AESCHYLUS: THE COMPLETE PLAYS (Nook Authoritative Edition) The Complete Works of Aeschylus, Incl. Prometheus Bound, The Persians, Seven Against Thebes, The Suppliants, Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, Eumenides, The Oresteia (NOOKBook) [NOOK Book]
AESCHYLUS: THE COMPLETE PLAYS
(Nook Authoritative Edition)
The Complete Works of Aeschylus
Includes Prometheus Bound, The Persians, Seven Against Thebes, The Suppliants, Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, Eumenides, The Oresteia
EXCERPT FROM PROMETHEUS BOUND
He who stands free with an untrammelled foot
Is quick to counsel and exhort a friend
In trouble. But all these things I know well.
Of my free will, my own free will, I erred,
And freely do I here acknowledge it.
Freeing mankind myself have durance found.
Natheless, I looked not for sentence so dread,
High on this precipice to droop and pine,
Having no neighbour but the desolate crags.
And now lament no more the ills I suffer,
But come to earth and an attentive ear
Lend to the things that shall befall hereafter.
Harken, oh harken, suffer as I suffer!
Who knows, who knows, but on some scatheless head,
Another's yet for the like woes reserved,
The wandering doom will presently alight
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE SEVEN AGAINST THEBES
- THE CHOEPHORI
- THE EUMENIDES
Aeschylus was one of the great ancient Greek tragedians, the others being Sophocles and Euripides. He is often described as the father of tragedy. According to Aristotle, Aeschylus expanded the number of characters in plays to allow for conflict amongst them whereas, previously, characters had interacted only with the chorus.
Only seven of his estimated seventy to ninety plays have survived into modern times, and there is a longstanding debate about his authorship of one of these plays, Prometheus Bound. Fragments of some other plays have survived in quotes and more continue to be discovered on Egyptian papyrus, often giving us surprising insights into his work. He was probably the first dramatist to present plays as a trilogy and his Oresteia is the only ancient example of the form to have survived.
At least one of his works was influenced by the Persian invasion of Greece, which took place during his lifetime. This play, The Persians, is the only extant classical Greek tragedy concerned with recent history (very few of that kind were ever written) and it is a useful source of information about that period. So important was the war to Aeschylus and the Greeks that, upon his death, around 456 BC, his epitaph commemorated his participation in the Greek victory at Marathon rather than his success as a playwright.
He was a deep, religious thinker. No poet has ever presented evil in such stark and tragic terms yet he had an exalted view of Zeus, whom he celebrated with a grand simplicity reminiscent of David's Psalms, and a faith in progress or the healing power of time.