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Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Family is a theme in Aeschylus's play, but it is also one of recurrent symbols or motifs. We touch on this a little bit in our section on the theme of "Family," so you can look there for more details on the specific passages where this motif appears. Basically, though, Aeschylus keeps the theme of family fresh in our minds by describing many things that we would not typically think of in terms of family relations in language derived from genealogy. Thus, on several occasions, characters refer to the night that has just passed as having "given birth to" the present day. In a play in which the crimes of previous generations of Agamemnon's family are rehashed and repeated in the present generation, it makes sense to think of the simple passage of time in generational terms.

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