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This review is from: Prometheus Bound and Other Plays: The Suppliants; Seven Against Thebes; The Persians (Classics) (Paperback)
Aeschylus was a prolific playwright in his time, it is known that he wrote well over seventy odd plays but alas only seven still remain fully intact. Of those seven four are here presented in this slim volume. In these modern times it is hard to believe that Aeschylus was a pioneer, but whereas before him actors only conversed with the Chorus they now also interacted with each other, arguably a giant step forward in drama.
Arguably Aeschylus brought something else to the theatre. No longer were there loads of scenes of blood lust but actors had to learn lines and achieve realistic dialogue between themselves, the true art of acting. Therefore these plays are more about dialogue than any action. Prometheus Bound is the story of Prometheus being chained to the rocks and his discourse with others, including his prophecy to Io. The Suppliants is a tale of Danaus' daughters who have to leave their homeland to avoid arranged marriages. Seven Against Thebes is the tale of the downfall of the last remainders of the Oedipus family. The Persians is about the defeat of the Persians at Salamis and a portrayal of Xerxes.
There isn't loads of action here but there is great dialogue, which has made these plays still admired and which gained Aeschylus the accolade of being a classic playwright shortly after his death. There is an introduction here by Philip Velacott although I should warn you that this is in much smaller print that the actual plays themselves, also there are some notes. If you are interested in the history of the theatre or Greek tragedies as well as those who may have to study them, this is a great volume.