| Quote #1
(Chorus): "Ten years it is since the great plaintiff against Priam,
We also used this same quotation in the section on "Justice and Judgment," but we're reusing it again here. Why? Mainly to point out an ambiguity that lies at the heart of Aeschylus's play. If you set out to kill somebody who did something wrong to you, can you be acting justly? Doesn't that sound more like revenge than justice? Is there a difference between justice and revenge? What about the fact that Menelaus and Agamemnon act out of "anger," as the Chorus says; can justice be dealt out angrily, or does it require a more measured approach? These questions get close to the heart of what Agamemnon is all about.
| Quote #2
(Chorus): "I have the power to tell of the command destined on its road, the command
Same idea here as the last time around. The Chorus has generally portrayed the Greek war against Troy as just and sanctioned by the gods, but they also portray it as an angry act of revenge – as symbolized here by the reference to a "vengeful hand and spear." Are these two ideas compatible or incompatible?
| Quote #3
(Chorus): "Apollo there! Healer indeed, I call on you,
This is another quotation that could be placed in several different sections. Most obviously, you've got some issues here relating to the theme of "Fate and Free Will"; this comes up in the idea of the "unforgetting Wrath which avenges children," a reference to the curse on the house of Atreus that will result in Agamemnon getting killed. But couldn't the Chorus's words here be interpreted in a more metaphorical sense, too? You don't necessarily have to take literally the idea that a spirit of Wrath is responsible for killing Agamemnon; after all, Aegisthus does come onstage at the end of the play and say, "Hey everybody; I just killed Agamemnon because of what his dad did to my brothers and sisters." In this light, couldn't you just take the Chorus's words here as a statement on how the desire for revenge gets handed down from generation to generation like a horrible heirloom?