House of Atreus

Hi. I need to write an analytical essay on the relationship of the Iliad and The Odyssey to the Oresteia, that explains how Aeschylus seems to be using those epics and their surrounding mythologies in his own trilogy of plays on the plight of the House of Atreus.

Im not looking for a long answer, just something to get me started, as I have never read the Iliad and the Odyssey and have no idea where to begin this essay.

Aeschylus undoubtedly was using those epics and the mythology involved, mostly because just about all educated (and many uneducated) Athenians in that time were very familiar with all those legends and stories.

You might concentrate on Agamemnon as one of the primary unifying characters among these works. You might also write about how he is (or isn't!) portrayed differently in each one.

For instance, in Iliad, Agamemnon is portrayed as the strong leader of all the Greek troops, even though each group of Greeks (Athenians, Spartans, Thebans, et al) had its own leader, too. Why was this? What characteristics did he have that other warriors and their leaders would grant him that status?

Go to (Broken Link Removed) find Iliad, and read about the different characters in the character analysis section. Then do the same thing for Odyssey; and the same for each play in the Oresteia.

Agamemnon is central here. He is a very strong son of the House of Atreus. What does he represent? What is good about his character traits? What isn't? How does he use these traits to his advantage? Is he good for his own people? For the Greeks as a group?

There are also these sites that may help:
http://www.theatrehistory.com/ancient/bates021.html

http://www.pantheon.org/articles/a/agamemnon.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iliad

=)

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