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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aeschylus
Whilst I personally found Aeschylus more difficult than Euripides I enjoyed these plays as much as his. The verse translation manages to capture the spirit of the verse used in the original Greek, and the notes are very useful as is the introduction. Besides that, the storyline is gripping, as is the characterisation of Clytemnestra and Orestes. Well worth reading.
Published on 22 Aug 2011 by Grainne Baker

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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful not Thrilling
Of the seventy plays written by Aeschylus only seven survive and parts of these have been pieced together from references in other works. The Oresteia is even more of a rarity since it is the only trilogy that survives from Ancient Greek drama and those in the know regard it as a masterpiece. I doubt very much if the casual reader would agree with such an analysis, and a...
Published on 27 July 2010 by Brownbear101


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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aeschylus, 22 Aug 2011
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This review is from: The Oresteia (Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides) Classics S. (Paperback)
Whilst I personally found Aeschylus more difficult than Euripides I enjoyed these plays as much as his. The verse translation manages to capture the spirit of the verse used in the original Greek, and the notes are very useful as is the introduction. Besides that, the storyline is gripping, as is the characterisation of Clytemnestra and Orestes. Well worth reading.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A seminal work of literature, 26 July 2006
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Oresteia (Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides) Classics S. (Paperback)
The Oresteia is not just a seminal work of European literature but also one of the founding texts of western theatre. The only complete trilogy still extant from Classical Athens, it tells the story of Agamemnon's return from Troy and his murder by his unfaithful wife Clytemnestra. The 2nd play takes place years later when Agamemnon's children, Electra and Orestes, have to struggle with their consciences over whether to revenge their father by killing their mother. The third plays brings the trilogy to a conclusion as Orestes, pursued by the Furies for the crime of matricide, is brought to Athens and finally purified of his crime.

Dark, grim, compelling and poetic, this really will haunt you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I love these plays, 26 July 2014
By 
E. J King (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Oresteia (Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides) Classics S. (Paperback)
I love these plays. The reading at the start is very helpful but I read the play before the reading which I found, although it is the inverse of how many people may choose to read, very useful.
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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Takes work, but is well worth it, 21 April 2002
This review is from: The Oresteia (Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides) Classics S. (Paperback)
Reading plays is never easy, particularly ancient ones with such a very different style to something like George Bernard Shaw. If you can get into it then it is well worth it and you will really be hanging on to the edge of your seat by the third part, but you need to be patient and I highly recommend at least some background knowledge so you know the reference points. Overall very good and well worth reading.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classics book, 21 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Oresteia (Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides) Classics S. (Paperback)
This book forms part of my Classics coursework and is a very good translation, published in a clear way and I would recommend it to anyone on a Classics course. It arrived promptly which is excellent for me as I needed it quickly.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful not Thrilling, 27 July 2010
This review is from: The Oresteia (Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides) Classics S. (Paperback)
Of the seventy plays written by Aeschylus only seven survive and parts of these have been pieced together from references in other works. The Oresteia is even more of a rarity since it is the only trilogy that survives from Ancient Greek drama and those in the know regard it as a masterpiece. I doubt very much if the casual reader would agree with such an analysis, and a considerable amount of learning and knowledge about Ancient Greek mythology, rituals, customs and poetry is needed to really appreciate this work. There is however an interesting discussion about justice at the core of the book that shows how Athens develops a system of law to replace the ancient justice of the Furies.

The plot is fairly straightforward and pretty easy to follow. Agamemnon, having led the Greeks to victory over the Trojans, returns home where his wife Clytaemnestra murders him in revenge for the death of her daughter Iphigeneia. Clytaemnestra now marries Agamemnon's cousin, Aegisthus but in the second act they are both murdered by her son, Orestes, who has returned from exile. Finally in the third act Orsetes is put on trial for killing his own mother. Athena, the Goddess of wisdom, oversees the trial and through this evolves a new system of trial by jury rather than the revenge of the Furies previously invoked for such crimes.

For the most part the language is kept simple and the actions and motivations of the parties are clear to a modern reader but a lot of the texture is lost, and some enjoyment of the piece, if the reader doesn't have a reasonable knowledge of mythology and ancient customs and a very good understanding of poetic rhyme is needed to appreciate the beat and syntax of the poetic form of the play.

The notes at the back are not bad but it's frustrating to have to keep flicking back and forth and these would have been better alongside the text. There is a very academic essay about the play at the front that I found very hard going and is best skipped until after reading the text itself.
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3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear!, 30 Nov 2011
By 
P. Radcliffe - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Oresteia (Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides) Classics S. (Paperback)
I'm a fan of Fagles, I really am.
The Oresteia is one of the greatest works of literature and storytelling - it really is.
This translation is dry as a bone - it really is.
Look elsewhere - as I will as soon as I can awake from the stupor that I descended into 200 lines into Agamemnon - I really will.
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