Close Reading Worksheet On Aeschylus 'Agamemnon'

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Close Reading Worksheet #2: Aeschylus’s Agamemnon Due Friday, March 11, 2016, by 5:00 on Bb [Assignments] You will need to have your text (Meineck version) with you to answer these questions. Answer each question in at least 3 full sentences. 1. The watchman at the play’s beginning says “if this house could speak, it would tell quite a story” (line 37). What does he mean? Be specific in your response. The story begins with the watchman on top of the palace in Argos, on the lookout for the beacon that will signal the end of the battle at Troy and the return journey for his king, Agamemnon. The watchman is overjoyed at the thought of his king’s return because his absence has caused him much concern. When he mentions “if this house could…show more content…
Briefly compare how each character serves as a connection between war and the aftermath of war. Iphigenia was sacrificed so that Agamemnon and his army could travel to Troy and begin a war. However, even after her death Iphigenia plays a crucial role in the aftermath of the war. Her mother avenging her death shows that even though the war is over, more fighting is to come. Cassandra also embodies the aftermath of the war. She was taken by Agamemnon from Troy as his mistress. Her prophecies set up the tragedies that have yet to come as a result of the war and multiple characters’ wrongdoings. 3. Let’s consider the role of the chorus in Agamemnon. Look at their speech in lines 403-436. In this passage they move from describing a particular woman (“she left behind the din…”) to speaking more generally about a group of women (“women sound the sorrows…”). 3a. Which specific woman are they referring to at the beginning of the passage? Helen, wife of Menelaus, the kind of Sparta, who was taken by Paris, Prince of Troy. 3b. In your own words, what connection do they suggest between this specific woman’s actions and the sorrow of the women at the end of the…show more content…
Read lines 1242-1276 carefully and answer the following questions about these lines. 5a. What does the chorus’ reference to Thyestes in lines 1242-1244 have to do with the major themes of the Agamemnon? Explain what “Thyestes’ feast, the eating of his own children’s flesh,” has to do with the theme of this play. A reoccurring theme of the play is, most plainly put, the characters’ tendencies to backstab those closest to them. This was seen in Agamemnon’s murder of his own daughter and the Queen’s murder of her own husband. Here, the chorus is referencing how Thyestes once tried to take the throne from his brother Atreus. In return, Atreus served Thyestes’ own sons to him for dinner. 5b. What specifically does Cassandra mean when she tells the chorus “You have strayed so very far from the path of my prophecy” in line 1252? Cassandra is explaining to the chorus all of the tragedies that are coming to the palace in the future. The chorus, because of Apollo’s curse, does not believe her. The chorus still believes that praying to the gods will bring god fortune, but Cassandra knows her prophecies to be true and doesn’t believe the gods will be of much help. 5c. Explain the significance of line 1254, “And yet I know the Greek language all too
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