Aeschylus: The Eumenides

(2745 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 “Benevolent Ones”, who, as was c…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Podlecki, Anthony. "The Eumenides". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 April 2009
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Revenge Tragedy