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by Aeschylus

Agamemnon Lies and Deceit 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, 1633-1635)

Once again, we see that the Chorus, even though they are already upset for the basic reason that their king has been killed, is EXTRA angry because he was killed through deception. Here, they show how Aegisthus's use of deception means they have no respect for him. (This is expressed by the fact that they call him a "woman," which in ancient Greek society meant that Aegisthus was less than a man.) In response, however, Aegisthus argues that he used deception because he had to. Can you think of other moments in Aeschylus's play in which characters justify their actions by saying that they had no choice? Do you think that Aeschylus considers this an acceptable way of justifying bad behavior?

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