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Libation Bearers

Libation Bearers

by Aeschylus

Analysis: Tough-o-Meter

We've got your back. With the Tough-O-Meter, you'll know whether to bring extra layers or Swiss army knives as you summit the literary mountain. (10 = Toughest)

(5) Tree Line

If you've already read Aeschylus's Agamemnon, Part 1 of the Oresteia trilogy, you probably remember it being really, really hard. (Don't worry: EVERYONE thinks Agamemnon is challenging.) What made Agamemnon so difficult to understand? Part of this had to do with the incredible complexity of its language, especially in the parts sung by the Chorus, which was full of metaphors and weird allusions to Greek mythology and legend. It was also hard because we had to learn all sorts of complicated backstory about Agamemnon's family, the Trojan War, and so on.

What does all this have to do with Libation Bearers? Lots. OK, so the language of Part 2 of the trilogy is still occasionally challenging, but at least we now have all the major characters, backstory, and issues in place from Agamemnon; this lets Libation Bearers get down to business right from the start. (Of course, if you're trying to tackle Libation Bearers and you haven't read Agamemnon, you might want to read it first, or check out the synopsis on our Shmoop module.) Also, we think the language of Libation Bearers is a little bit easier, too.

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