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Classics & Ancient History   >   Aeschylus: Agamemnon


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Aeschylus: Agamemnon

In this course, Dr Oliver Thomas (University of Nottingham) explores Aeschylus’ Agamemnon, the first part of Aeschylus’ great trilogy, the Oresteia, which was first performed in Athens in 458 BC. After a brief introduction to the trilogy as a whole, we spend some time thinking about two key concepts in the play—justice and human responsibility—before moving on to think about characterisation (in Greek tragedy in general, and of Clytemnestra in particular), and the power of the spoken word in the play. In the last section, we think some of the things that make Aeschylean Greek recognisable Aeschylean, focusing in particular on his use of compound-words, as well as his use of metaphor.

This course is designed for students taking OCR AS/A Level GCE in Classical Civilization, AS Unit CC4 (Greek Tragedy in its context).


In this first lecture, we think about Agamemnon as the first play in what is the only surviving trilogy from Classical Greece—the Oresteia—first performed in Athens in 458 BC. In particular, we think about the narrative of the trilogy as a whole—a story in which retributive justice of the first two plays is replaced with the juridical justice of the third.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Thomas, O. (2018, August 15). Aeschylus: Agamemnon - Introduction [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Thomas, O. "Aeschylus: Agamemnon – Introduction." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,


Dr Oliver Thomas

Dr Oliver Thomas

Nottingham University