Notes on Objects & Places from Agamemnon

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Agamemnon Objects/Places

Argos: A city located on the Peloponnesian Peninsula in southern Greece. The Argive king Tantalus began a pattern of destruction for Argos after he offended the gods by feeding them his son Pelops at a banquet. King Pelops' sons continued this as Atreus cooked Thyestes' children, exiling him brother afterwards. Clytaemnestra murders Agamemnon later after he killed her daughter Iphigenia, thus continuing this cycle of death and jealousy for the royal house of Argos.

Trojan War: A war fought at Troy between the native Trojans and the invading Greeks. Started by Paris, who stole Menelaus' wife Helen, Menelaus asked his brother to help rescue her. Led by Agamemnon, the Greek army fought for ten long years, losing many brave warriors. The Greeks won after deceiving the Trojans into bringing a wooden horse into the city's walls, thinking that it was a peace offering. However, Greek soldiers hidden within later crawled out secretly, opening the city gates for the entire army to invade the city. Troy was burned to the ground, its adult males were slain, and its men and children were enslaved.

Troy: A city located in the eastern Mediterranean, in the country that is known as Turkey today. Ruled by Priam, Troy was besieged for ten long years during the Trojan War. The Greeks wanted to rescue the Greek Helen from the Trojan prince Paris, who had kidnapped her. Troy was finally defeated through deception, and the city was burned to the ground.

Aulis: A small port city located on the Greek mainland north of Athens; site of an ancient temple to the goddess Artemis. The entire Greek fleet assembled at Aulis before sailing off to Troy. However, Artemis was angry that the Greeks had killed a wild rabbit, demanding that the ships would not sail from Aulis until Agamemnon's eldest daughter Iphigenia was sacrificed there. After this deed was completed, the ships sailed from Aulis, as promised.

Blaze: A signal fire observed by the Watchman. The blaze near Argos was the last fire in a long line of fires that began at Mount Ida near Troy, declaring that Troy was defeated and the Greeks were returning to their homes after ten long years of fighting.

Sparta: A city located on the Peloponnesian Peninsula, further south than Argos. Ruled by Menelaus and his queen, Helen, Sparta was thrown into confusion after Paris, visiting the royal palace from Troy, kidnapped Helen while Menelaus was away from the city. Menelaus demanded that his wife be returned to him, appealing to his brother Agamemnon to assemble an army to attack Troy.

Altar: An raised area sacred to the gods, usually used for ritual sacrifices. Iphigenia was sacrificed at an altar at Aulis by her own father, Agamemnon. Similarly, Cassandra later compares her own death at the hands of Clytaemnestra to a cow that is being led to the slaughter to be sacrificed at the altar.

Red carpet: A red carpet that Clyaemnestra insists that Agamemnon walk upon when he victoriously returns from Troy. At first the man is resistant because he doesn't want to be arrogant by claiming that he alone is responsible for the Greek victory, rather than it being because of the gods. However, Clytaemnestra is very persistent and Agamemno0n agrees at last to take off his shoes and walk barefoot upon the carpet proudly, as if he himself were a god. This act seals his fate, having lost any godly protection and making him an easy victim to his wife's jealousy.

Scylla: Once a beautiful woman, Scylla was transformed into a hideous, snake-headed monster that lived inside of the rocks along the Mediterranean coast, eating sailors from passing ships. Cassandra compares Clytaemnestra to this monstrous creature, knowing that she is about to be murdered by her.

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