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Agamemnon was the son of Atreus, the brother of Menelaus and the brother-in-law of Helen; he was told to sacrifice his daughte

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  • Essay length: 942 words
  • Submitted: 16/01/2006
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AS and A Level Classics

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Agamemnon was the son of Atreus, the brother of Menelaus and the brother-in-law of Helen; he was told to sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia to atone for the killing of a deer sacred to Artemis so that the Greek fleet could have wind to sail to Troy. However, Artemis snatched Iphigenia away at the last second and transported her to Tauris (now known as the Crimea) to serve as her priestess. In his absence, his wife, Klytemnestra, openly took a lover, Aegisthus, and plotted Agamemnon's murder in revenge for his "murder" of Iphigenia. After the defeat of Troy, Agamemnon received the Trojan princess Cassandra as war spoils; she predicted his death and her own at the hands of Klytemnestra and Aegisthus, but, naturally, nobody believed her. Agamemnon's murder had to be avenged by his son Orestes, who was helped by his sister Electra.

Two themes come out of the Agamemnon that will run through the trilogy: 1. The issue of Justice and who is to administer it, and 2. the relationship between men and women.

Ag shows up in two scenes that are designed to show his hubristic character:

1. Agamemnon's Decision: Iphigenia or the Trojan War

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