Oresteia: The Libation Bearers
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The Libation Bearers, the second in a trilogy, both picks up where the play Agamemnon left off and develops its own fatal momentum. The Queen of Argos, Clytemnestra, now shares her power with her lover Aegisthus, having murdered her husband Agamemnon after his return from Troy. But Agamemnon’s children, Electra and Orestes, do not move past his murder as quickly as the queen has done. Electra has been reduced to a virtual slave-girl, and after Clytemnestra has a nightmare, she sends Electra to pour libations on Agamemnon’s grave in an attempt to appease the gods. At her father’s tombstone Electra encounters a strange young man, who turns out to be her brother Orestes, who has been raised in a different city. The siblings confer and plan to revenge their father’s murder by killing their mother and her new husband. Although Orestes is hesitant to kill his own mother, the god Apollo intervenes and guides him. Orestes and his friend disguise themselves as weary travelers and approach the palace, where they are welcomed by Clytemnestra. Following a haunting scene of slaughter, Orestes flees the palace, but he is pursued by the mythological Furies—and it grows apparent that the cycle of revenge is still not over.
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Opening Lines (Experimental)
Once and again, I bid my father hear.
I lay, though late, on this my father's grave.
Stretched out to bear thee forth to burial.
Made manifest as mourners? What hath chanced?
Doth some new sorrow hap within the home?
Of dead men angered, to my father's grave?
Be thou my willing ...
Ratings for 'Oresteia: The Libation Bearers' by Aeschylus