| Quote #1
(Chorus): "Ten years it is since the great plaintiff against Priam,
Why do you think the Chorus's first song is so preoccupied with events that happened ten years earlier? Is this just Aeschylus's way of conveniently presenting background information about Agamemnon? But couldn't Aeschylus also be showing how, in Agamemnon's absence, his citizens are all living in the past? What's your take?
| Quote #2
(Chorus): "What followed, I neither saw nor do I say;
Here, the Chorus drops hints about what happened in the past ("Calchas' skills did not go unfulfilled"), while also reminding us that they were not there to witness it. This could be interpreted as showing how events can become part of inherited cultural memory. If so, could this be related to some of the play's other themes, such as those of "Revenge" or "Family"?
| Quote #3
(Chorus): "The grace of shapely statues
In these lines, the Chorus shows how memory makes the absence of a loved one especially painful; if Menelaus were simply able to forget Helen, there might have been no Trojan War. Can you think of other examples in the play of memory contributing to pain?