Greek Classics have long been the bedrock of a proper and
thorough education. Reading about the tracks and lives of our ancestors
cannot help but uplift us in our current life's path as it arms us with
lessons of the past. Tomes have been written on the subject, but to put it
in very modern, even economic terms, a recent article in the NY Times put it
into such a perspective with an article on what books one finds on the
shelves of the world’s most successful CEO’s. The article points out that
one doesn’t find “how-to-business books” on their shelves, but rather works
of philosophy, poetry, Greek classics, and other books of general knowledge.
William von Humbolt wrote of Aeschylus' The Oresteia
that "among all the products of the Greek stage, none can compare with it in
tragic power; no other play shows the same intensity and pureness of belief
in the divine and good; none can surpass the lessons it teaches and the
wisdom of which it is the mouthpiece." A sequence of three plays, The
Oresteia relays the final tragedies which befall the House of Atreus
following the end of the Trojan War. The first play, "Agamemnon," tells of
the return of King Agamemnon from Troy and of his murder by his wife and her
lover. The second, "The Libation Bearers," details the revenge exacted by
Agamemnon's son, Orestes, and daughter, Electra, for their father's death.
In the third play of the trilogy, "The Eumenides," Orestes and Apollo go
before an Athenian jury to determine their ultimate fate. The only full
trilogy to have survived from the ancient Greek playwrights, The Oresteia
was first performed at a festival in Athens in 458 B.C. where it won first
prize. The Oresteia today remains one of the most popular
plays of all time. These new dramatic releases provide us once again with
that powerful and direct style of translation for which Professor Johnston
has become known.
This play can be previewed by following the link to the
preview page for this title.