Notes on Agamemnon Themes

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Agamemnon Topic Tracking: Gods

Gods 1: The Chorus fears the gods and shows great respect towards these beings, such as the goddess Artemis, because they are so powerful. Aretmis, for example, had demanded that Agamemnon sacrifice his daughter before the Greek ships could sail to Troy. The old men appeal to the gods for help, urging Artemis' brother Apollo to protect them as well. They also praise the king of the gods, Zeus, hoping that he will protect them as well.

Gods 2: Even though the Greeks have won a major victory, Clytaemnestra still hopes that they are not disrespectful towards the gods by destroying their sacred altars or committing any heinous crimes, such as rape. She also notes that the fire signal that was seen by the Watchman was kindled by Hephaestus himself, the god of fire.

Gods 3: People who commit terrible crimes are tormented by avenging goddesses called the Furies. Not only will a person be punished by human laws, but the gods will punish these people also. The Chorus warns that some Greek soldiers will be punished by the gods for plundering Troy too much or being too violent in their conquest.

Gods 4: Just as Clytaemnestra had warned against, now the Herald announces that the Greeks had, indeed, destroyed the altars of the gods in Troy. He also thanks the gods Hermes and Zeus for bringing him back to Argos safely, since a storm destroyed most of the other ships in the Greek fleet while returning home. The Herald shows a great respect towards the gods.

Gods 5: The gods have punished the Greeks by destroying most of their ships after leaving Troy. The reason for this is probably because of the excessive behavior that the Greek warriors displayed while conquering the city by disrespecting the gods. The Greeks destroyed the sacred altars in Troy, burnt the city to the ground, killed every adult man, and enslaved all women and children. The humans were punished by the gods for their lawlessness.

Gods 6: The Trojan prince Paris was punished for his disregard for the sanctity of marriage, and also his disrespect towards his host, Menelaus. While a guest at Menelaus' palace in Sparta, Paris kidnapped Menelaus' wife, Helen, and fled to Troy. Because of this utter disrespect, Paris' entire city was destroyed by the Greeks with the help of the gods.

Gods 7: King Agamemnon recognizes that the gods are wholly responsible for the Greek victory at Troy, and he thanks the gods for aiding him and bringing his ship back to Argos safely. He says, "We must thank the gods with grace," because he is so grateful to them.m he claims no responsibility at all himself, even though it was he who commanded the Greek army.

Gods 8: Clytaemnestra tries to convince Agamemnon to walk across the red carpet, insisting that he deserves special recognition for his accomplishments. However, he is afraid to offend the gods, insisting that the gods have given the Greeks victory, and he had nothing to do with it at all. The gods deserve recognition, not him. But Clytaemnestra continues to pressure him.

Gods 9: Clytaemnestra finally convinces Agamemnon to walk across the red carpet because she is so persistent. Afterwards, she thanks Zeus for helping her, although she also knows that Agamemnon has offended Zeus by demanding recognition for his role in the Greek victory, taking credit away from the gods, by walking across a red carpet barefoot.

Gods 10: Cassandra remains outside in the chariot, but Clytaemnestra tries to coax her to go within the palace, declaring that Zeus made her into a slave, and she should just accept this fact instead of trying to resist. The Queen adds that she is making a sacrifice to the gods within the palace at the altar and wants Cassandra to be there as well to pay homage to the gods. The young woman refuses, however.

Gods 11: The prophetess Cassandra is very upset at Apollo because he will not save her from being murdered by Clytaemnestra. This is her curse, that she can see future events before they occur, but she can do nothing to change them. The gods have destined her to die along with Agamemnon, and there is nothing that no human can do to change that fact.

Gods 12: Although Agamemnon was acting under the command of a goddess, Clytaemnestra still blames Agamemnon for the death of her daughter, Iphigenia. She uses his actions as justification for murdering him in the bathtub, rather than recognizing that he was following orders from the gods.

Gods 13: Clytaemnestra justifies her actions in killing Agamemnon by stating that the king of the gods, Zeus himself, prompted her to kill her husband, so there was no reason for her to feel guilty. She states that basically, she did not even do the killing herself, because Zeus was exacting justice through her body.

Gods 14: The Chorus of Argive Elders does not believe Clytaemnestra's argument that the gods support her act of murder. Instead, they insist that the gods will punish her and Aegisthus for what they have done, and true justice will be served to the people in Argos when Agamemnon's son Orestes comes and avenges the death of his father, with the assistance of the gods.

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