| Quote #7
(Chorus): "But you must tell me, Herald: I wish to know of Menelaus – whether he has actually returned home with you, brought safely back; he is a power dear to this land."
Here we see the limits of human knowledge: the Herald cannot accurately communicate what he has not personally experienced. He knows Menelaus has disappeared, but he can't say anything further. According to him, there is only one perspective that allows for experience, and hence knowledge, of everything: that of the Sun.
| Quote #8
(Chorus, to Cassandra): "It's you [Clytemnestra]'s speaking to! She's pausing, but what she says is clear. Since you've been caught in the fatal net, please obey her if you're going to obey; but perhaps you'll disobey."
It's hard to think of a more basic communicative issue than that of language. Here, when Clytemnestra is unable to make Cassandra obey her and come into the house, she assumes it must be because Cassandra doesn't speak Greek. The interesting thing here is that, in Homer, the main source for all information about the Trojan War, the Greeks and the Trojans appear to speak the same language. Why do you think Aeschylus would have made a point of portraying the Trojans as speaking a different language here? As it turns out, of course, Cassandra does understand Greek. But this still doesn't explain her hesitation before going into the house. In fact, as we are about to learn, she has had a vision revealing the horrible past of the house and Atreus's crime. Does this count as learning through suffering? Or is it something entirely different?
| Quote #9
(Cassandra): "Oh, the wedding, the wedding of our Paris
Here we see Cassandra prophesying her own death. The same question we asked about the previous quotation is relevant here. Is prophecy a form of learning through suffering, or something entirely different? Also, it is noteworthy that the Chorus appears to have no problem understanding her words. Does this prove that learning CAN happen through communication, and not just through experience? But have the Chorus members really learned anything? It isn't like they actually do anything to save her and Agamemnon? What counts as learning anyway?