by Aeschylus


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The sense of difficulty, and indeed of awe, with which a scholar approaches the task of translating the Agamemnon depends directly on its greatness as poetry. It is in part a matter of diction. The language of Aeschylus is an extraordinary thing, the syntax stiff and simple, the vocabulary obscure, unexpected, and steeped in splendour. Its peculiarities cannot be disregarded, or the translation will be false in character. Yet not Milton himself could produce in English the same great music, and a translator who should strive ambitiously to represent the complex effect of the original would clog his own powers of expression and strain his instrument to breaking. But, apart from the diction in this narrower sense, there is a quality of atmosphere surrounding the Agamemnon which seems almost to defy reproduction in another setting, because it depends in large measure on the position of the play in the historical development of Greek literature.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781537484303
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 09/06/2016
Pages: 70
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.14(d)

About the Author

Aeschylus (c.525-455 B.C) was an ancient Greek playwright and solider. Scholars’ knowledge of the tragedy genre begins with Aeschylus’ work, and because of this, he is dubbed the “father of tragedy.” Aeschylus claimed his inspiration to become a writer stemmed from a dream he had in which the god Dionysus encouraged him to write a play. While it is estimated that he wrote just under one hundred plays, only seven of Aeschylus’ work was able to be recovered.

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Sleep disappears and in its stead
            the memory of pain
drips around the restless heart
            a never-ending rain.
Self-knowledge comes to those who wish
            and those who wish it not.
Our helmsmen are divinities,
            and they’re a violent lot.
—chorus from Agamemnon

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