Aeschylus: The Eumenides

(2751 words)

We are extremely fortunate that this play, the concluding work of the trilogy Oresteia, which was produced by the Athenian playwright Aeschylus in 458 B.C.E., survives. Had the title alone survived, we should have been almost totally in the dark about the play’s content. Eumenides means “Well-Wishers” (or “The Kindly Ones”, as is the more conventional rendering), but beyond the inference – not at all inevitable – that, coming after Choephoroi (Libation-Bearers), it had something to do with the fate of the ill-starred kingdom of Argos and its surviving royals, Prince Orestes and his sister Electra, we would probably have been unable to guess why these “…

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Podlecki, Anthony. "The Eumenides". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 April 2009
[, accessed 01 December 2015.]

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