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How far do you feel that Aeschylus intended us to feel that Agamemnon deserved his fate?

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Elena Solaro 12e How far do you feel that Aeschylus intended us to feel that Agamemnon deserved his fate? In his tragic play, 'Agamemnon', Aeschylus presents the audience with a variety of interesting protagonists, one of the main ones being the great king himself. Over the course of the play, we learn of Agamemnon's terrible fate as events, both past and present, are unfolded to us. The audience may have greatly mixed views on whether Agamemnon truly did deserve this fate. Was it only fitting, considering his character and actions, that he met such a bloody, gruesome end? Or were there other factors, which were beyond his control, to be taken into consideration? It is fair to say that Agamemnon does display characteristics, which could be antagonistic to the gods, consequently making him far less favourable to them. In this way, one might say it is only fair that the gods should punish him, if his behaviour merits it. He is, for example, an extremely boastful man. Upon his arrival at the palace, he tells of how he won the war, and brought the city of Troy to ruins. Although he salutes his gods, Agamemnon does not praise them as his betters. ...read more.


Thus, we feel no sympathy towards Agamemnon upon his death, in fact, we almost pity Clytemnaestra, and although her act is not laudable, we can see how it is fitting and justifiable. Similarly, although Agamemnon is loved by his people, and they are glad of his return, many feel bitterly towards him for taking their men folk away to die in the cause of 'another man's wife'. To make matters worse, Agamemnon shows no compassion for his people, who are in mourning for the loss of their loved ones. He is cold and inconsiderate, showing no respect for the many who gave their lives under his command. Although there are numerous examples to argue that Agamemnon's downfall was bought about by his own hand, there are also many arguments for the opposite side. One might argue that although he did not always display the virtues and good grace expected of a king, Agamemnon was doomed to failure from the very beginning through absolutely no fault of his own. His unfortunate background, and a tragic sequence of events were bound to lead him along the road to ruin. Therefore, we could say that Agamemnon's fate was unfair, because it was totally beyond his control. ...read more.


he knew that Paris had done wrong, and that he needed to be punished. However, the innocent people of Troy did also suffer at the merciless hands of Agamemnon. In conclusion, I would say that Aeschylus has presented the audience with a mixture of factors, and we can see how often they are interlinked. The argument that although the house of Atreus was cursed, but Agamemnon still had a choice to do right or wrong is the perfect example of this. We can see that in some ways the king wholly deserved his fate, and yet in others there was little he could do to prevent it. It is up to us to make the final decision. Personally, I think that Agamemnon would have fallen under the curse of his father's house at any rate, even if he had been a more prudent king. He did not need to display such arrogance in the face of the gods, nor did he need to 'add insult to injury' by plundering all of Troy, once he had brought her and her people to their knees. In this way it is true to say that to some degree his own success was his undoing. However, I think that in spite of all his wrongdoings and unacceptable behaviour, providence had decreed Agamemnon's unfair fate long before there was anything he could do to change it. ...read more.

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