm going to make reviews for the other two later ,since this part has a conclusion in it's sequel,made by the same writer,but lacks the justifications from both sides for actions. Here the main protagonist acts according to the will of the gods,without hesitation,which is understandable for the most known Aeschylus's characters.

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The reason I've put it on the number 4 spot is the lack of content,as well as the build up characters meet,talk,act and decide what to do next ,because of it's short length,but higher than the previous tragedies,thanks to it's main focus on the new introduced characters and because it's the part of the trilogy,which themes focus on revenge,justice and honor to the family and memories.

Tomorrow I'll be reviewing the number 3 spot,so I wish you all a pleasant day and good rest during the weekend. Shelves: tragedy. The vengeance of Orestes 9 January This is the second play in the Oresteian trilogy and is basically the same plot as the over versions of the Electra that were also composed by Sophocles and Euripides. However it is very noticeable that it is the second part because this play goes straight into the action with a discussion between Orestes and Pylaides as they stand before Agamemnon's grave.

Many of the other plays seem to be self contained, but we understand that Aeschylus wrote mostly The vengeance of Orestes 9 January This is the second play in the Oresteian trilogy and is basically the same plot as the over versions of the Electra that were also composed by Sophocles and Euripides. Many of the other plays seem to be self contained, but we understand that Aeschylus wrote mostly trilogies and it is quite clear that the other playwrights would write their plays as single units. In a way, an Aeschylan tragedy is more like a play in three acts as opposed to three separate plays.

They work the way most trilogies work or are supposed to work in that they function as a whole as opposed to three separate parts. In ancient times going to the theatre was a whole day affair, with four plays being performed one after the other with breaks in between. Normally there would be three tragedies and what is termed as a satyr play: not strictly a comedy but more of a light hearted break from the intensities of the tragedies.

However it appears that the trilogy as a form of play was really a more earlier example than the later ones that we have.

As the play opens, the watchman is looking for

However, with the single unity plays it is difficult for me at least to see how the other plays would function, whether they would be connected or distinct, though I am leaning towards distinct units. The Libation Bearers which is the English title of this play also differs in that there is no strict unity of place, though it appears that the action occurs in a single day being the unity of time.

The location changes four times in this play, beginning at the grave, them moving to the city, and then moving into the palace where the murders take place. The play begins with Orestes' arrival and with Electra quickly identifying him this takes longer in the other versions and the Orestes and Pylaides sneaking into the palace to avenge his father's death.

The play then finishes with a horde of furies descending upon Orestes and setting the scene for the final play in the trilogy. It appears that the story is quite a popular one, though it probably has a lot to do with the moral dilemma that the play centres around. It was the duty of the son, in Greek culture, to avenge a father's murder and vengeance was always an eye for an eye, meaning that the killer must die.

However this was not a simply trial by jury, but bloody vengeance, and in a way it was acceptable. What was not acceptable was matricide the murder of a mother and thus comes the moral dilemma. Agamemnon was murdered, and it is Orestes' duty to avenge his death. However Agamemnon was murdered by his wife, and it was repulsive for a child to slay his mother but he had to avenge his father's death.

Libation Bearers by Aeschylus

As such, when the deed was done, the furies descend upon him to drive him out of Argos and he also had to seek cleansing and purification. Thus the stage is set for the final chapter in this drama, however I will not go any further into this as I shall leave the final instalment for the Eumenides. Jun 17, Michelle rated it liked it Shelves: books-i-own. I think that by committing the anachronism of considering Clytemnestra a good, strong character, I can't understand her vilification by Orestes in this play.

This was the play where, to me, we really saw the curse of the house of Atreus come into play. Orestes perpetuates the cycle of murder, on Apollo's orders, that was started by his grandfather by committing matricide. It's hard to judge how I feel about this play when 3. It's hard to judge how I feel about this play when it follows such a wonderful play as Agamemnon and when we have weaker characters such as Electra.

The second play of the Oresteian Trilogy is the first one to feature the titular character Orestes, and indeed he is the most important character from now on.

Curiously the play takes its name from the Chorus who here serve as libation bearers, i. The libation bearers are curious for a couple of reasons. The first play did not take its name from the role of the Chorus the town Elders on that occasion.

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Yet the Chorus might be said to have the dominant The second play of the Oresteian Trilogy is the first one to feature the titular character Orestes, and indeed he is the most important character from now on. Yet the Chorus might be said to have the dominant role in that play, at least in terms of the number of lines that they receive. Agamemnon has fewer lines than Clytemnestra or even Cassandra, although the play takes his name.

This makes sense though since the action concerns his homecoming and murder. However The Libation Bearers is mostly concerned with Orestes, and he has a far more prominent role in the play. The Chorus still receives a larger share of lines than anyone else, and they even get to play a small part in the action, in contrast to the ineffectual Elders of the first play. However there seems little reason to name the play after them. The role of the Chorus as libation bearers is curious for a second reason.

However the Chorus makes no serious attempt to fulfil their duties. Bitter and full of vengeful thoughts, the libations of the Chorus are little more than condemnations of the acts of Clytemnestra and her accomplice now her new husband Aegisthus. Among the libation bearers is Electra, the child of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon.