| Quote #1
(Chorus): "Things are now as they are;
Well, of course "things are now as they are." Thanks, Chorus, way to blow our minds. Oh, wait, there's more here: sacrifices won't work. What's the connection between these ideas? The connection is the idea of Fate. Basically, when the Chorus says "things are now as they are," they mean that they are the way they were fated to be, and there is no way of changing that; no prayers to the gods will help. In this context, the Chorus is actually talking about the past; when they say "now," they mean, after the Greeks sailed off to fight the Trojans. Is what they say limited to that context, or does Aeschylus portray it as holding true at all times in the universe of his play?
| Quote #2
(Chorus): "[Calchas] spoke,
Here, the Chorus repeats what Calchas, the Greek soothsayer, said after seeing two eagles ripping up a pregnant hare. He interpreted this as a sign from the gods that Agamemnon and Menelaus would successfully capture Troy. At the same time, however, Calchas is a bit uncertain about the future, and worried that the goddess Artemis will give them some trouble. He even wishes that the gods' jealousy won't harm them. If Calchas thinks that the expedition is driven along by Fate, what's the point of wishing that things will turn out OK? Can Fate be changed? To answer this question, you'll have to think about all the other descriptions of Fate in the play, and see what picture emerges from their sum total.
| Quote #3
(Chorus): "[Agamemnon] spoke, declaring
Here, it looks like Agamemnon faces a classic situation of "Damned if you do, damned if you don't." On the one hand, if he doesn't sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia to secure good winds for the fleet, he will be letting everybody down. On the other hand, if he does sacrifice his daughter, then he will, you know…sacrifice his daughter. Agamemnon says that "Fate will be heavy" either way; is it fair to describe this as an issue of Fate? Does Agamemnon have a free choice in this matter?