AESCHYLUS (/ˈiːskᵻləs/ or /ˈɛskᵻləs/ ; Greek :
Αἰσχύλος _Aiskhulos_; Ancient Greek: ; c. 525/524 – c.
456/455 BC) was an ancient Greek tragedian . He is often described as
the father of tragedy. Academics' knowledge of the genre begins with
his work, and understanding of earlier tragedies is largely based on
inferences from his surviving plays. According to
Aristotle , he
expanded the number of characters in theater allowing conflict among
them; characters previously had interacted only with the chorus .
Only seven of his estimated seventy to ninety plays have survived,
and there is a longstanding debate regarding his authorship of one of
these plays , _
Prometheus Bound_, which some believe his son Euphorion
actually wrote. Fragments of some other plays have survived in quotes
and more continue to be discovered on Egyptian papyrus , often giving
us surprising insights into his work. He was probably the first
dramatist to present plays as a trilogy; his _
Oresteia _ is the only
ancient example of the form to have survived. At least one of his
plays was influenced by the Persians\' second invasion of Greece
(480–479 BC). This work, _
The Persians _, is the only surviving
Greek tragedy concerned with contemporary events (very few
of that kind were ever written), and a useful source of information
about its period. The significance of war in
Ancient Greek culture was
so great that Aeschylus' epitaph commemorates his participation in the
Greek victory at Marathon while making no mention of his success as a
playwright. Despite this, Aeschylus' work – particularly the
_Oresteia_ _–_ is generally acclaimed by modern critics and
* 1 Life
* 1.1 Death
* 2 Personal life
* 3 Works
* 3.1 Trilogies
* 4 Surviving plays
* 4.1 _The Persians_
* 4.2 _Seven against Thebes_
* 4.3 _The Suppliants_
* 4.4 _The Oresteia_
* 4.4.1 _Agamemnon_
* 4.4.2 _The Libation Bearers_
* 4.4.3 _The Eumenides_
* 4.5 _
* 5 Lost plays
* 5.1 _Myrmidons_
* 5.2 _Nereids_
* 5.3 _Phrygians_, or _Hector\'s Ransom_
* 5.4 _Niobe_
* 6 Influence
* 6.1 Influence on Greek drama and culture
* 6.2 Influence outside of Greek culture
* 7 See also
* 8 Notes
* 9 Citations
* 10 Editions
* 11 References
* 12 External links
North Carolina Museum of Art
Aeschylus was born in c. 525 BC in
Eleusis , a small town about 27
kilometers northwest of
Athens , which is nestled in the fertile
valleys of western
Attica , though the date is most likely based on
counting back forty years from his first victory in the Great
Dionysia. His family was wealthy and well established; his father,
Euphorion, was a member of the
Eupatridae , the ancient nobility of
Attica, though this might be a fiction that the ancients invented to
account for the grandeur of his plays.
As a youth, he worked at a vineyard until, according to the
2nd-century AD geographer Pausanias , the god
Dionysus visited him in
his sleep and commanded him to turn his attention to the nascent art
of tragedy. As soon as he woke from the dream, the young Aeschylus
began to write a tragedy, and his first performance took place in 499
BC, when he was only 26 years old. He won his first victory at the
City Dionysia in 484 BC.
In 510 BC, when
Aeschylus was 15 years old,
Cleomenes I expelled the
sons of Peisistratus from Athens, and
Cleisthenes came to power.
Cleisthenes' reforms included a system of registration that emphasized
the importance of the deme over family tradition. In the last decade
of the 6th century,
Aeschylus and his family were living in the deme
Persian Wars played a large role in the playwright's life and
career. In 490 BC,
Aeschylus and his brother
Cynegeirus fought to
Athens against the invading army of
Darius I of Persia at the
Battle of Marathon . The Athenians emerged triumphant, a victory
celebrated across the city-states of Greece. Cynegeirus, however,
died in the battle, receiving a mortal wound while trying to prevent a
Persian ship retreating from the shore, for which his countrymen
extolled him as a hero.
Aeschylus was called into military service again, this time
against Xerxes I 's invading forces at the
Battle of Salamis , and
perhaps, too, at the
Battle of Plataea
Battle of Plataea in 479.
Ion of Chios was a
witness for Aeschylus's war record and his contribution in Salamis.
Salamis holds a prominent place in _The Persians_, his oldest
surviving play , which was performed in 472 BC and won first prize at
Aeschylus was one of many Greeks who were initiated into the
Eleusinian Mysteries , an ancient cult of
Demeter based in his
hometown of Eleusis. Initiates gained secret knowledge through these
rites, likely concerning the afterlife. Firm details of specific rites
are sparse, as members were sworn under the penalty of death not to
reveal anything about the Mysteries to non-initiates. Nevertheless,
Aeschylus was accused of revealing some of
the cult's secrets on stage.
Other sources claim that an angry mob tried to kill
Aeschylus on the
spot, but he fled the scene.
Heracleides of Pontus asserts that the
audience tried to stone Aeschylus. He then took refuge at the altar in
the orchestra of the Theater of Dionysus. At his trial, he pleaded
ignorance. He was acquitted, with the jury sympathetic to the military
Aeschylus and his brothers during the Persian Wars.
According to the 2nd-century AD author Aelian, Aeschylus's younger
brother Ameinias helped to acquit
Aeschylus by showing the jury the
stump of the hand that he lost at Salamis, where he was voted bravest
warrior. The truth is that the award for bravery at Salamis went not
to Aeschylus' brother but to Ameinias of Pallene.
Aeschylus travelled to
Sicily once or twice in the 470s BC, having
been invited by
Hiero I of Syracuse , a major Greek city on the
eastern side of the island; and during one of these trips he produced
_The Women of Aetna_ (in honor of the city founded by Hieron) and
restaged his _Persians_. By 473 BC, after the death of Phrynichus ,
one of his chief rivals,
Aeschylus was the yearly favorite in the
Dionysia, winning first prize in nearly every competition. In 472 BC,
Aeschylus staged the production that included the _Persians_, with
Pericles serving as _choregos _.
In 458 BC, he returned to
Sicily for the last time, visiting the city
Gela where he died in 456 or 455 BC.
Valerius Maximus wrote that he
was killed outside the city by a tortoise dropped by an eagle which
had mistaken his bald head for a rock suitable for shattering the
shell of the reptile. Pliny , in his _Naturalis Historiæ _, adds
Aeschylus had been staying outdoors to avoid a prophecy that he
would be killed by a falling object. But this story may be legendary
and due to a misunderstanding of the iconography on Aeschylus's tomb.
Aeschylus's work was so respected by the Athenians that after his
death, his were the only tragedies allowed to be restaged in
subsequent competitions. His sons Euphorion and Euæon and his nephew
Philocles also became playwrights.
The inscription on Aeschylus's gravestone makes no mention of his
theatrical renown, commemorating only his military achievements:
Αἰσχύλον Εὐφορίωνος Ἀθηναῖον τόδε
μνῆμα καταφθίμενον πυροφόροιο
ἀλκὴν δ' εὐδόκιμον Μαραθώνιον ἄλσος
καὶ βαθυχαιτήεις Μῆδος ἐπιστάμενος
Beneath this stone lies Aeschylus, son of Euphorion, the Athenian,
who perished in the wheat-bearing land of Gela;
of his noble prowess the grove of Marathon can speak,
and the long-haired Persian knows it well.
According to Castoriadis, the inscription on his grave signifies the
primary importance of "belonging to the City" (polis ), of the
solidarity that existed within the collective body of
Aeschylus married and had two sons, Euphorion and Euaeon, both of
whom became tragic poets. Euphorion won first prize in 431 in
competition against both
Euripides . His nephew,
Philocles (his sister's son), was also a tragic poet, and won first
prize in the competition against
Sophocles ' _
Oedipus Rex _.
Aeschylus had at least two brothers,
Cynegeirus and Ameinias .
_ Modern picture of the
Athens , where
many of Aeschylus's plays were performed Tragoediae septem_
The roots of Greek drama are in religious festivals for the gods,
Dionysus , the god of wine. During Aeschylus's lifetime,
dramatic competitions became part of the
City Dionysia in the spring.
The festival opened with a procession, followed with a competition of
boys singing dithyrambs and culminated in a pair of dramatic
competitions. The first competition
Aeschylus would have participated
in, consisted of three playwrights each presenting three tragic plays
followed by a shorter comedic satyr play . A second competition of
five comedic playwrights followed, and the winners of both
competitions were chosen by a panel of judges.
Aeschylus entered many of these competitions in his lifetime, and
various ancient sources attribute between seventy and ninety plays to
him. Only seven tragedies have survived intact: _
The Persians _,
Seven against Thebes _, _The Suppliants _, the trilogy known as _The
Oresteia _, consisting of the three tragedies _
Agamemnon _, _The
Libation Bearers _ and _The Eumenides _, together with _Prometheus
Bound _ (whose authorship is disputed). With the exception of this
last play – the success of which is uncertain – all of Aeschylus's
extant tragedies are known to have won first prize at the City
The Alexandrian _Life of Aeschylus_ claims that he won the first
prize at the
City Dionysia thirteen times. This compares favorably
with Sophocles' reported eighteen victories (with a substantially
larger catalogue, at an estimated 120 plays), and dwarfs the five
victories of Euripides, who is thought to have written roughly 90
One hallmark of Aeschylean dramaturgy appears to have been his
tendency to write connected trilogies, in which each play serves as a
chapter in a continuous dramatic narrative. _The
Oresteia _ is the
only extant example of this type of connected trilogy, but there is
Aeschylus often wrote such trilogies. The comic satyr
plays that follow his trilogies also drew upon stories derived from
For example, the _Oresteia'_s satyr play _
Proteus _ treated the story
of Menelaus' detour in Egypt on his way home from the
Trojan War .
Based on the evidence provided by a catalogue of Aeschylean play
titles, scholia , and play fragments recorded by later authors, it is
assumed that three other of his extant plays were components of
connected trilogies: _Seven against Thebes_ being the final play in an
Oedipus trilogy, and _The Suppliants_ and _
Prometheus Bound_ each
being the first play in a Danaid trilogy and
respectively (see below). Scholars have moreover suggested several
completely lost trilogies derived from known play titles. A number of
these trilogies treated myths surrounding the Trojan War. One,
collectively called the _Achilleis _, comprised the titles
_Myrmidons_, _Nereids_ and _Phrygians_ (alternately, _The Ransoming of
Another trilogy apparently recounts the entry of the Trojan ally
Memnon into the war, and his death at the hands of Achilles (_Memnon_
and _The Weighing of Souls_ being two components of the trilogy); _The
Award of the Arms_, _The Phrygian Women_, and _The Salaminian Women_
suggest a trilogy about the madness and subsequent suicide of the
Greek hero Ajax ;
Aeschylus also seems to have written about Odysseus
' return to Ithaca after the war (including his killing of his wife
Penelope 's suitors and its consequences) in a trilogy consisting of
_The Soul-raisers_, _Penelope_ and _The Bone-gatherers_. Other
suggested trilogies touched on the myth of Jason and the Argonauts
(_Argô_, _Lemnian Women_, _Hypsipylê_); the life of Perseus (_The
Net-draggers_, _Polydektês_, _Phorkides_); the birth and exploits of
Dionysus (_Semele_, _Bacchae_, _Pentheus_); and the aftermath of the
war portrayed in _Seven against Thebes_ (_Eleusinians_, _Argives_ (or
_Argive Women_), _Sons of the Seven_).
The Persians _ The Ghost of Darius Appearing to
Atossa_, drawing by George Romney .
The earliest of his plays to survive is _The Persians_ (_Persai_),
performed in 472 BC and based on experiences in Aeschylus's own life,
Battle of Salamis . It is unique among surviving
Greek tragedies in that it describes a recent historical event. _The
Persians_ focuses on the popular Greek theme of _hubris _ by blaming
Persia's loss on the pride of its king.
It opens with the arrival of a messenger in
Susa , the Persian
capital, bearing news of the catastrophic Persian defeat at Salamis to
Atossa , the mother of the Persian King Xerxes .
Atossa then travels
to the tomb of Darius, her husband, where his ghost appears to explain
the cause of the defeat. It is, he says, the result of Xerxes' hubris
in building a bridge across the
Hellespont , an action which angered
the gods. Xerxes appears at the end of the play, not realizing the
cause of his defeat, and the play closes to lamentations by Xerxes and
_SEVEN AGAINST THEBES_
Seven against Thebes
_Seven against Thebes_ (_Hepta epi Thebas_), which was performed in
467 BC, has the contrasting theme of the interference of the gods in
human affairs. It also marks the first known appearance in
Aeschylus's work of a theme which would continue through his plays,
that of the polis (the city) being a key development of human
The play tells the story of
Polynices , the sons of the
shamed King of Thebes ,
Oedipus . The sons agree to alternate in the
throne of the city, but after the first year
Eteocles refuses to step
Polynices wages war to claim his crown. The brothers kill
each other in single combat, and the original ending of the play
consisted of lamentations for the dead brothers.
A new ending was added to the play some fifty years later: Antigone
and Ismene mourn their dead brothers, a messenger enters announcing an
edict prohibiting the burial of Polynices; and finally, Antigone
declares her intention to defy this edict. The play was the third in
Oedipus trilogy; the first two plays were _Laius_ and
_Oedipus_. The concluding satyr play was _The Sphinx_.
The Suppliants (Aeschylus) Miniature by Robinet
Testard showing the
Danaids murdering their husbands
Aeschylus continued his emphasis on the polis with _The Suppliants_
in 463 BC (_Hiketides_), which pays tribute to the democratic
undercurrents running through
Athens in advance of the establishment
of a democratic government in 461. In the play, the
Danaids , the
fifty daughters of
Danaus , founder of
Argos , flee a forced marriage
to their cousins in Egypt. They turn to King
Pelasgus refuses until the people of
Argos weigh in on
the decision, a distinctly democratic move on the part of the king.
The people decide that the
Danaids deserve protection, and they are
allowed within the walls of
Argos despite Egyptian protests.
The 1952 publication of Oxyrhynchus
Papyrus 2256 fr. 3 confirmed a
long-assumed (because of _The Suppliants'_ cliffhanger ending) Danaid
trilogy, whose constituent plays are generally agreed to be _The
Suppliants_, _The Egyptians_ and _The Danaids_. A plausible
reconstruction of the trilogy's last two-thirds runs thus: In _The
Egyptians_, the Argive-Egyptian war threatened in the first play has
transpired. During the course of the war, King
Pelasgus has been
Danaus rules Argos. He negotiates a peace settlement with
Aegyptus, as a condition of which, his fifty daughters will marry the
fifty sons of Aegyptus.
Danaus secretly informs his daughters of an
oracle predicting that one of his sons-in-law would kill him; he
therefore orders the
Danaids to murder their husbands on their wedding
night. His daughters agree. _The Danaids_ would open the day after the
In short order, it is revealed that forty-nine of the
their husbands as ordered; Hypermnestra, however, loved her husband
Lynceus, and thus spared his life and helped him to escape. Angered by
his daughter's disobedience,
Danaus orders her imprisonment and,
possibly, her execution. In the trilogy's climax and dénouement,
Lynceus reveals himself to Danaus, and kills him (thus fulfilling the
oracle). He and Hypermnestra will establish a ruling dynasty in Argos.
The other forty-nine
Danaids are absolved of their murderous crime,
and married off to unspecified Argive men. The satyr play following
this trilogy was titled _Amymone_, after one of the Danaids.
The only complete (save a few missing lines in several spots) trilogy
of Greek plays by any playwright still extant is the _
Oresteia _ (458
BC); although the satyr play that originally followed it, _
is lost except for some fragments. The trilogy consists of _Agamemnon
_, _The Libation Bearers _ (_Choephoroi_), and _The Eumenides _.
Together, these plays tell the bloody story of the family of Agamemnon
, King of
_ The Murder of Agamemnon_ by
Pierre-Narcisse Guérin (1817)
Aeschylus begins in Greece describing the return of King Agamemnon
from his victory in the
Trojan War , from the perspective of the towns
people (the Chorus) and his wife,
Clytemnestra . However, dark
foreshadowings build to the death of the king at the hands of his
wife, who was angry at his sacrifice of their daughter
Iphigenia , who
was killed so that the gods would restore the winds and allow the
Greek fleet to sail to Troy. She was also unhappy at his keeping of
the Trojan prophetess
Cassandra as a concubine.
Cassandra foretells of
the murder of Agamemnon, and of herself, to the assembled townsfolk,
who are horrified. She then enters the palace knowing that she cannot
avoid her fate. The ending of the play includes a prediction of the
Orestes , son of Agamemnon, who will seek to avenge his
_The Libation Bearers_
_The Libation Bearers_ continues the tale, opening with Orestes's
arrival at Agamemnon's tomb. At the tomb,
Orestes , who
has returned from exile in
Phocis , and they plan revenge upon
Clytemnestra and her lover
Aegisthus . Clytemnestra's account of a
nightmare in which she gives birth to a snake is recounted by the
chorus; and this leads her to order
Electra , her daughter, to pour
libations on Agamemnon's tomb (with the assistance of libation
bearers) in hope of making amends.
Orestes enters the palace
pretending to bear news of his own death, and when
Aegisthus to share in the news,
Orestes kills them both.
then beset by the Furies , who avenge the murders of kin in Greek
The final play of _The Oresteia_ addresses the question of Orestes'
guilt. The Furies drive
Argos and into the wilderness.
He makes his way to the temple of
Apollo and begs him to drive the
Apollo had encouraged
Orestes to kill Clytemnestra, and
so bears some of the guilt for the murder. The Furies are a more
ancient race of the gods, and
Orestes to the temple of
Hermes as a guide.
The Furies track him down, and the goddess
Athena , patron of Athens,
steps in and declares that a trial is necessary.
Orestes' case and, after the judges, including
Athena deliver a tie
Athena announces that
Orestes is acquitted. She renames the
Furies _The Eumenides_ (The Good-spirited, or Kindly Ones), and extols
the importance of reason in the development of laws, and, as in _The
Suppliants_, the ideals of a democratic
Athens are praised.
Prometheus Bound _
Prometheus Being Chained by
Vulcan _ by
Dirck van Baburen
Dirck van Baburen (1623)
In addition to these six works, a seventh tragedy, _Prometheus
Bound_, is attributed to
Aeschylus by ancient authorities. Since the
late 19th century, however, scholars have increasingly doubted this
ascription, largely on stylistic grounds. Its production date is also
in dispute, with theories ranging from the 480s BC to as late as the
The play consists mostly of static dialogue, as throughout the play
Prometheus is bound to a rock as punishment from the
Zeus for providing fire to humans. The god
Hephaestus , the
Oceanus , and the chorus of
Oceanids all express sympathy for
Prometheus meets Io , a fellow victim of Zeus'
cruelty; and prophesies her future travels, revealing that one of her
descendants will free Prometheus. The play closes with
Prometheus into the abyss because
Prometheus refuses to divulge the
secret of a potential marriage that could prove Zeus' downfall.
Prometheus Bound_ appears to have been the first play in a
trilogy called the _
Prometheia _. In the second play, _Prometheus
Unbound _, Heracles frees
Prometheus from his chains and kills the
eagle that had been sent daily to eat Prometheus' perpetually
regenerating liver. Perhaps foreshadowing his eventual reconciliation
with Prometheus, we learn that
Zeus has released the other Titans whom
he imprisoned at the conclusion of the
In the trilogy's conclusion, _
Prometheus the Fire-Bringer _, it
appears that the Titan finally warns
Zeus not to sleep with the sea
Thetis , for she is fated to give birth to a son greater than
the father. Not wishing to be overthrown,
Thetis off to
the mortal Peleus; the product of that union is Achilles, Greek hero
of the Trojan War. After reconciling with Prometheus,
inaugurates a festival in his honor at Athens.
Only the titles and assorted fragments of Aeschylus's other plays
have come down to us. We have enough fragments of some plays (along
with comments made by later authors and scholiasts) to produce rough
synopses of their plots.
This play was based on books 9 and 16 in
Homer 's _
Iliad _. Achilles
sits in silent indignation over his humiliation at Agamemnon's hands
for most of the play. Envoys from the Greek army attempt to reconcile
Agamemnon , but he yields only to his friend
Patroclus , who
then battles the Trojans in Achilles' armour. The bravery and death of
Patroclus are reported in a messenger's speech, which is followed by
This play was based on books 18, 19, and 22 of the _Iliad_; it
follows the Daughters of Nereus, the sea god, who lament Patroclus'
death. In the play, a messenger tells how Achilles, perhaps reconciled
Agamemnon and the Greeks, slew
_PHRYGIANS_, OR _HECTOR\'S RANSOM_
In this play, Achilles sits in silent mourning over Patroclus, after
a brief discussion with
Hermes then brings in King
Troy , who wins over Achilles and ransoms his son's body in a
spectacular coup de théâtre. A scale is brought on stage and
Hector's body is placed in one scale and gold in the other. The
dynamic dancing of the chorus of Trojans when they enter with
The children of
Niobe , the heroine, have been slain by
Niobe had gloated that she had more children than
Niobe sits in silent mourning on stage during
most of the play. In the _Republic _,
Plato quotes the line "God
plants a fault in mortals when he wills to destroy a house utterly."
These are the remaining 71 plays ascribed to
Aeschylus which are
known to us:
* _The Archer-Women_
* _The Argivian Women_
* _The Argo_, also titled _The Rowers_
* _Attendants of the Bridal Chamber_
* _Award of the Arms_
* _The Bacchae_
* _The Bassarae_
* _The Bone-Gatherers_
* _The Cabeiroi_
* _The Carians_, also titled _Europa_
* _Children of Hercules_
* _The Cretan Women_
* _The Danaids_
* _Daughters of Helios_
* _Daughters of Phorcys_
* _The Descendants _
* _The Edonians_
* _The Egyptians_
* _The Escorts_
* _Glaucus of Pontus_
* _Glaucus of Potniae_
* _The Lemnian Women_
* _The Lion_
* _The Men of Eleusis_
* _The Messengers_
* _The Myrmidons_
* _The Mysians_
* _The Net-Draggers_
* _The Nurses of Dionysus_
* _The Phrygian Women_
* _The Priestesses_
Prometheus the Fire-Bearer_
Prometheus the Fire-Kindler_
* _Semele_, also titled _The Water-Bearers_
* _Sisyphus the Runaway_
* _Sisyphus the Stone-Roller_
* _The Spectators_, also titled _Athletes of the Isthmian Games_
* _The Sphinx_
* _The Spirit-Raisers_
* _The Thracian Women_
* _Weighing of Souls_
* _Women of Aetna_ (two versions)
* _Women of Salamis_
* _The Youths_
INFLUENCE ON GREEK DRAMA AND CULTURE
_ Mosaic of
Orestes , main character in Aeschylus's only
surviving trilogy, The
Aeschylus first began writing, the theatre had only just begun
to evolve, although earlier playwrights like
Thespis had already
expanded the cast to include an actor who was able to interact with
the chorus .
Aeschylus added a second actor, allowing for greater
dramatic variety, while the chorus played a less important role. He
is sometimes credited with introducing _skenographia_, or
Aristotle gives this distinction to
Aeschylus is also said to have made the costumes more
elaborate and dramatic, and having his actors wear platform boots
(_cothurni_) to make them more visible to the audience. According to a
later account of Aeschylus's life, as they walked on stage in the
first performance of the _Eumenides_, the chorus of Furies were so
frightening in appearance that they caused young children to faint,
patriarchs to urinate, and pregnant women to go into labour.
His plays were written in verse, no violence is performed on stage,
and the plays have a remoteness from daily life in Athens, either by
relating stories about the gods or by being set, like _The Persians_,
in far-away locales. Aeschylus's work has a strong moral and
religious emphasis. The _Oresteia_ trilogy concentrated on man's
position in the cosmos in relation to the gods, divine law, and divine
Aeschylus's popularity is evident in the praise the comic playwright
Aristophanes gives him in _
The Frogs _, produced some half-century
after Aeschylus's death. Appearing as a character in the play,
Aeschylus claims at line 1022 that his _Seven against Thebes_ "made
everyone watching it to love being warlike"; with his _Persians_,
Aeschylus claims at lines 1026–7 that he "taught the Athenians to
desire always to defeat their enemies."
Aeschylus goes on to say at
lines 1039ff. that his plays inspired the Athenians to be brave and
INFLUENCE OUTSIDE OF GREEK CULTURE
Aeschylus's works were influential beyond his own time. Hugh
Lloyd-Jones draws attention to
Richard Wagner 's reverence of
Aeschylus. Michael Ewans argues in his _Wagner and Aeschylus. The Ring
and the Oresteia_ (London: Faber. 1982) that the influence was so
great as to merit a direct character by character comparison between
Wagner's _Ring_ and Aeschylus's _Oresteia_. A critic of his book
however, while not denying that Wagner read and respected Aeschylus,
has described his arguments as unreasonable and forced.
J. T. Sheppard argues in the second half of his _
Sophocles: Their Work and Influence_ that Aeschylus, along with
Sophocles , have played a major part in the formation of dramatic
literature from the
Renaissance to the present, specifically in French
and Elizabethan drama. He also claims that their influence went beyond
just drama and applies to literature in general, citing Milton and the
During his presidential campaign in 1968, Senator Robert F. Kennedy
Edith Hamilton translation of
Aeschylus on the night of the
Martin Luther King Jr. Kennedy was notified of King's
murder before a campaign stop in
Indianapolis, Indiana and was warned
not to attend the event due to fears of rioting from the mostly
African-American crowd. Kennedy insisted on attending and delivered an
impromptu speech that delivered news of King's death to the crowd.
Acknowledging the audience's emotions, Kennedy referred to his own
grief at the murder of his brother, President
John F. Kennedy and,
quoting a passage from the play _Agamemnon_ (in translation), said:
"My favorite poet was Aeschylus. And he once wrote: 'Even in our
sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart,
until in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the
awful grace of God.' What we need in the United States is not
division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we
need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness; but is love
and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of
justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they
be white or whether they be black ... Let us dedicate ourselves to
what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man
and make gentle the life of this world." The quotation from Aeschylus
was later inscribed on a memorial at the gravesite of Robert Kennedy
following his own assassination.
2876 Aeschylus , an asteroid named for him
Theatre of ancient Greece
* ^ The remnant of a commemorative inscription, dated to the 3rd
century BC, lists four, possibly eight, dramatic poets (probably
including Choerilus, Phrynichus, and Pratinas) who had won tragic
victories at the
traditionally regarded the inventor of tragedy. According to another
tradition, tragedy was established in
Athens in the late 530s BC, but
that may simply reflect an absence of records. Major innovations in
dramatic form, credited to
Aristotle and the anonymous
source _The Life of Aeschylus_, may be exaggerations and should be
viewed with caution (Martin Cropp (2006), "Lost Tragedies: A Survey"
in _A Companion to Greek Tragedy_, pp. 272–74)
* ^ Jones, Daniel; Roach, Peter, James Hartman and Jane Setter,
Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary_. 17th edition.
Cambridge UP, 2006.
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Freeman 1999 , p. 243
* ^ Schlegel, August Wilhelm von . _Lectures on Dramatic Art and
Literature_. p. 121.
* ^ R. Lattimore, _
Aeschylus I: Oresteia_, 4
* ^ Martin Cropp, 'Lost Tragedies: A Survey'; _A Companion to Greek
Tragedy_, p. 273
* ^ P. Levi, _Greek Drama_, 159
* ^ S. Saïd, _Aeschylean Tragedy_, 215
* ^ S. Saïd, _Aeschylean Tragedy_, 221
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ _G_ _H_ _I_ _J_ _K_ Sommerstein 1996 ,
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Bates 1906 , pp. 53–59
* ^ S. Saïd, _Eschylean tragedy_, 217
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Freeman 1999 , p. 241
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ _G_ _H_ _I_ _J_ Kopff 1997 pp. 1–472
* ^ Sommerstein 1996 , p. 34
* ^ Martin 2000 , §10.1
* ^ _
Nicomachean Ethics _ 1111a8–10.
* ^ _A_ _B_ J. C. McKeown (2013), _A Cabinet of Greek Curiosities:
Strange Tales and Surprising Facts from the Cradle of Western
Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press , p. 136, ISBN
978-0-19-998210-3 , The unusual nature of Aeschylus's death ...
* ^ Critchley 2009
* ^ _Anthologiae Graecae Appendix, vol. 3, Epigramma sepulcrale_.
* ^ Osborn, K.; Burges, D. (1998). _The complete idiot's guide to
classical mythology_. Penguin. ISBN 978-0-02-862385-6 .
* ^ Smith 2005 , p. 1
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Freeman 1999 , p. 242
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Pomeroy 1999 , p. 222
* ^ Sommerstein 1996
* ^ Sommerstein 2002, 34.
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Freeman 1999 , p. 244
* ^ _A_ _B_ Vellacott: 7–19
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ Freeman 1999 , pp. 244–46
* ^ _A_ _B_ Aeschylus. "
Prometheus Bound, The Suppliants, Seven
Against Thebes, The Persians." Philip Vellacott's Introduction, pp.
7–19. Penguin Classics.
* ^ Sommerstein 2002, 23.
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Freeman 1999 , p. 246
* ^ See (e.g.) Sommerstein 1996, 141–51; Turner 2001, 36–39.
* ^ _A_ _B_ Sommerstein 2002, 89.
* ^ Griffith 1983 , pp. 32–34
* ^ _A_ _B_ For a discussion of the trilogy's reconstruction, see
(e.g.) Conacher 1980, 100–02.
* ^ According to
Vitruvius . See Summers 2007, 23.
* ^ _Life of Aeschylus_.
* ^ _A_ _B_ Pomeroy 1999 , p. 223
* ^ Pomeroy 1999 , pp. 224–25
* ^ Furness, Raymond (January 1984). "The Modern Language Review".
79 (1): 239–40.
JSTOR 3730399 .
* ^ Sheppard, J. T. (1927). "
Aeschylus and Sophocles: their Work
and Influence". _
Journal of Hellenic Studies _. The Society for the
Promotion of Hellenic Studies. 47 (2): 265.
JSTOR 625177 . doi
* ^ _A_ _B_ Virginia – Arlington National Cemetery: Robert F.
* Martin L. West , _Aeschyli Tragoediae: cum incerti poetae
Prometheo_ 2 ed. (1998). The first translation of the seven plays into
English was by Robert Potter in 1779, using blank verse for the iambic
trimeters and rhymed verse for the choruses, a convention adopted by
most translators for the next century.
* Stefan Radt (Hg.), _Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta. Vol. III:
Aeschylus_ (Göttingen, Vandenhoeck _Volume III, Fragments. 505_
(Cambridge, Mass./London: Loeb Classical Library, 2008).
* Bates, Alfred (1906). "The Drama: Its History, Literature, and
Influence on Civilization, Vol. 1".
London : Historical Publishing
* Bierl, A. _Die Orestie des Aischylos auf der modernen Bühne:
Theoretische Konzeptionen und ihre szenische Realizierung_ (Stuttgart:
* Cairns, D., V. Liapis, _Dionysalexandros: Essays on
His Fellow Tragedians in Honour of Alexander F. Garvie_ (Swansea: The
Classical Press of Wales, 2006)
* Critchley, Simon (2009). _The Book of Dead Philosophers_. London:
Granta Publications. ISBN 978-1-84708079-0 .
* Cropp, Martin (2006). "Lost Tragedies: A Survey". In Gregory,
Justine. _A Companion to Greek Tragedy_. Blackwell Publishing.
* Deforge, B. _Une vie avec Eschyle. Vérité des mythes_ (Paris,
Les Belles Lettres, 2010)
* Freeman, Charles (1999). _The Greek Achievement: The Foundation of
the Western World_.
New York City
New York City :
Viking Press . ISBN 0-670-88515-0
* Goldhill, Simon (1992). _Aeschylus, The Oresteia_.
Cambridge University Press . ISBN 0-521-40293-X .
* Griffith, Mark (1983). _Aeschylus'
Cambridge University Press . ISBN 0-521-27011-1 .
* Herington, C.J. (1986). _Aeschylus_. New Haven, CT: Yale
University Press. ISBN 0-300-03562-4 .
* Herington, C.J. (1967). "
Aeschylus in Sicily". _Journal of
Hellenic Studies_. 87: 74–85. doi :10.2307/627808 .
* Kopff, E. Christian (1997). _
Ancient Greek Authors_. Gale . ISBN
* Lattimore, Richmond (1953). _
Aeschylus I: Oresteia_. University of
* Lefkowitz, Mary (1981). _The Lives of the Greek Poets_. University
of North Carolina Press
* Lesky, Albin (1979). _Greek Tragedy_. London: Benn.
* Lesky, Albin (1966). _A History of Greek Literature_. New York:
* Levi, Peter (1986). "Greek Drama". _The Oxford History of the
Classical World_. Oxford University Press.
* Martin, Thomas (2000). "Ancient Greece: From Prehistoric to
Yale University Press .
* Murray, Gilbert (1978). _Aeschylus: The Creator of Tragedy_.
Oxford: Clarendon Press.
* Podlecki, Anthony J. (1966). _The Political Background of
Aeschylean Tragedy_. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
* Pomeroy, Sarah B. (1999). _Ancient Greece: A Political, Social,
and Cultural History_.
New York City
New York City :
Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press . ISBN
* Rosenmeyer, Thomas G. (1982). _The Art of Aeschylus_. Berkeley:
University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-04440-1 .
* Saïd, Suzanne (2006). "Aeschylean Tragedy". _A Companion to Greek
Tragedy_. Blackwell Publishing.
* Smith, Helaine (2005). _Masterpieces of Classic Greek Drama_.
Greenwood. ISBN 978-0-313-33268-5 .
* Smyth, Herbert Weir (1922). _Aeschylus_. Cambridge, MA: Harvard
* Sommerstein, Alan H. (2010). "Aeschylean Tragedy" (2nd ed.).
London: Duckworth. ISBN 978-0-7156-3824-8 .
* — (2002). _Greek Drama and Dramatists_. London: Routledge Press.
* Spatz, Lois (1982). _Aeschylus_. Boston: Twayne Publishers Press.
ISBN 0-8057-6522-0 .
* Summers, David (2007). _Vision, Reflection, and Desire in Western
Painting_. University of North Carolina Press
* Thomson, George (1973)
Aeschylus and Athens: A Study in the Social
Origin of Drama. London: Lawrence and Wishart (4th edition)
* Turner, Chad (2001). "Perverted Supplication and Other Inversions
in Aeschylus' Danaid Trilogy". _Classical Journal_. 97 (1): 27–50.
JSTOR 3298432 .
* Vellacott, Philip, (1961). _
Prometheus Bound and Other Plays:
Prometheus Bound, Seven Against Thebes, and The Persians_. New York:
Penguin Classics. ISBN 0-14-044112-3
* Winnington-Ingram, R. P. (1985). "Aeschylus". _The Cambridge
History of Classical Literature: Greek Literature_. Cambridge
* Zeitlin, F. I. _Under the sign of the shield: semiotics and
Aeschylus' Seven against Thebes_ (Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 1982);
2nd ed. 2009, (Greek studies: interdisciplinary approaches)
* Castoriadis, Cornelius. "What Makes Greece, 1. From
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