Aischylos - Die Orestie
05.11.2017 - 30.11.2017 | Wiener Burgtheater
The Oresteia (Ancient Greek: Ὀρέστεια) is a trilogy of Greek tragedies written by Aeschylus concerning the murder of Agamemnon by Clytaemnestra, the murder of Clytaemnestra by Orestes, the trial of Orestes, the end of the curse on the House of Atreus and pacification of the Erinyes. This trilogy also shows how the Greek gods interacted with the characters and influenced their decisions pertaining to events and disputes. The only extant example of an ancient Greek theater trilogy, the Oresteia won first prize at the Dionysia festival in 458 BC. Many consider the Oresteia to be Aeschylus` finest work. The principal themes of the trilogy include the contrast between revenge and justice, as well as the transition from personal vendetta to organized litigation. Orestia originally included a satyr play Proteus following the tragic trilogy, but all except a single line of Proteus has been lost.
The play Agamemnon (Ἀγαμέμνων, Agamemnōn) details the homecoming of Agamemnon, King of Mycene, from the Trojan War. After 10 years of warfare, Troy had fallen and all of Greece could lay claim to victory. Waiting at home for Agamemnon is his wife, Queen Clytemnestra, who has been planning his murder. She desires his death to avenge the sacrifice of her daughter Iphigenia, to exterminate the only thing hindering her from commandeering the crown, and finally be able to publicly embrace her long-time-lover Aegisthus. This play is first of the three within the Oresteia trilogy.
The play opens to a watchman looking down and over the sea, reporting that he has been lying restless `like a dog` for a year, waiting to see some sort of signal confirming a Greek victory in Troy. He laments the fortunes of the house, but promises to keep silent: `A huge ox has stepped onto my tongue.`. The watchman sees a light far off in the distance and is overjoyed at the victory and hopes for the hasty return of his King as the house has `wallowed`. Clytaemnestra is introduced to the audience and she declares that there will be celebrations and sacrifices throughout the city as Agamemnon and his army return. Clytaemnestra`s encounters with the Leader, the chorus, and other males within the artistocracy are a manifestation of the sexism within Ancient Greek Society.
Upon the return of Agamemnon, his wife laments in full view of Argos how horrible the wait for her husband, and King, has been. After her soliloquy, Clytaemnestra pleads, and later convinces Agamemnon to walk on the robes laid out for him. This is a very ominous moment in the play as loyalties and motives are questioned. The King`s new concubine, Cassandra, is now introduced and this immediately spawns hatred from the queen, Clytaemnestra. Cassandra is ordered out of her chariot and to the altar where, once she is alone, is heard crying out insane prophecies to Apollo about the death of Agamemnon and her own shared fate.
Inside the house a cry is heard. Agamemnon had been stabbed in the bathtub. The chorus separate from one another and ramble to themselves proving their cowardice when another final cry is heard. When the doors are finally opened, Clytaemnestra is seen standing over the dead bodies of Agamemnon and Cassandra. Clytaemnestra describes the murder in detail to the chorus, showing no sign of remorse or regret. Suddenly the exiled lover of Clytaemnestra, Aegisthus, bursts into the palace to take his place next to her. Aegisthus proudly states that he devised the plan to murder Agamemnon and claim revenge for his father (the father of Aegisthus, Thyestes, was tricked into eating two of his sons by his brother Atreus, the father of Agamemnon). Clytaemnestra claims that she and Aegisthus now have all the power and they re-enter the palace with the doors closing behind them.
The Oresteia (Ancient Greek: Ὀρέστεια) is a trilogy of Greek tragedies written by Aeschylus >> Read more
The Burgtheater (en: (Imperial) Court Theatre), originally known as K.K. Theater an der Burg, then until 1918 as the K.K. Hofburgtheater, is the Austrian National Theatre in Vienna and one of the most important German language theatres in the world.The Burgtheater was created in 1741 and has become known as `die Burg` by the Viennese population;its theatre company of more or less regular members has created a traditional style and speech typical of Burgtheater performances.