Course Hero is not sponsored or endorsed by any college or university. Anyone can earn He deceives his wife, Clytemnestra, and the greatest Greek warrior, Achilles. What is designated as the tent was, by the end of the 5th century BCE, actually a building. The term Phrygian is somewhat demeaning, as Phrygians were common sea raiders in the order of pirates, whom the Greeks believed followed no civilized rules of conduct. The messenger informs Agamemnon and Menelaus that Clytemnestra, Iphigenia and the infant Orestes have arrived in camp. This scene, like all the others, takes place in front of Agamemnon's tent. Course Hero. Agamemnon is "restless" and finds leadership burdensome. It seems that Agamemnon has upset the goddess, Artemis, who in turn hampers Agamemnon's efforts by holding the wind hostage unless he sacrifices his daughter, Iphigenia, in her honor. Iphigenia asks why Paris must be her ruin. (161) Achilles speaks of her noble spirit but still wishes to stop her sacrifice. It functioned as a prop room, storage area, and actors' changing room. (112) Seeing this, Menelaus tells him, “I retract my words. The armies are primed to go. He comments, "Ambition, sweet though it seems, brings sorrow with its near approach." He adds that there was a second letter asking her to remain in Argos but it was intercepted by Menelaus. “...if Artemis wishes to take the life of my body, shall I, who am mortal, oppose the divine will? “So all the Greeks sprang to their arms, and now they’ve all come here to the narrow straits of Aulis with many ships and shields and horses and chariots. He fears that the army will hear of the prophecy and how he suddenly annuls his promise. So Agamemnon wrote Clytemnestra (spelled Clytaemnestra in some editions), asking her to send Iphigenia to Aulis "on the pretense of wedding Achilles." Quiz & Worksheet - Factors Impacting Couples' Life Decisions, Quiz & Worksheet - Working in a Team Environment, Quiz & Worksheet - Water's Role in the Diet, Positive and Negative Feedback in the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous System, Study.com's Guidance and Coaching Service. As the Greek armies grow restless, Agamemnon writes to his wife to bring their daughter to Aulis to marry the warrior Achilles. Sciences, Culinary Arts and Personal Such changes of heart—the most pervasive motif in the play—will affect every main character in the play. As the two brother’s debate the issue, Agamemnon’s wife, daughter and infant son Orestes arrive. Iphigenia is elated at the idea of marrying Achilles. The wind is not blowing. Although it would win first prize in 405 BCE at the Dionysia in Athens, victory, unfortunately, came after the playwright’s death in 405 BCE. Iphigenia will not be killed. She knows that her death will 'allow me to save Greece.' Ancient History Encyclopedia. In parting, Iphigenia hugs her little brother. Now, a Phrygian man has "carried Helen off with him," and Menelaus has invoked the oath. As she leaves the tent he begins to cry. Agamemnon explains many men wanted to marry his wife's sister, Helen. He must choose between his daughter or his honor before the Greek army. After Achilles leaves, the Argive queen meets her husband outside the tent. Written by Donald L. Wasson, published on 11 December 2018 under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. It is Agamemnon whose psyche Euripides most deeply explores. Agamemnon attempts to soothe her worries by telling her that Iphigenia 'shares the bliss of the gods.' We have tutors online 24/7 who can help you get unstuck. There are even rumors - mostly dismissed - that he lived isolated in a cave. Last modified December 11, 2018. The difficulties of the choice he had to make is long forgotten. At the play’s closing, the chorus speaks of her bravery as she is led to the altar. How to Become a National Board Certified Teacher, Tech and Engineering - Questions & Answers, Health and Medicine - Questions & Answers, Working Scholars® Bringing Tuition-Free College to the Community. He is eager to pass knowledge on to his students. She calls for their daughter. Web. Born in the 480’s BCE on the island of Salamis near Athens to a family of hereditary priests, he preferred a life of solitude, alone with his books. In this play, though, Euripides indicates Agamemnon's love of family is the stronger of the two. Agamemnon entrusts the new message to his attendant, telling him to hurry: he must make sure Iphigenia's escort doesn't pass him on the road. Course Hero. Achilles does not fare well. A messenger tells the queen", Clearly your child was swept to heaven; so give over grief and cease from anger against your husband. She will have to take solace that she has her son Orestes to care for. “So such a man is your daughter’s husband.” (126) When the Argive queen asks of the sacrifice to Artemis, the king responds that he has made all the necessary preparations and that afterwards, the marriage will take place. However, afterward, upon his triumphant arrival home, he will be murdered by his wife, Clytemnestra, and her lover. Unappreciated during his lifetime, he would influence countless others long after he died. The problem for Agamemnon lies in the fact that he is also the leader of the Greek army. To make matters worse, he is told that his wife, Clytemnestra, has arrived along with their daughter Iphigenia. Only then will the Greeks be able to sail onward to the Phrygian capital. They promised if someone stole Helen away, they would "march against that man in armed array and raze his city to the ground." Heroically, his daughter, Iphigenia goes of her own accord to the altar to be sacrificed. 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Our latest articles delivered to your inbox, once a week: Numerous educational institutions recommend us, including Oxford University and Michigan State University and University of Missouri. Web. The attendant sets off, and Agamemnon exits, complaining that no mortal's life is "painless.". Unlike his contemporary the elder Sophocles, Euripides played little or no part in Athenian political affairs; the one exception was a brief diplomatic mission to Syracuse in Sicily. Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms. Menelaus is the next man who knew about the plan. Calchas's interest is in making sure the fleet can sail to Troy. The play was based on the well-known myth surrounding the sacrifice of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra’s daughter Iphigenia. When the truth is finally revealed to Clytemnestra, Achilles and Iphigenia, they confront Agamemnon. Wasson, Donald L. "Iphigenia in Aulis." Some believe the play was left unfinished or rewritten only to be completed by someone else, possibly Euripides' son.
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