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by Aeschylus

Agamemnon Gender Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Line). We used Christopher Collard's translation.

Quote #10

(Chorus to Aegisthus): "You – you woman! Against those who were newly from the fighting, while you had kept the house at home and violated the husband's bed as well – did you plan this death for their commander? […] As if I shall see you ruling the Argives – you who planned death for this man but had no courage to carry out the deed by killing him yourself!"
(Aegisthus): "That was because the deception was clearly a woman's role, while I was a suspect enemy from long ago." (1625-1627, 1633-1638)

If Clytemnestra is a woman with the mind of a man, as she and other characters in the play imply, then the Chorus thinks that Aegisthus is a man with the soul of a woman. This, of course, is based on cultural stereotypes that view women as untrustworthy and deceitful. Interestingly, Aegisthus seems to agree with the assessment that the deceitfulness of the plot on Agamemnon was feminine, but he argues that this was necessary under the circumstances. What do you make of this, and how can you connect it with some of Agamemnon's other key themes?

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