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Klytemnestra in the Agamemnon of Aeschylus Bowman, Laurel Marjorie 1986

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KLYTEMNESTRA IN THE AGAMEMNON OF AESCHYLUS By LAUREL MARJORIE BOWMAN B.A., The U n i v e r s i t y o f T o r o n t o , 1981 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN THE REQUIREMENTS MASTER PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF FOR THE DEGREE OF OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES DEPARTMENT OF CLASSICS We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g t o t h e r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE © UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 1986 L a u r e l M a r j o r i e Bowman, 1986 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and study. I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the head o f my department or by h i s or her r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s understood t h a t copying or p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be allowed without my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department of The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date ^ /"''^ «1 N. i i ABSTRACT In the l a s t e i g h t y years a gre a t d e a l has been w r i t t e n about the character and symbolic s i g n i f i c a n c e of Klytemnestra i n Aeschylus' t r i l o g y , the O r e s t e i a . These s t u d i e s have c o n t r i b u t e d much that i s u s e f u l to the understanding of Klytemnestra's c h a r -a c t e r and her r o l e i n the t r i l o g y . However, by c o n c e n t r a t i n g on her p o s i t i o n i n the O r e s t e i a , some a s p e c t s o f her r o l e i n the f i r s t p l a y (the Agamemnon), of which she i s the p r o t a g o n i s t , have been n e g l e c t e d because they are not a b s o l u t e l y r e l e v a n t to the themes of the whole t r i l o g y . E q u a l l y , the s i g n i f i c a n c e of some aspects of her character and r o l e i n the Agamemnon have f r e q u e n t -l y been blown out of p r o p o r t i o n i n that p l a y simply because they become important l a t e r i n the t r i l o g y . T h i s t h e s i s attempts, by c a r e f u l c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the t e x t of the Agamemnon alone, to a r r i v e at a balanced view of Klytem-n e s t r a 's character and r o l e i n that p l a y . Her p e r s o n a l c h a r a c -t e r i s t i c s , and her r e l a t i o n s h i p with the themes developed and images used i n the Agamemnon, are di s c u s s e d i n the order i n which they are revealed i n the t e x t . Appendix A t r a c e s the development of the O r e s t e i a myth i n l i t e r a t u r e and a r t before Aeschylus, and d i s c u s s e s the changes he made i n the s t o r y as he received i t . Appendix B a n a l y s e s the arguments surrounding Klytemnes-t r a ' s stage movements i n the Agamemnon, and suggests a sequence of entrances and e x i t s which s a t i s f i e s most of the p o i n t s r a i s e d . i i i T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S ABSTRACT i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS i v INTRODUCTION 1 KLYTEMNESTRA IN THE AGAMEMNON 7 NOTES 109 APPENDIX A: The O r e s t e i a T r a d i t i o n and A e s c h y l u s ' I n n o v a t i o n s 118 NOTES TO APPENDIX A 129 APPENDIX B: K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s E n t r a n c e s and E x i t s 132 NOTES TO APPENDIX B 148 BIBLIOGRAPHY 150 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would l i k e to thank my a d v i s o r , Dr. P o d l e c k i , and Dr. Edinger, f o r t h e i r t h o u g h t f u l advice and a s s i s t a n c e i n t h i s t he-s i s , and f o r t h e i r u n f a i l i n g p a t i e n c e . I am a l s o g r a t e f u l t o Robert, C a r o l and Edward f o r t h e i r c h e e r f u l h e l p i n p r o o f r e a d i n g , and f o r a l l o w i n g me to d i s c u s s problems i n the t e x t a t l e n g t h with them i n the course of my work on the t h e s i s ; and to Matthew, f o r showing me what graduate students are r e a l l y supposed t o be do i n g . F i n a l l y , I would p a r t i c u l a r l y l i k e t o thank my p a r e n t s f o r t h e i r unceasing moral (and frequent f i n a n c i a l ) support over the l a s t three years. 1 INTRODUCTION To i n t e r p r e t p r o p e r l y Klytemnestra's r o l e i n the Agamemnon one should keep two p r i n c i p l e s i n mind. F i r s t , she i s a p e r s o n 1 , not merely an e x p r e s s i o n of a p o l i t i c a l or s o c i a l theme. Second, she i s not the p o i n t of the p l a y . Neither of these p r i n c i p l e s has been a matter of common agreement among c r i t i c s ; i n f a c t , one or the other i s u s u a l l y ignored, by omission or d e l i b e r a t e neg-l e c t . For t h i s reason, I would l i k e to d i s c u s s my reasons f o r h o l d i n g them before going on. In the O r e s t e i a , A eschylus attempts to r e s o l v e a b s t r a c t q u e s t i o n s of j u s t i c e and d i v i n e w i l l , which he e x p l o r e s through the c o n f l i c t of male versus female, o i k o s v e r s u s s o c i e t y , and parent versus c h i l d . These i s s u e s are expressed one way or an-other i n a l l three p l a y s , but they become c l e a r e s t i n the Eumen- i d e s , where they are i s o l a t e d from human a c t i v i t i e s and judged ra t h e r than enacted. (The f a c t that many c h a r a c t e r s i n the Eumen- i d e s are d i v i n e i s indeed a s i g n that the i s s u e s i n t h a t p l a y have become more a b s t r a c t than they were i n the f i r s t two p l a y s of the t r i l o g y . ) In the Agamemnon, however, the c h a r a c t e r s are human, and the i s s u e s are not as w e l l - d e f i n e d or as a b s t r a c t as they l a t e r become. I t i s a mistake to t r e a t them as i f they a r e . I t i s e q u a l l y a mistake to t r e a t the i s s u e s developed and r e s o l v e d i n the Eumenides as the only q u e s t i o n s of any importance i n the Agamemnon. The c o n f l i c t and t r i a l i n the Eumenides stands on a b a s i s of p e r s o n a l , human, concrete a c t i o n s and events which 2 was e s t a b l i s h e d i n the Agamemnon. The events of the f i r s t p l a y are not simply examples of the work of f o r c e s r e v e a l e d and i s s u e s addressed i n the t h i r d . Rather, the events of the Agamemnon are the r e a l i t y from which the Eumenides' a b s t r a c t , i n t e l l e c t u a l p r i n c i p l e s are d e r i v e d . The pers o n a l and the concre t e form the core of the Agamemnon. In the Eumenides the p e r s o n a l and con-c r e t e aspects have been p a r t l y s t r i p p e d away; but to ignore them i n the Agamemnon f o r that reason, or to di s m i s s them as unimpor-t a n t , i s to miss a l a r g e part of the t h r u s t of the f i r s t p l a y . Thus, the c h a r a c t e r s found i n the Agamemnon are not merely the v e h i c l e s of a theme, however much the t r i a l i n the Eumenides might tempt one to think they a re. They cannot be l i n e d up as n e a t l y as one might wish to do on one s i d e or another of the c o n f l i c t s d e f i n e d i n the Eumenides. They are not simply d e v i c e s to move the p l o t , or the e l a b o r a t i o n of the c o n f l i c t , forward. The l i n e s You make t r i a l of me as i f I were a s i l l y woman; but ... whether you p r a i s e or blame me, i t ' s the same. T h i s i s Agamemnon, my husband, and a corpse; the work of t h i s r i g h t hand, a j u s t craftsman. So th i n g s stand. (Ag_. 1401-1406) 2 are not d e l i v e r e d by an a b s t r a c t symbol of ma t r i a r c h y , a p a s s i v e v e h i c l e of the workings of j u s t i c e , or an example of e a r l y femin-i s t t h o u g h t . They a r e spoken by a s p e c i f i c , p o w e r f u l , s e l f -aware, b l o o d - s p a t t e r e d woman s t a n d i n g over a b l e e d i n g c o r p s e . They were spoken, moreover, before an audience which had not the 3 advantage l a t e r c r i t i c s d i d of knowing what was going to happen i n the Eumenides l a t e r on and i n t e r p r e t i n g a c c o r d i n g l y . T h i s i s not to say that the pl a y s of the O r e s t e i a are not connected. Of course they are; and of course the i s s u e s r e s o l v e d i n the Eumenides are f i r s t r a i s e d i n the a c t i o n and d i s c u s s i o n of the Agamemnon, i n which they a r e indeed i mportant, i f not as c l e a r - c u t as i n the l a t e r p l a y . But not a l l of the i n f o r m a t i o n g i v e n or q u e s t i o n s asked i n the f i r s t p l a y are t r e a t e d i n the t h i r d ; and those which do have been reduced and s i m p l i f i e d . I t i s necessary to say t h i s because i t has so o f t e n been f o r g o t t e n . Winnington-Ingram's a r t i c l e (1948: passim), i n which he proposes t h a t K l y t e m n e s t r a be seen as a r e b e l l i o u s f e m i n i s t who r e s e n t s male power, f i t s her p o r t r a i t i n the Eumenides i n some ways, but s u i t s the Klytemnestra of the Agamemnon h a r d l y at a l l . Z e i t l i n ' s theory (1978: passim) that the O r e s t e i a i s one of a capacious genre of myths concerning the o v e r t u r n of m a t r i a r c h a l r u l e a g a i n s u i t s only the t h i r d p l a y of the t r i l o g y . Her theory a r i s e s from themes s t r o n g l y s t r e s s e d i n the Eumenides, Winning-ton-Ingram's from more minor p o i n t e r s i n the t e x t ; but n e i t h e r t h e o r y can be read back i n t o the Agamemnon and h e l d to " f u l l y e x p l a i n " Klytemnestra, or the a c t i o n of the f i r s t p l a y . As Aya Betensky (1978:11) p o i n t s out, to make of Aeschylus no more than a f e m i n i s t , an economist or a housekeeper t r i v i a l i z e s the p l a y s . One must ignore a good deal of the text of the Agamemnon i n order to make the Kly t e m n e s t r a of that p l a y no more than a symbol of something e l s e . She i s perhaps " d e p e r s o n a l i z e d " (Betensky, 1978: 4 12), and c e r t a i n l y o n e - d i m e n s i o n a l , i n the t h i r d p l a y of the t r i l o g y , but not i n the f i r s t . In the Agamemnon, Klytemnestra i s the c h a r a c t e r through whom v a r i o u s themes and f o r c e s a r e f o c -ussed; she i s not h e r s e l f only an e x p r e s s i o n of one (or more) of those themes. The o t h e r p r i n c i p l e , e q u a l l y i m p o r t a n t , i s r a t h e r the r e v e r s e of the f i r s t . Klytemnestra i s so s t r i k i n g and dominant a c h a r a c t e r i n the Agamemnon that one i s sometimes tempted to f i n d the r e s t of the p l a y no more than a r e f l e c t i o n o f , or a r e a c t i o n to , her. As Gould (1978: 59) expresses t h i s view, "the s t r u c t u r e of the p l a y i s such that i t s other f i g u r e s are seen i n the h a l f -shadow of her aura". Her p o r t r a y a l i s so v i v i d , i n f a c t , t h a t i t can l e a d the unwary to think that Aeschylus' primary purpose, i n the Agamemnon at l e a s t , was to b u i l d up a strong human c h a r a c t e r and a l l o w the p l o t and a c t i o n to develop more or l e s s as a con-sequence of her nature; but the s u b j e c t s of the c h o r a l odes - the gods, the p a s t , j u s t i c e , and h u b r i s , and o n l y o c c a s i o n a l l y the Queen - s h o u l d t e l l us o t herwise. C e r t a i n l y the c h a r a c t e r of K l y t e m n e s t r a dominates and c a r r i e s the burden of the a c t i o n i n the f i r s t p l a y ; and, e q u a l l y c e r t a i n l y , the p l a y i s not about h e r , nor i s her psychology the focus of A e s c h y l u s ' a t t e n t i o n . K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s p e r s o n a l c h a r a c t e r , or " p s y c h o l o g y " , h e l p s to humanize and make p a r t i c u l a r the general i s s u e s Aeschylus t r e a t s i n the Agamemnon. E q u a l l y , the f o c u s s i n g of the themes and f o r -ces i n the p l a y through her c h a r a c t e r and a c t i o n s helps to make t h a t c h a r a c t e r s t r o n g e r and more v i v i d . The reader should not 5 d i s m i s s e i t h e r of these f a c t o r s as t r i v i a l . Her p e r s o n a l c h a r a c -t e r does e x i s t , and i s to some extent independent of the a c t i o n : one can imagine a l e s s complex and c o l o u r f u l c r e a t u r e performing the same a c t s and a c t i n g as an exejnplujn of the same i s s u e s as K l y t e m n e s t r a does. But the f o r c e s r e v e a l e d l a t e r i n the p l a y which o n l y i n d i r e c t l y concern Klytemnestra and which do not de-pend e n t i r e l y on her ch a r a c t e r f o r t h e i r e x p r e s s i o n demonstrate Aeschylus' concern with i s s u e s other than h i s p r o t a g o n i s t ' s psy-chology. Aeschylus d i d not invent the p l o t or the themes he ad-dres s e s i n the Agamemnon i n order to i l l u m i n a t e d i f f e r e n t f a c e t s of her p s y c h o l o g y . Klytemnestra i s a v i v i d and unique i n d i v i -d u a l , but her c h a r a c t e r i s subordinate to the theme of the p l a y . In t h i s d i s c u s s i o n of Klyte m n e s t r a i n the Agamemnon, an attempt w i l l t h e r e f o r e be made to keep to the middle ground. T h i s can be done by s t i c k i n g c l o s e l y to the t e x t of the p l a y , a s k i n g t h o s e q u e s t i o n s which the t e x t prompts us to ask and a v o i d i n g the i n v e n t i o n of thoughts, past events, or doings behind the scenes t o which the t e x t never a l l u d e s . By examining her speeches and a c t i o n s , the way other c h a r a c t e r s see and r e a c t to her and the imagery a s s o c i a t e d with her, step by st e p from be-g i n n i n g to end of the play i n the order i n which the l i n e s were o r i g i n a l l y p r e s e n t e d , I w i l l attempt to present a balanced and c o m p r e h e n s i v e v i e w o f K l y t e m n e s t r a and h e r r o l e i n t h e Agamemnon. The t e x t of the Agamemnon i s i t s e l f n o t o r i o u s l y d i f f i c u l t and i n some p l a c e s h o p e l e s s l y c o r r u p t . Great e f f o r t s have been 6 made i n t h i s century to r e c o n s t r u c t i t i n i t s e n t i r e t y , f o r i n -stance by Fra e n k e l (1950) and by Denniston and Page (1957). The products of such attempts, however c a r e f u l and s c h o l a r l y , are of course always s l i g h t l y suspect, as they must to some extent de-pend on what the e d i t o r f e e l s that Aeschylus i s l i k e l y to have w r i t t e n . In both the above-mentioned e d i t i o n s , however, the e d i t o r s have made every e f f o r t to keep the i n f l u e n c e of t h e i r own p r e j u d i c e s t o a minimum i n t h e i r d e c i s i o n s on the t e x t of the p l a y , and the r e s u l t s of t h e i r e f f o r t s are as trustworthy as such t h i n g s can p o s s i b l y be. In t h i s t h e s i s I have r e l i e d w i thout comment on the e d i t i o n of the Agamemnon p u b l i s h e d i n 1957 by John Denniston and Denys Page. Any d e v i a t i o n s from t h e i r t e x t w i l l be noted. 7 KLYTEMNESTRA IN THE AGAMEMNON A e s c h y l u s d r a s t i c a l l y changed t h e e a r l i e r v e r s i o n s o f t h e myth o f t h e O r e s t e i a i n h i s t e l l i n g o f t h e s t o r y o f t h e d e a t h o f Agamemnon 3. B e f o r e A e s c h y l u s , K l y t e m n e s t r a was s e e n a s a s h a -dowy, s e c o n d a r y c h a r a c t e r who s t o o d i n t h e b a c k g r o u n d o f t h e h e r e d i t a r y f e u d between t h e k i n g and h i s c o u s i n A e g i s t h u s . The r e a d e r i s e a r l y warned t h a t she w i l l n o t o c c u p y t h e same p o s i t i o n i n t h i s p l a y . In l i n e s 10-11, t h e watchman e x p l a i n s t h a t he i s on t h e r o o f w a t c h i n g f o r t h e b e a c o n - f i r e f r o m T r o y b e c a u s e " t h u s r u l e s ( K p a f V R ) / t h e m a n - c o u n s e l l i n g ( ^ ^ o p o u X o s ) ) e x p e c t a n t h e a r t o f a woman". " Kp*T£( <• i s t h u s t h e f i r s t a c t i o n a s s o c i a t e d w i t h K l y t e m n e s t r a . "CW^>OJ3OU\O\) ", a r a r e word p r o b a b l y c o i n e d by A e s -c h y l u s f o r t h i s l i n e ( F r a e n k e l 1950: n. a d l o c . ) h a s s e v e r a l p o s s i b l e c o n n o t a t i o n s , b u t must convey a t l e a s t t h e i d e a o f mas-c u l i n e i n t e l l i g e n c e o r p l a n n i n g . The p o s i t i o n o f t h i s word b e -s i d e y ^ i i X O s ( " Y I A U L K O S UO'dpopoiAoy) ") c a s t s i m m e d i a t e l y i n t o r e l i e f one o f t h e p r i n c i p a l themes o f t h e p l a y , t h e o p p o s i t i o n o f male a n d f e m a l e , as w e l l as t h e p r i n c i p a l o d d i t y o f K l y t e m n e s -t r a ' s own c h a r a c t e r - t h a t she i s a woman, b u t has q u a l i t i e s o f m i n d w h i c h p r o p e r l y b e l o n g t o a man. I t i s n o t n e c e s s a r y t o t r a n s l a t e " f W l j ^ " (11) as " a m b i t i o u s " , a s W i n n i n g t o n - I n g r a m (1948: 130) d o e s , t o u n d e r s t a n d t h a t an u n u s u a l woman r u l e s t h e h o u s e h o l d t o w h i c h t h e watchman b e l o n g s . W i n n i n g t o n - I n g r a m (1948: 130) goes t o o f a r i n s e e i n g a c l e a r r e f e r e n c e t o A e g i s t h u s i n l i n e 18. The watchman i s unhappy w i t h h i s p o s i t i o n , f e a r f u l , 8 and mourns the misfortune of a house which i s not as w e l l c a r e d -f o r as i t was (15-19); but no more can be understood from h i s words at t h i s time than that a l l i s not w e l l under the roof t h i s woman r u l e s . The watchman now h a i l s the beacon. The strange woman, who i s now (26) i d e n t i f i e d as the w i f e of Agamemnon, i s b i d d e n to r a i s e a "woman's c r y of j o y " (b\oXuy/Uod i 28), because Troy has been taken - i f , the watchman adds, the beacon i s c o r r e c t . His speech concludes i n f e a r , doubt and s i l e n c e . He hopes he may see h i s master a g a i n , but does not t r u s t that he w i l l (34); and he w i l l say nothing more of what i s wrong with the household. Some know a l r e a d y and understand h i s h i n t s ; to o t h e r s , he r e f u s e s to c l a r i f y the matter. (37-39). A e g i s t h u s as h i s m i s t r e s s ' l o v e r , as the reader l a t e r - much l a t e r - d i s c o v e r s ; but i n the course of the p l a y many problems of t h i s house w i l l be d i s c l o s e d , and the watchman's vague f e a r s h i n t at a l l of them. A l l that has been re v e a l e d at t h i s p o i n t i n the p l a y i s that a woman commands i n the household and that something i s badly wrong, so wrong that even the good news from Troy, i f i t i s t r u e , i s not s u f f i c i e n t to d i s p e l the gloom. The chorus enter at l i n e 40. They speak of the departure of the A r g i v e f l e e t f o r Troy, ten years ago. Agamemnon and Mene-l a u s are d e s c r i b e d as the " s t r o n g yoke of the A t r e i d a e " (ovupdO Of c o u r s e the watchman h i n t s here a t the p r e s e n c e of ,44) and t r e a t e d as a u n i t , with common concerns. 9 They a r e d e s c r i b e d as v u l t u r e s m o u r n i n g t h e l o s s o f t h e i r young ( 4 9 - 5 4 ) , whose c r i e s a r e h e a r d by a god who p i t i e s them and s e n d s t h e " l a t e - a v e n g i n g E r i n y s " (fartpottodoJ ... E.pa)oJ ,59-60) on t h e t r a n s g r e s s o r . In t h e same way Zeus X e n i o s s e n d s t h e A t r e i d a e , a s E r i n y e s , a g a i n s t A l e x a n d e r , t h e t r a n s g r e s s o r , o v e r a "many-manned" o r "much-married" (TToXiMi)op<*5 , 62) woman who w i l l be t h e c a u s e o f many d e a t h s . The woman i s o f c o u r s e H e l e n , t h e d a u g h t e r o f L e d a a n d T y n d a r e u s , t h o u g h she i s n o t y e t named. T h u s t h e f i r s t i m a g e u s e d i n t h e ode c o n c e r n s an E r i n y s who a v e n g e s , t h o u g h l a t e , t h e l o s s o f c h i l d r e n ; and w h i l e i t i s u s e d o n l y o f t h e A t r e i d a e h e r e i t s h o u l d be remembered. M e t a p h o r s i n A e s -c h y l u s s h o u l d n e v e r be assumed i n a d v a n c e t o h o l d a s i n g l e o r a s i m p l e m e a n i n g . They now (83-103) t u r n t o w a r d s t h e p a l a c e and a p o s t r o p h i z e i t s i n h a b i t a n t , who i s not y e t on s t a g e 4 . The f i r s t r e f e r e n c e t o K l y t e m n e s t r a was a s t h e w i f e o f one o f t h e A t r e i d a e . Now t h e c h o r u s ' a d d r e s s " d a u g h t e r o f T y n d a r e u s " ( T^'d^t^ QO^<AT^ , 83-84) l i n k s h e r w i t h t h e o t h e r T y n d a r i d , h e r s i s t e r H e l e n , w i f e o f t h e o t h e r A t r e i d and j u s t now d e s c r i b e d as f a i t h l e s s and t h e c a u s e o f war. 5 The a d d r e s s i s f o r m a l and r e s p e c t f u l , c a l l i n g h e r by p a t -r o n y m i c , name and rank as Queen. The c h o r u s ask h e r e by what message she has been p e r s u a d e d ilUos kjjp\Us laeoc , 86-87) t o o r d e r s a c r i f i c e s t h r o u g h o u t t h e c i t y . The a l t a r s o f a l l t h e gods a r e a b l a z e w i t h o f f e r i n g s ( 8 8 -9 0 ) ; t o r c h - f l a m e s e v e r y w h e r e r i s e up t o h e a v e n , " m e d i c i n e d " o r " a n o i n t e d " ((j)APM,<A6$ of*€\)n , 9 4 ) w i t h " s o f t , n o n - d e c e p t i v e 10 p e r s u a s i o n s " (JU,A\<AM?5 U'd6\oc6C Wdyoyjroy?ie(ts , 95) of holy ointment from the i n n e r s t o r e of the p a l a c e (94-96). These l i n e s a r e s i g n i f i c a n t . T h e i r primary meaning i s c l e a r l y t h a t s a c r i f i c e s are being performed everywhere, which consume very v a l u a b l e o f f -e r i n g s ( i . e . , the p r e c i o u s ointment kept i n the inmost s t o r e of the p a l a c e f o r use on s p e c i a l o c c a s i o n s ) . Some s p e c i a l event must have o c c u r r e d , some news have been r e c e i v e d , to prompt such extravagance; at l e a s t , so the chorus i n f e r (85-87). But <j)<*f>f<.u -660f.li}fj means a l s o " a d u l t e r a t e d " or "poisoned"; and as G o l d h i l l (1984: 17) shows, "/^/W^i ", with i t s c o n n o t a t i o n of womanish or O r i e n t a l l u x u r y , stands almost i n c o n t r a d i c t i on to ncl^ohoLft "• "$o\o$ " i s commonly a s s o c i a t e d with feminine or b a r b a r i a n c h a r a c -t e r i s t i c s . P e rsuasion, 7Tec0^> , i s important throughout the p l a y , u s u a l l y a s s o c i a t e d with Klytemnestra. Already Klytemnestra, hav-ing been "persuaded" by a message, i s shown as a d u l t e r a t i n g with perhaps d e c e p t i v e "persuasions" the b l a z i n g torches whose k i n d -l i n g she commanded and which the chorus have seen as symbols of hope (99-103). T h i s renders ambiguous the s i g n i f i c a n c e of these t r i u m p h a n t l y b l a z i n g torches; The ambiguity i s s t r e s s e d by the chorus' own doubt of the torches' meaning; they end t h e i r address on a note of u n c e r t a i n t y , unsure that they should t r u s t the s a c -r i f i c i a l f i r e as the watchman was unsure of the beacon, both i n e x i s t e n c e by command of Klytemnestra. I t should be noted ( Z e i t l i n , 1965: 463) that Klytemnestra has been shown as a s a c r i f i c e r i n t h i s scene, i n t h a t she a r -11 ranged the s a c r i f i c e s throughout the c i t y . The motif of s a c r i -f i c e w i l l appear throughout the p l a y . The chorus now t u r n from t h e i r apostrophe t o the p a l a c e and break i n t o s t r o p h i c song. The f i r s t strophe (104-121) speaks of the omen of the two eagles which a t t a c k and eat the pregnant hare. The a n t i s t r o p h e (123-129) g i v e s C a l c h a s 1 i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of t h i s event. The A t r e i d a e are the eagles; the hare i s Troy; the omen thus p r e d i c t s that the Greeks w i l l capture Troy. But A r t e -mis p i t i e s the hare with her young and may hold up the campaign. The epode (140-159) e l a b o r a t e s the prophecy: Artemis i s k i n d to the young of a l l c r e a t u r e s - l i o n s are s p e c i f i c a l l y mentioned. Calchas prays that she may not keep the Danaans i n p o r t with an adverse wind, i n anger at the e a g l e ' s f e a s t and eager f o r an-othe r s a c r i f i c e , a lawless one (k\)op.6\) , 150), "inborn worker of feuds that does not fe a r a husband (or "a man")" (^ cK£o>i) TfcWtfiU St/f-fiu'roJ , ou $ic6rj0op*. , 151-2) ;for t h e i r abides a " t e r r i b l e , e v e r -r e c u r r i n g , d e c e i t f u l housekeeper, u n f o r g i v i n g c h i l d - a v e n g i n g (or ch i l d - a v e n g e d ) Wrath" {(pOfHp* TT*\ci)opTos OLKO\)6^OS $o\t<* , ^ui/^uo\) (IrjJlS TtuJoiTOiJoS , 152-155). There f o l l o w s (160-183) the p u z z l i n g hymn to Zeus. For our purposes i t need o n l y be mentioned that he i s d e s c r i b e d as the u l t i m a t e v i c t o r i n any contest (no matter what human seems to win), as those with understanding k-now. Zeus i s a l s o a s s o c i a t e d h e r e w i t h (j)prj) , i n t e l l e c t u a l u n d e r s t a n d i n g , and cognate words (<fyx>\)rt§os , 16 5; fosJuJ , 17 5; To <f)pohl\) , 17 6; < $ O J ^ O O J > 181.) He has a l r e a d y been a l l i e d with the A t r e i d kings i n t h e i r quest f o r vengeance f o r a woman. "(f)pj) " g e n e r a l l y seems to be a c h a r -a c t e r i s t i c a s s o c i a t e d with males i n t h i s p l a y . At 184 the chorus r e t u r n to the n a r r a t i v e . Gales sent by A r t e m i s h o l d the s h i p s i n p o r t , as C a l c h a s had f e a r e d . The storm, which wears away the "flower of the A r g i v e s " ( Wi), 297-98), can be h a l t e d by a more grievous remedy (than the d i s e a s e ? ) - the s a c r i f i c e of Agamemnon's daughter, SO^-UA) kyAji** , at her f a t h e r ' s hands. A f t e r d e l i b e r a t i o n , Agamemnon dec i d e s to commit the a c t . At the moment of h i s d e c i s i o n , the wind of h i s (fipjH v e e r s and blows i l l , l i k e the g a l e s from the Strymon; h i s t h i n k i n g (To fataJtci) ) becomes JAh6'To\j+c\) . He s a c r i f i c e s h i s daughter i n a i d of a "woman-avenging" or "woman-avenged" (JvddL -HoTTOiJcui) , 226) war. Thus comes about the second s a c r i f i c e n a r r -ated i n t h i s p l a y . Calchas' prophecy has so f a r , then, been f u l f i l l e d . What of the r e s t of i t - the c h i l d - a v e n g i n g , housekeeping Wrath which does not f e a r a husband? W i l l the war be avenged by_ a woman? The powerful man-minded woman whom the watchman spoke of comes to mind; she i s the mother of the s a c r i f i c e d g i r l , and has so f a r kept to the house i n the p l a y . The chorus warn "ItyJdt- $( A<*A^ ~ yos ouiA afuftfjyoc "( 249), and show a g e n e r a l fear of the f u t u r e (251-253). Klytemnestra now appears i n the doorway of the house. The chorus r e f e r to her r e s p e c t f u l l y as the "^ut)iJo^aou^o\) YptAOZ " (257) 13 of the land and assure us (or themselves) that her wishes f o r the outcome of these things are benign (255). 6 I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t that the chorus s p e c i f i c a l l y s t a t e t h a t they revere her K^A-Tot, which d e r i v e s , they e x p l a i n , from the f a c t t h a t she i s the wife of an absent male r u l e r (258-260). The word used f o r "male" here ('Ap6(}) ) i s the medical, b i o l o g i c a l and gram-m a t i c a l term meaning "male p r i n c i p l e " ( G o l d h i l l , 1984: 34). They acknowledge her a u t h o r i t y o n l y because i t d e r i v e s from male power, which shows again the o p p o s i t i o n between male and female which has a l r e a d y been seen i n the p l a y . They express no l o y a l t y to her p e r s o n a l l y ; i n f a c t , t h e i r care i n e x p l a i n i n g that what they r e s p e c t they show for her i s based o n l y on her p o s i t i o n i s so p o i n t e d as to appear almost rude. As Denniston, Page (1957: n. ad l o c . ) p o i n t out, "... i t i s not thus t h a t the s e n a t o r s address Atossa i n the P e r s i a n s " (at Pers. 150-158). That g r e e t -i n g c o u l d be e x p l a i n e d away as O r i e n t a l extravagance; but the A r g i v e e l d e r s themselves greet Agamemnon q u i t e d i f f e r e n t l y , when he a r r i v e s , a s s u r i n g him of t h e i r h e a r t f e l t f r i e n d s h i p and good w i l l (805-806). That g r e e t i n g shows t h a t they are c a p a b l e o f d i s p l a y i n g a f f e c t i o n towards a r u l e r ; but here, they are p o l i t e , i f t h a t , and no more. They r e p e a t t h e i r q u e s t i o n s about the s a c r i f i c e s , a sking i f Klytemnestra has heard good news, or s a c r i -f i c e s i n hope of i t . They add a p o l i t e formula t o the e f f e c t t h a t she need not answer i f she does not wish t o . T h e i r tone i s fo r m a l , very r e s p e c t f u l , and holds no warmth towards her. 14 K l y t e m n e s t r a 1 s f i r s t two l i n e s c i t e a p r o v e r b which i n -v o l v e s a maternal f i g u r e ; she hopes that morning, "from (or "tak-i n g a f t e r " ) i t s mother n i g h t " [jUyrpos gojpoi)r]$ •frJ^><* , 265 ) may b r i n g good t i d i n g s . S e v e r a l c r i t i c s have commented with percep-t i o n on t h i s l i n e : Goheen (1955: 133) that i t shows Klytemnes-t r a , from the b e g i n n i n g , as t h i n k i n g of e v e r y t h i n g i n terms of motherhood and generation; Betensky (1978: 13) that the E r i n y e s , a l r e a d y mentioned, a r e l a t e r r e v e a l e d to be the daughters o f Mother Night - the morning i s thus a l l i e d to the Avenging Ones; Peradotto (1964: 388) that i n saying that t h i s day "takes a f t e r " (or i s born from) the n i g h t , Klytemnestra c o u l d w e l l mean that i t w i l l be dark, no r e a l day a t a l l . C o n v e n t i o n a l imagery makes l i g h t a symbol of hope and l i f e : the watchman, however, was d o u b t f u l of the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the b e a c o n - l i g h t which Klytemnes-t r a commanded; the chorus have doubted the s a c r i f i c i a l t o r c h e s which she commanded and a l s o a d u l t e r a t e d ; and now she h e r s e l f p e r v e r t s the hopeful dawn l i g h t ' s s i g n i f i c a n c e i n s a y i n g that i t i s from a dark mother. One need not accept a l l of these i n t e r -p r e t a t i o n s to understand that her opening l i n e s , however looked a t , are ominous. She then t e l l s the chorus that the A r g i v e s have taken Troy. G o l d h i l l (1984: 36 and ch. 1, passim) has developed an i n t e r e s t i n g and u s e f u l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the ensuing scene and some ot h e r s i n the p l a y , which i n v o l v e s the r e l a t i o n s h i p between symbol and meaning, speaker and l i s t e n e r and verbs of " s e e i n g " 15 (or "seeming") and " s a y i n g " . These d i s t i n c t i o n s are p a r t i c u -l a r l y r e l e v a n t to a d i s c u s s i o n of Klytemnestra i n these scenes. Klytemnestra i n t h i s p l ay i s f r e q u e n t l y shown as an a d r o i t m a n i p u l a t o r of symbols, both words and o t h e r s . T h i s i s shown p a r t l y by the f a c t that she d e f i n e s the s i g n i f i c a n c e of symbols. For i n s t a n c e , she d e f i n e s the symbol of the beacon l i g h t as hav-in g the meaning (or " s i g n i f i c a n c e " ) that Troy has been d e s t r o y e d . The beacon, l i k e any other symbol, c o u l d p o t e n t i a l l y have any meaning a t a l l . The chorus r e c o g n i z e the ambiguity of meaning i n h e r e n t i n any symbol and a c c o r d i n g l y doubt t h a t the meaning Klytemnestra has d e f i n e d f o r the beacon i s i t s t r u e s i g n i f i c a n c e - there i s f o r them a gap between symbol and meaning. Klytemnes-t r a , who invented the symbol to begin with (she ordered the c h a i n of beacons) and d e f i n e d i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e , sees no gap between the symbol and i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e ; there i s no ambiguity, no p o t e n t i a l other meaning, inherent i n the beacon as f a r as she i s concerned. The d i s t i n c t i o n between v e r b s of s e e i n g and s a y i n g i s p a r a l l e l to that between symbols and meaning. A symbol " i s " what one sees, but "means" what i t says. For i n s t a n c e , the beacon " i s " a l a r g e f i r e on a mountain, which one sees i n the n i g h t ; i t "says" that Troy has been captured - or so Klytemnestra t e l l s us. For the chorus, then, true knowledge comes of a c c u r a t e i n t e r p r e t -a t i o n of what a symbol " t r u l y " (or " c l e a r l y " ) says. But a sym-b o l , by i t s n a t u r e , can have any s i g n i f i c a n c e - can "say" any-t h i n g ; and what i t " t r u l y says" need have no connection with what i t "seems" to be. The chorus, t h e r e f o r e , cannot know the t r u t h , 16 u n l e s s they f i n d an i n t e r p r e t e r of symbols whom they can t r u s t n e i t h e r to make mistakes i n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n nor to l i e . 7 Klytem-n e s t r a , as w i l l appear throughout the p l a y , a t t a c h e s meaning more or l e s s a r b i t r a r i l y t o symbols, w i t h more regard f o r what w i l l s u i t her p u r p o s e s - f o r " f a i r seeming" - than f o r t h e i r t r u e s i g n i f i c a n c e , t h a t i s , f o r what they " t r u l y say". The chorus sense t h i s aspect of her c h a r a c t e r , and a c c o r d i n g l y do not t r u s t her i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s without q u e s t i o n . Because what a symbol "says" (= "means") i s the o n l y t r u t h t h e r e i s to f i n d , however i n a c c e s s i b l e i t may be, verbs of "say-i n g " a r e a s s o c i a t e d with t r u e u n d e r s t a n d i n g , . fafji) i s a m a s c u l i n e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c , as noted e a r l i e r ; knowledge a c q u i r e d t h r o u g h " s e e i n g " or "seeming" i s c o n s i d e r e d f e m i n i n e i n t h i s p l a y . When meaning and symbol are thus d i v i d e d there w i l l a l s o e x i s t a gap between l i s t e n e r and speaker. The l i s t e n e r cannot t r u s t the words of the speaker to hold true meaning; words are a l s o symbols and so can be a r b i t r a r i l y d e f i n e d . T h i s gap i s c l o s e d by means o f "Vtt6»". "lifted" i s d e f i n e d by G o l d h i l l (1984: 36) as that q u a l i t y of the speaker or of the "faos " of the speaker which engenders "Uutts " and understanding i n the l i s t -e n e r . Thus, t h e r e i s a s t r o n g r e l a t i o n s h i p between fi<-eu> and TiLGYt* . Klytemnestra, through her s k i l l at m a n i p u l a t i n g symbols - or p o s s i b l y simply as an innate c h a r a c t e r i s t i c - i s p o r t r a y e d as the possessor of a great deal of ireid^ . 17 The chorus' f i r s t r e a c t i o n to Klytemnestra's statement i s (268) "How do you say? Your word ('iTios ) has escaped me on ac-count of my Utrc6'rt<A. ." They have not found e i t h e r i n Klytemnestra or her words any Viteu which would render her statement t r u s t -worthy; consequently her message has "escaped" t h e i r understand-i n g . K l y t e m n e s t r a r e p e a t s her statement t h a t Troy i s i n the hands of the Greeks - "do I speak c l e a r l y (7of£x )?" (269). The chorus t h i s time accept her words f o r the moment; Klytem-n e s t r a (who can read meaning i n appearance) comments (271) that t h e i r l o y a l t y i s i n d i c a t e d (M'T^opic - spoken, t o l d o f ) by t h e i r eyes (which have f i l l e d w i t h t e a r s ) . The chorus t h i n k b e t t e r of t h e i r i n i t i a l b e l i e f and ask (272) i f she has some t r u s t y p r oof, or token (Wtt>i) ... Wu^J-p ) of what she says. Has she perhaps t r u s t e d to a p e r s u a s i v e v i s i o n ( ^ ^ t t v V . . . €untt&'j ) of a dream (274)? That i s , has she been convinced merely by "see-i n g " and being too e a s i l y persuaded (both feminine c h a r a c t e r i s t -i c s ) ? K l y t e m n e s t r a r e j e c t s t h i s ; she would never a c c e p t the o p i n i o n of a slumbering ( 2 1 5 ) . She i m p l i e s that she pos-sesses the q u a l i t y of an a l e r t <fyojJ , a masculine c h a r a c t e r i s t i c . The chorus p e r s i s t i n t h e i r misjudgement of her; t h e i r next l i n e (276), however i t s h o u l d be i n t e r p r e t e d , i s c l e a r l y no c o m p l i -ment 8. They ask i f she has f a t t e n e d h e r s e l f ({1rcoi\)o\) ) on an "'clt^ripos " ( i . e . unconvincing? unfledged?) r e p o r t . Klytemnestra responds as i f offended, saying that they f a u l t her as i f she had the of a young c h i l d (278). C l e a r l y , Klytemnestra i s r e j e c t -ing proof by appearance (<j>d4^u<* ) i n favour of that a c c e p t a b l e to the ( G o l d h i l l , 1984: 37). 18 The chorus back away at her evident annoyance and seem to a c c e p t her statement with t h e i r next q u e s t i o n , " s i n c e when was the c i t y destroyed?" (278) Klytemnestra's answer once agai n uses maternal imagery - " s i n c e the night which j u s t now g i v e s b i r t h to t h i s l i g h t " (77)5 vW titfooerjs (jfuis ToS' £u<f>po'drjs , 279). The cho-rus ask what messenger (etyyt\o5 , 280) c o u l d a r r i v e so q u i c k l y . "tt^SAOs " and " both imply speech; and Klytemnestra answers "H e p h a i s t o s " - a god who c o u l d , i n person, speak - "who sends b r i g h t l i g h t from Ida" (281). The chorus, e x p e c t i n g a spoken message, have been d i s a p p o i n t e d . In the beacon speech which f o l l o w s (281-316), Klytemnestra t r a c e s f o r the chorus the journey of the b e a c o n - l i g h t from Troy to Argos, as the T W ^ ^ > they have asked that Troy has i n f a c t been captured. She uses words of showing and saying i n t e r c h a n g e -a b l y -KtifJyjecXud (to pass the news, g i v e the password), 289; ^//«A -ov, 294 ; trj^iJit , 293; e t c . - because f o r her, who d e f i n e d the meaning of the beacon, there i s no d i f f e r e n c e . The beacon i t -s e l f , a l i g h t - s i g n a l , i s e s s e n t i a l l y something which cannot speak; i t can o n l y be seen. To Klytemnestra, however, i t speaks as w e l l as s h i n e s . She ends her d e s c r i p t i o n of i t s journey say-ing that " t h i s i s the proof and token {61/^0 ), I t e l l you, my husband sent as a password (or "passed on as news" - tty^y^A Afros, 316) from Troy to me (315-316). To her, the unbroken pass-age of the l i g h t i s proof; she i s c e r t a i n of i t s meaning. The chorus are not so sure. 19 A few other p o i n t s i n t h i s speech should be noted b e f o r e c o n t i n u i n g . I t s tone throughout i s of knowledge and power. As Betensky (1978: 14) p o i n t s out, i t shows K l y t e m n e s t r a i n f u l l command of r e s o u r c e s and i n f o r m a t i o n - of d e t a i l s of geography which she i s able to use to her own ends, of f i r e s " l i k e the sun" (288) or the " b r i g h t moon" (298) which leap v i g o r o u s l y from moun-t a i n t o mountain, shoot over the sea, k i n d l e w i t h u n c e a s i n g s t r e n g t h (305) and b r i n g the news at l a s t to Argos - a l l appar-e n t l y at her command, by her arrangement, and under her c o n t r o l . Even H e p h a i s t o s has done her b i d d i n g . The c o n f i d e n c e o f the Queen i s shown i n her d e s c r i p t i o n of the b r i g h t n e s s and s t r e n g t h of the beacons. I t i s not necessary to see i n t h i s speech super-n a t u r a l or p r o p h e t i c powers; o n l y a Queen i n c o n t r o l o f ev e r y aspect of her world, who knows, t h e r e f o r e , what i s happening i n i t . Her powers of v i s u a l i z a t i o n and her eloquence are g r e a t ; but one need not f o r t h i s reason make a seer of her. Here as w e l l she uses images of f e r t i l i t y i n her d e s c r i p -t i o n ; the l i g h t which a l i g h t s on the roof of the A t r e i d a e i s "not p a r e n t l e s s " (am 'dnr^iriroi , 311) - i t s parent i s the beacon on Ida. I f c h i l d r e n take a f t e r t h e i r p a r e n t s (as the chorus w i l l l a t e r e x p l a i n they d o ) , one might be concerned to know what s o r t o f l i g h t , born i n the d e s t r u c t i v e f i r e s of a burning c i t y , has a r -r i v e d . The symbolic c o n n o t a t i o n s of her use of l i g h t have now i n c r e a s e d . We had heard beacons k i n d l e d and watched f o r at her command and of t o r c h e s b l a z i n g i n presumably j o y f u l s a c r i f i c e , a d u l t e r a t e d by her "persuasions"; we have now heard i n Klytemnes-20 t r a ' s own words of day born from night and l i g h t from d e s t r u c -t i o n . 9 T h i s speech seems to p o r t r a y Klytemnestra i n f u l l c o n t r o l of her world. But i t has connotations of which even Klytemnestra i s unaware at t h i s p o i n t i n the p l a y . The passage of l i g h t from beacon to beacon, remaining strong as i t advances (6e>eJou6* Ou^t ftco utopoj*iin , 296; Utyeody M>th< , 305) and o c c a s i o n a l l y burn-301) can be seen as an a l l e g o r y of the seemingly unbreakable and u n c o n t r o l l a b l e c h a i n of vengeance and murder which, the reader w i l l d i s c o v e r , i s the h i s t o r y of the house of A t r e u s , i n which each crime i s k i n d l e d by the one before and i t s e l f k i n d l e s new s l a u g h t e r . (Gantz, 1977: 31). The beacon speech i s the f i r s t h i n t of t h i s m o t i f i n the p l a y . But Klytemnestra w i l l show no awareness of such a chain of crime f o r much of the p l a y ; she w i l l see her a c t s as simple r e t r i b u t i o n f o r the only crime the reader has so f a r been informed o f , the s a c r i f i c e of her daughter, and not as p a r t of an u n c o n t r o l l a b l e and unending sequence. In K l y -temnestra' s own speech, then, i s the f i r s t s i g n that there are f o r c e s o p e r a t i n g i n the p l a y of which she i s not aware. At t h i s p o i n t , however, she appears to be i n p e r f e c t c o n t r o l of events. The chorus doubt that the passage of the beacon, which she has t r a c e d f o r them, r e a l l y s i g n i f i e s the d e s t r u c t i o n of Troy. They say that they w i l l l a t e r pray to the gods ( i n t h a n k s g i v i n g ? ) but f i r s t , would she repeat her a s t o n i s h i n g s t o r y from the b e g i n -ing even more f i e r c e n i n g ? They address her, moreover, as ( 317 ) ; p r e v i o u s l y 21 they have c a l l e d her only "Queen" or by her name. T h i s i s s u r e l y a r e a c t i o n to her t r u s t i n what they c o n s i d e r a mere v i s i b l e symbol, a (j)k6p.<*, rather than a spoken message; t h i s g u l l i b i l i t y they see as a feminine c h a r a c t e r i s t i c . Once more, i n s h o r t , they misjudge her. K l y t e m n e s t r a 1 s second speech i n e f f e c t "decodes" the bea-con and g i v e s a v i v i d p i c t u r e of the "true meaning" behind i t , which they w i l l f i n d more trustworthy. She repeats, a g a i n , her statement that Troy has f a l l e n to the Greeks, and goes on to des-c r i b e the scene i n the conquered c i t y . I t i s again unnecessary to a s c r i b e s u p e r n a t u r a l powers to her i n order to understand her speech. She begins "o£p*i<- "» s u r e l y a c l u e that t h i s i s a poss-i b l e v e r s i o n of events at Troy, not a true v i s i o n (Kassandra does not begin t h i s way). Her d e s c r i p t i o n i s i n f a c t a g e n e r a l one, which would s u i t events l i k e l y to f o l l o w the capture of any c i t y . She e x t r a p o l a t e s from the knowledge she has, t h a t T r o y has f a l l e n , to an image of the l o g i c a l consequences, which she v i s u -a l i z e s v i v i d l y and i n d e t a i l . The powers i n v o l v e d here are o n l y those of i m a g i n a t i o n and eloquence, not second s i g h t . The chorus do not possess a l i k e a b i l i t y to v i s u a l i z e and are overwhelmed; they b e l i e v e - h e r decoding of the beacon and accept her d e s c r i p -t i o n , f o r the time being, as the true meaning of the symbol. Her Vtteu) - i n t h i s case based on her eloquence (that i s , her manipul-a t i o n of words) and imagination - has conquered. The c o n n e c t i o n between symbol and meaning remains tenuous, as i s shown by the f a c t that i n t r u t h , she cannot and does not know e x a c t l y what i s 22 happening a t Troy; but her THi&u) has b r i d g e d the gap and erased doubt from the chorus' minds. L i n e s 340 f f . of her speech r a i s e f u r t h e r q u e s t i o n s . I t has been noted t h a t K l y t e m n e s t r a m a n i p u l a t e s and a r b i t r a r i l y d e f i n e s the meaning of symbols, as she does w i t h the beacon. When one " a t t a c h e s a r b i t r a r y meaning" to words, i t i s commonly c a l l e d l y i n g . (In f a c t , Umberto Eco (1979) d e f i n e s a symbol simply as anything that can be used to l i e . 1 0) I t i s tempting to i n t e r p r e t l i n e s 340 f f . as h y p o c r i s y , or l y i n g , p a r t i c u l a r l y as l y i n g would be e a s i e r f o r someone with the a b i l i t i e s Klytemnestra has a l r e a d y shown i n the manipulation of symbols. Throughout the p l a y , i n f a c t , i t i s hard to t e l l i f she means, or how she means, what she says. Here, i n a speech which r a i s e s again the i d e a of r e c i p r o c a l a c t i o n and r e v e r s a l which f i r s t appeared i n the paro-d o s 1 1 , Klytemnestra p i o u s l y expresses the hope that the army has not "ravaged what they should not" (To^eiu) * jur^ ^p'rj , 342) - the T r o j a n s h r i n e s - and thus offended the gods, f o r f e a r of a d i s a s -t e r b e f a l l i n g them on the homeward journey. I t i s odd t h a t she b r i n g s up the p o s s i b i l i t y of d i s a s t e r f o l l o w i n g on impiety here, when she i s d e s c r i b i n g the overwhelming and long-awaited v i c t o r y of the A r g i v e s ; i t c l o s e s her d e s c r i p t i o n on a note of f e a r and p o s s i b l e doom rather than triumph, although she i s d e s c r i b i n g a presumably j o y f u l event - the v i c t o r y of her husband and K i n g a f t e r many years of war. She adds (345-346) that i f the army has not offended the gods, the s u f f e r i n g - fir^ - of the ( p l u r a l ) dead may be aroused (hpnvopos , Denniston Page 1957: n. ad l o c . ) even 23 i f no sudden d i s a s t e r s h o u l d b e f a l l . She i s s p e a k i n g o s t e n s i b l y o f o f f e n s e s a g a i n s t t h e gods and s u f f e r i n g s o f t h o s e k i l l e d a t T r o y . The a u d i e n c e , however, would remember t h e o n l y i m p i e t y and o n l y d e a t h t h e y have as y e t been t o l d o f - t h e s a c r i f i c e o f I p h i -g e n i a . K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s u s e o f m a t e r n a l i m a g e r y e a r l i e r , and h e r d e s c r i p t i o n o f T r o j a n s m o u r n i n g d e a d f a m i l y members i n t h i s s p e e c h (327-329 ) 1 2 , would c o n t r i b u t e t o r e m i n d t h e a u d i e n c e t h a t t h e s a c r i f i c i a l v i c t i m was her c h i l d as w e l l a s Agamemnon's. The p a t t e r n o f hope t h a t s o m e t h i n g may n o t happen, w h i c h i m m e d i a t e l y d o e s h a p p e n , h a s a l r e a d y b e e n s e e n i n C a l c h a s ' p r a y e r , a n d memory o f t h i s w o u l d l e a d t h e a u d i e n c e t o f e a r t h e same h e r e . They would be f u r t h e r u n s e t t l e d by h e r f o r e b o d i n g s o f d i s a s t e r i n a s p e e c h d e s c r i b i n g v i c t o r y , and by t h e a l l u s i o n s i n h e r m e n t i o n o f i m p i e t y , and o f t h e s u f f e r i n g s o f t h e d e a d , t o an a c t i n w h i c h s h e m i g h t be e x p e c t e d t o f e e l a s t r o n g p e r s o n a l i n t e r e s t . A l l o f t h i s i n t h e c o n t e x t o f a s p e e c h w h i c h a l s o r a i s e d t h e i d e a o f r e c i p r o c a l a c t i o n c o u l d o n l y be d i s t u r b i n g . I t w o u l d l e a d , a l t o g e t h e r , n o t o n l y t o a f e a r t h a t h e r u n e x p r e s s -ed hope o f a v o i d i n g d i s a s t e r was l i k e l y t o go u n f u l f i l l e d , b u t a l s o t o a s t r o n g s u s p i c i o n t h a t i t was n o t s i n c e r e . On t h i s d o u b t f u l and f o r e b o d i n g n o t e she ends h e r d e s c r i p -t i o n , s a y i n g " s u c h t h i n g s you h e a r f r o m me, a woman" (youd-rd %(• yuiJeiwbs tpou k\u'tc$ , 348) - a n s w e r i n g b o t h t h e i r a d d r e s s o f Vi/^t (317) and t h e d i s b e l i e f i t i m p l i e d . Her l a s t two l i n e s (349-350) m i r r o r t h e l a s t two l i n e s o f t h e watchman's and c h o r u s ' s p e e c h e s i n t h e i r r a t h e r f o r m u l a i c hopes f o r good. They s o u n d 24 c o n v e n t i o n a l l y a p o t r o p a i c and designed to reduce the impact of her p r e v i o u s ten l i n e s . However, they are ambiguous i n Klytem-n e s t r a ' s mouth. She says that she hopes e v e r y t h i n g w i l l p r e v a i l w e l l (t'o H^oCrj i 349) and be seen c l e a r l y (§tyojOp><>r\U)S 349), f o r she p r e f e r s the enjoyment of many good t h i n g s (TToXXuIi) . .. 266\£>\) , 350). What should p r e v a i l , and what the a l t e r n a t i v e i s to which she p r e f e r s good t h i n g s , i s l e f t u nexplained. The obvious i n f e r e n c e which the chorus i s intended to draw i s that she p r e f e r s good to the e v i l s she has j u s t d e s c r i b e d and that she hopes the v i c t o r y at Troy w i l l p r e v a i l ( i . e . that the good f o r -tune of the A r g i v e army w i l l l a s t ) and become v i s i b l e at Argos. K l y t e m n e s t r a has not, however, s a i d e i t h e r of these t h i n g s and does not n e c e s s a r i l y mean them. They answer her "woman, you speak l i k e a wise and temper-ate man" (K^r' 6w0f>oJ' evfa>oVu>s , 351). Both " <f<fy*oJ* " and "tbtfjf?60u>i " are r e l a t e d to <fy?j\) ; thus they react to her decoding of the beacon and her image of the " t r u t h " behind i t by g i v i n g her c r e d i t f o r the masculine i n t e l l e c t they d i d not p r e v i o u s l y seem to think she had. They have been convinced by her speech, s a y i n g t h a t they have the t r u s t w o r t h y (^riarrjL , 352) p r o o f s they wanted and w i l l now address the gods i n prayer, which they had delayed b e f o r e . T h e i r a c q u i e s c e n c e to her second speech, when they were not c o n v i n c e d by her f i r s t , i s at f i r s t p u z z l i n g ; there i s no-t h i n g i n t r i n s i c a l l y more t r u s t w o r t h y about her d e s c r i p t i o n of Troy than there was about her d e s c r i p t i o n of the t r a n s m i s s i o n of 25 the beacons. But the beacon speech o n l y d e s c r i b e d the v i s u a l symbol, which the (male) chorus found i n s u f f i c i e n t p r o o f ; the Tr o y speech, because i t t e l l s (or p u r p o r t s to t e l l ) what the beacon "says", i s the s o r t of proof they w i l l a c c ept. In f a c t , they have only Klytemnestra' s word that her d e s c r i p t i o n of Troy i s what the beacon " t r u l y says"; but her UlcQoJ , stemming from her v i v i d and c o l o u r f u l use of language, has caused them to f o r g e t t h i s and t r u s t her. The chorus has thus, a f t e r a c c u s i n g her of g u l l i b i l i t y , themselves accepted a proof which i s by t h e i r own st a n d a r d s i n s u f f i c i e n t - showing that they themselves are g u l l -i b l e . In t h i s f i r s t interchange between male chorus and female r u l e r , the female has demonstrated p o s s e s s i o n of ^rj\) and the males have shown evidence of an e a s i l y - p e r s u a d e d ( i . e . , feminine) n a t u r e . Throughout the p l a y , K l y t e m n e s t r a w i l l c o n s i s t e n t l y prove to be more masculine than the males with whom she i s asso-c i a t e d . So f a r Klytemnestra has been shown, through the watchman's speech, as a woman of masculine i n t e l l e c t , who wields power and whose household i s unhappy under her r u l e . The watchman i s a member of the household and perhaps knows her b e t t e r than the male chorus, which acknowledge her power but i s i n c l i n e d to d i s -miss her as a s i l l y woman. T h e i r reason f o r both i s s e x u a l ; they acknowledge her power because i t d e r i v e s from a male and d i s m i s s her i n t e l l e c t because she i s a woman, and ffcpJ i s a m a s c u l i n e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c which woman don't have. They a l s o t h i n k of her as too e a s i l y persuaded by t h i n g s o n l y seen, symbols; g u l l i b i l i t y 26 and t r u s t i n s i g n s without v e r b a l meaning are feminine c h a r a c t e r -i s t i c s . Klytemnestra h e r s e l f , on the c o n t r a r y , i s shown i n her own speeches as p e r s u a s i v e , not persuaded, a manipulator of v i s -u a l symbols r a t h e r than manipulated by them and s k i l l f u l w i t h words as w e l l . She claims (jjo/jJ f o r h e r s e l f , and by the end of her f i r s t appearance the chorus have agreed that she possesses i t . The o p p o s i t i o n of male and female has been seen a l s o i n the war undertaken by men to avenge a woman and perhaps i n the s a c r i f i c e of a young woman by her f a t h e r . The notion of a c t i o n repaying a c t i o n has a l r e a d y been r a i s e d i n the d i s c u s s i o n of the war. Kl y t e m n e s t r a uses images of motherhood and f e r t i l i t y i n her speeches. She has been shown as c o n t r o l l i n g o u t r i g h t , or a d u l t e r a t i n g , l i g h t , the p r i n c i p a l image so f a r i n the p l a y ; she has a l s o been a s s o c i a t e d with s a c r i f i c e , the p r i n c i p a l event as yet n a r r a t e d . She i s thus s t r o n g l y connected with some of the major images and themes so f a r developed. What n a t u r a l imagery has been used so f a r has a l l been n e g a t i v e , and has sometimes been i n v e r t e d and " u n n a t u r a l " . The " f l o w e r " of the A r g i v e s was worn down; a storm weakened the f l e e t ; l i g h t , u s u a l l y h o p e f u l , has had ambiguous meaning; f e r t i -l i t y has come from dark and d e s t r u c t i v e sources. The movement i n every speech i n c l u d i n g Klytemnestra's has been from hope and joy to doubt and forebodi n g . In the context of the p l a y , then, Klytemnestra has so f a r been shown as a' female with a u t h o r i t y and i n t e l l i g e n c e i n a world 27 i n which both are masculine t r a i t s and i n which there i s s i g n i -f i c a n t o p p o s i t i o n of the sexes. She i s u n n a t u r a l , and appears to c o n t r o l many aspects of a dark, unhappy and f e a r f u l world which i s a l s o i n some re s p e c t s u n n a t u r a l . P e r s o n a l l y , she has been shown i n her speeches as f o r c e f u l , i m a g i n a t i v e and c o n f i d e n t i n her powers. The o t h e r c h a r a c t e r s have shown f e a r and r e s p e c t f o r her, but no l i k i n g or p e r s o n a l l o y a l t y . The chorus begin the f i r s t stasimon s i n g i n g to Zeus and Night, which have thrown over Troy the great net ( Si'n'rvo\) , 358; )hfi*pL0^ ' 3 6 1 ) o f " a l l - c a p t u r i n g '/\/>'n" (361). The e n s u i n g ode speaks of the e v i l consequences to the oikos of h u b r i s , i n f a t u -a t i o n Cr\trj ) and war.The f i r s t s t r o p h e (367-384 ) speaks of the dangers of e x c e s s i v e w e a l t h i n a h o u s e h o l d , which r e s u l t s i n "more than j u s t " {jUitfyoi rj SMJIMS , 376) p r i d e . T h e re i s no s h e l t e r f o r a man (iftyt , 382) who from excess of wealth " k i c k s the great a l t a r of J u s t i c e i n t o o b s c u r i t y " (ft« 'ctfa'Jetati) ,383-384). The a n t i s t r o p h e (385-402) d e s c r i b e s Tfi&* d i r e c t l y . She i s "wret-ched" C)u\ja/oi , 385) and the " c h i l d of i n t o l e r a b l e f o r w a r d - p l a n -n i n g F o l l y " (^o^oH/koty Ov/V 'JfiyProf 'AT^S , 386); moreover, she uses f o r c e (j3c2-rjt ) . 1 3 There i s no remedy a g a i n s t TTfe&<-> (386). The harm she does i s impossible to hide. An example of such harm i s the t h e f t of a woman from the A t r e i d household ($cyuoJ /Arpgc^oo > 399). "yvJjuAos " (402) i s i n a prominent p o s i t i o n at the end of the s t r o p h e , emphasizing the s p e c i f i c a l l y sexual r o l e i n v o l v e d ; the i n d i v i d u a l , Helen, i s unimportant. The c o u p l i n g of the 28 A t r e i d a e i n one household l i n k s t h e i r concerns and f o r t u n e s , as we saw i n the p a r o d o s . I t a l s o g i v e s Agamemnon reason to be off e n d e d at the t h e f t of Menelaus' w i f e . 1 4 The second strophe (404-419) speaks of the damage done by t h e s e d u c t i o n ( o r p e r s u a s i o n ) of the unnamed woman. " $f\ifi rXite" ( 408), as Agamemnon was " nMvotyud "(221), she l e f t her household, l e a v i n g war to her countrymen and b r i n g i n g d e s t r u c t i o n as dowry to Troy. In her abandoned household there i s s i l e n c e , m i s e r y and d i s h o n o u r . Through l o n g i n g f o r h e r , a <pJL6fU (415) seems to r u l e the house - an image, §ojeic (421) or o<f>t$ (425) which appears o n l y i n dreams and vani s h e s . Such v a i n dream-images have been mentioned before and w i l l be ag a i n . Her d a r i n g has brought g r i e v o u s s u f f e r i n g and death to other Greek households as w e l l as her own (429-436). Throughout these verses the woman i s never named; onl y her female r o l e i n the oik o s and the misery caused by her t r a n s g r e s s i o n of i t are c o n s i d e r e d here. ( G o l d h i l l 1984: 45) . T u r n i n g f r o m t h i s woman, t h e cho r u s next s i n g o f the deaths at Troy, the ashes sent home " i n exchange f o r men" (443) and " f o r the sake of another man's wi f e " (448). The o p p o s i t i o n of the sexes i s a g a i n apparent here. The f i n a l strophe passes ( 4 5 6 - 4 7 4 ) t o t h e p o s s i b l e a n g e r o f t h e g o d s a t t h e TtfW'r/iAvi) ( 4 6 1 ) , and the slow {ypcn)u> , 464) vengeance of the E r i n y e s a g a i n s t one without J u s t i c e , whom they w i l l wear away by r e v e r s a l of f o r t u n e (IfJlkJ Iroyet , 465) to dimness {iff^ufot), 465) 29 and e v e n t u a l l y i n v i s i b i l i t y (^u^ocs , 467) - that i s , death. I t i s dangerous, they add, to be p r a i s e d e x c e s s i v e l y . The l a s t stanza of the chorus 1 song a p p l i e s so unmistak-a b l y to Agamemnon, i f he has indeed been s u c c e s s f u l at Troy, that the chorus grow f r i g h t e n e d . I f such dangers await the s u c c e s s f u l w a r r i o r - the 1fo\uHToJ- i t would almost be b e t t e r i f the news were f a l s e , and Troy were not taken a f t e r a l l . But the news can onl y be f a l s e i f Klytemnestra has, i n f a c t , i n t e r p r e t e d the sym-b o l ( i . e . , the beacon) i n c o r r e c t l y ; and they t u r n ( i n r e l i e f ? ) to grounds f o r b e l i e v i n g that she may w e l l have done so - that she i s , a f t e r a l l , a woman, and t h e r e f o r e l i k e l y to be g u l l i b l e . ( I t i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Klytemnestra' s Tttteu> that i s seems to be most e f f e c t i v e when she i s p r e s e n t ; i n her absence, d i s t r u s t of her words can r e t u r n . ) On those grounds, they r e t r e a t t o t h e i r o r i g i n a l d i s b e l i e f i n the beacon and d i s m i s s a l of her i n t e l l i -gence. (Thus, once again, the movement i n a speech or song has been from c e r t a i n t y and joy to doubt and f e a r . ) Who, they ask, i s so c h i l d i s h (1fJL$Jos , 479) or so struck out of t h e i r <^?V(479) as to be inflamed at heart by a f i r e ( Irijou/eeJr* #<*f>£<.'<*J , 481) and then d i s t r e s s e d by a change of message (or an exchange [of flame] f o r words - UWA^A XO^OU ,480-482)? They once again f e e l that a v i s u a l message i s not s u f f i c i e n t to the fyy^ '< words are necess-a r y . They imply a l s o that Klytemnestra, whose heart i s inflamed by the beacon, i s c h i l d i s h and without tyjd - e x a c t l y what she e a r l i e r a c c u s e d them of t h i n k i n g . They c o n t i n u e , making the sexual o p p o s i t i o n i m p l i e d i n these l i n e s p e r f e c t l y c l e a r - " i t i s 30 f i t t i n g to the r u l e of a woman to agree to gi v e thanks because of (?r/?o / 484) appearance; f o r the d e f i n i t i o n (<?/?<?$ ) ( i . e . o f the meaning of a symbol) e s t a b l i s h e d by a woman, f a s t - t r a v e l l i n g and too p e r s u a s i v e , spreads out (tr a n s g r e s s e s i t s bounds)." In other words, "The l i m i t set by a woman on the meaning of a v i s u a l sym-b o l i s too loose and q u i c k l y expands to i n c l u d e other p e r s u a s i v e meanings beyond i t s o r i g i n a l d e f i n i t i o n " - as one saw i n the d i f f e r e n c e between K l y t e m n e s t r a 1 s f i r s t and second s p e e c h e s . 1 5 They end, "but s t o r i e s spread by women p e r i s h f a s t - d y i n g " (486-487) . The l a s t f i r e of the sequence of beacons, we have now been informed, i s that k i n d l e d i n Klytemnestra's heart by the "passed-a l o n g message of f l a m e " ( fi\oflOi ^TTai^^ , 480). I f the c h a i n o f beacons r e p r e s e n t s the unending c h a i n of murder and vengeance i n the house of Atreus, as Gantz (1977: 31) suggests, then the flame i n Klytemnestra's heart may w e l l r e p r e s e n t the murder p r e s e n t l y being contemplated by her, which - unbeknownst to her - i s not only a unique act of vengeance depending on her w i l l , but a l s o the l a t e s t i n a long s t r i n g of connected crimes. T h i s again i n d i c a t e s that f o r c e s o u t s i d e Klytemnestra may w e l l be i n f l u e n c i n g her, at l e a s t i n the o p i n i o n of the hcorus; Klytem-n e s t r a h e r s e l f has shown no s i g n t h a t she i s aware of them. (Gantz, 1977: 32.) The h e r a l d now a r r i v e s and the chorus s a y 1 6 "soon w e ' l l know i f these l i g h t - b e a r i n g t o r c h e s were t r u e , or whether the pl e a s a n t l i g h t l i k e a dream b e g u i l e d the (jjp&M •" They are w i l l -31 i n g t o t r u s t t h e m e s s e n g e r p r e c i s e l y b e c a u s e he I s n o t T h e i r d i s t r u s t of mere v i s u a l knowledge and i t s o p p o s i t i o n to <pf>nv and spoken messages, i s once a g a i n f u l l y e x p r e s s e d ; t h e i r renewed d i s t r u s t of Klytemnestra i s i m p l i e d . T h e i r d i s c u s s i o n i n the f i r s t stasimon of women who t r a n s g r e s s t h e i r household r o l e and the g e n e r a l theme of payment f o r past crimes (which by the f i n a l a n t i s t r o p h e i s a p p l i e d s p e c i f i c a l l y to Agamemnon) may con-t r i b u t e to t h i s d i s t r u s t . C e r t a i n l y they are uneasy about the f u t u r e and h e s i t a n t about t r u s t i n g the Queen. However, they continue to underestimate her a b i l i t i e s and there i s no s i g n that they have thought of combining i n one o b j e c t t h e i r f e a r and t h e i r d i s t r u s t . at Argos, j u s t as the beacon d i d e a r l i e r . The message, then, w i l l probably be the same. And i t i s : Troy has f a l l e n , but the image used i s odd. Agamemnon has "dug over" Troy with the mat-tock of "Zeus j u s t i c e - b r i n g e r " (528) and th o r o u g h l y worked the ground; but t h i s p r o c e d u r e , which would at any o r d i n a r y time i n c r e a s e the f e r t i l i t y of the ground, has "destroyed the seed of the whole l a n d " (528). By the a c t i o n of t h i s i n v e r s i o n of na-t u r e , the h e r a l d c o n t i n u e s , P a r i s and the whole house of Priam have p a i d twice over f o r h i s crime. The h e r a l d ' s f i r s t speech (503-537) d e s c r i b e s Agamemnon as b r i n g i n g l i g h t i n the night-time ( flfti sO eo^^Orji , 522) to those 32 The h e r a l d and chorus now converse i n s t i c h o m y t h i a . The chorus, i t appears, d e s i r e d the presence of the army - and the k i n g - g r e a t l y ; they have been unhappy out of f e a r of someone (W<*s , p l u r a l ; 549); but i n the absence of the r u l e r s (the A t -r e i d a e ) , they have not dared to speak. Even now, t h e i r f e a r e x i s t s (550). The h e r a l d seems to misunderstand t h i s , or take t h e i r f e a r to be f o r Agamemnon's s a f e t y at Troy r a t h e r than the r e s u l t of any c o n d i t i o n at Argos, f o r he assures them that e v ery-t h i n g has turned out w e l l (551) and goes on to t e l l them of the h a r d s h i p s a t Troy. Nature was a g a i n s t them, as always i n t h i s p l a y 1 7 : the c o n s t a n t wet brought l i c e ; the w i n t e r snows even k i l l e d b i r d s and the summer was i n t o l e r a b l y hot and b r e e z e l e s s . But t h e r e i s no need to remember these t h i n g s now— i t i s no l o n g e r a concern to the dead to r i s e again, and why should one reckon up the number of the dead, or g r i e v e the l i v i n g with r e -c u r r i n g e v i l f o r t u n e ('ruif/js faXyKorot) i 571)? These l i n e s r e c a l l both the chorus' f e a r s of r e v e r s a l s of f o r t u n e f o r the u n j u s t but s u c c e s s f u l (465) and Klytemnestra's remarks about the awakening s u f f e r i n g s of the dead ( 346-347). L i k e K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s and the chorus' comments, the h e r a l d ' s l i n e s here are ominous i n them-s e l v e s and the more d i s t u r b i n g i n t h e i r immediate c o n t e x t : past s u f f e r i n g s and f u t u r e dangers a r e odd s u b j e c t s to r a i s e i n a speech on the j o y f u l o c c a s i o n of a great v i c t o r y . He ends "you have the whole s t o r y " (W)-' iyus XoyoJ > 582). The chorus respond, "I am conquered by your words" (^ o -\OL&LJ , 583); they accept h i s message, as i t i s v e r b a l . They then 33 d i r e c t him to "the house and Klytemnestra" (585), to whom these matters are of concern. K l y t e m n e s t r a enters by the Skene door and i n t e r c e p t s the messenger b e f o r e he e n t e r s the p a l a c e . Ewans (1982: 7-8) sees t h i s as an example of the d i s r u p t i o n s of the u s u a l homecoming r i t u a l s which K l y t e m n e s t r a c r e a t e s throughout the p l a y - the h e r a l d would expect to go indoors with h i s news. C e r t a i n l y her unannounced appearance i s s t a r t l i n g ; we have not been prepared f o r i t by anything i n the t e x t . One f e e l s that she has suddenly i n t r u d e d on the scene. Her f i r s t l i n e s (586-593) p o i n t out that she was r i g h t to t r u s t the beacon (which she c a l l s o npZhros iffflek -ot irupos , 588) and the chorus wrong to reproach her f o r "being persuaded by beacons to l i f t up her h e a r t , j u s t l i k e a woman" CkfteutA i 591; 1tfos ^uiJjiMOi , 592). " T h i s t a l k made me appear wandering ( i . e . i n her w i t s ) " , she c o n t i n u e s . 1 8 Neverthe-l e s s , she - and the other women - s a c r i f i c e d " i n woman's f a s h i o n " throughout the c i t y . The d i v i s i o n between male and female i s a g a i n apparent. The chorus blamed Klytemnestra's b e l i e f on her feminine g u l l i b i l i t y ; and the d i s t i n c t i o n i s made more u n i v e r s a l by the f a c t that a l l of the women s a c r i f i c e d , not only Klytemnes-t r a . The tone of K l y t e m n e s t r a 1 s words here i s very much one o f stung p r i d e . We have seen her before take o f f e n s e a t t h e chorus' r e f u s a l t o r e c o g n i z e her i n t e l l i g e n c e ; c e r t a i n l y she i s p l e a s e d to be a b l e to p o i n t out t h e i r mistake now and rub i t i n , a s w e l l . 34 She turns (598) to the matter at hand. Having blocked the e x i t of the h e r a l d i n t o the p a l a c e , she now r e f u s e s even to l e t him g i v e h i s message. What need has she of a f u r t h e r t a l e from him? She w i l l l e a r n the whole s t o r y from the l o r d h i m s e l f . Now she must prepare to r e c e i v e her "revered husband" (ettSoiot) Ifotci) , 600); f o r "what l i g h t i s sweeter f o r a wife/woman ( juddwc , 602) to behold than t h i s , to open the gates to a husband/lover {'Jttfyd , 602) saved by god from the f i e l d ? Take that message to my hus-band." She has r e f e r r e d to him by h i s p o l i t i c a l , household and p e r s o n a l r o l e s i n quick s u c c e s s i o n - , 599; ffoas , 600; etJr]f> , 603. The most p e r s o n a l statement i n her speech ( t r a n s l a t e d above) i s put i n the most general language. Any woman, any man w i l l f i t ; i t need not even be a husband and wife - her words c o u l d r e f e r e q u a l l y t o a l o v e r {Jffyp has a s e x u a l c o n n o t a t i o n which Wotis does n o t ) . She then sends a message, v i a the h e r a l d , t o her husband. T h i s i s a r e v e r s a l of e x p e c t a t i o n : she has not o n l y b l o c k e d h i s entrance and r e f u s e d h i s message, but now uses him i n s t e a d to send one back. Her c o n t r o l of events and communi-c a t i o n i n t h i s scene seems a b s o l u t e . The message she sends ( l i k e her p r e v i o u s statement) i s f u l l o f innuendo and ambiguous p h r a s i n g . She c a l l s him "the d a r l i n g of the c i t y " - a c c u r a t e l y enough, as one has seen from the watchman's and the chorus' a f f e c t i o n f o r him - but expresses no fondness h e r s e l f . The o p t a t i v e "iiifoc " (606) only o f f e r s a hope f o r the f u t u r e , not a guarantee of i t - one i s reminded of C a l c h a s 1 u n f u l f i l l e d hopes, or Klytemnestra's e a r l i e r hope that 35 the army would not d e s p o i l the T r o j a n temples, as we have j u s t now ( 527) d i s c o v e r e d they d i d . "May he f i n d a wife as f a i t h f u l ( t r u s t w o r t h y -^a^jl) , 606) as the one he l e f t " i s ambiguous; i t s meaning depends e n t i r e l y on her o r i g i n a l c o n d i t i o n , which we do not know. For that matter, l o y a l to whom - or to what? Her next l i n e s , (May he f i n d her a) "(watch-)dog of the house, n o b l e / l o y a l to t h a t man, h o s t i l e to enemies" (607-608), can a l s o be v a r i o u s l y i n t e r p r e t e d . "iMtfy » need not r e f e r to Agamemnon. Klytemnestra has so f a r been seen i n c l o s e a s s o c i a t i o n with the house - the watchman r e f e r s to the sorrows of the house under her r u l e (18); the chorus r e f e r the h e r a l d ' s news to "the house and Klytemnes-t r a " i n one b r e a t h (585); w h i l e the watchman speaks of the joy the beacon b r i n g s t o Argos (24) and the h e r a l d of the l i g h t b r o u g h t to a l l by Agamemnon (522), K l y t e m n e s t r a d e s c r i b e s the beacon as a l i g h t i n g on "the roof of the A t r e i d house" (310) a f t e r i t s long journey, as i f i t s news were s o l e l y a household concern. Now she speaks of h e r s e l f as "watchdog of the house", demonstrat-i n g her a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h i t once a g a i n . But the " $u6<f>f>oii\) " (608) c o u l d as e a s i l y be enemies of the house i t s e l f as of the k i n g . Among these "enemies of the house" Agamemnon h i m s e l f , as k i l l e r o f the " $0/uw\) 3\ci\pA " (208) might w e l l be numbered, i n K l y t e m n e s t r a 1 s eyes. F i n a l l y , "AVt^" , used to d e s c r i b e a human, has a complimentary meaning i n o n l y one other p l a c e i n Greek l i t e r a t u r e , as l i s t e d by LSJ. That i s i n l i n e 896 of t h i s p l a y , where, i n f a c t , i t i s a g a i n ambiguous (Klytemnestra uses i t to d e s c r i b e Agamemnon). Elsewhere, when used of a woman, i t u s u a l l y 36 means "wanton" or "brazen hussy" ( G o l d h i l l 1984: 56). There i s a h i n t here, then, of her i n f i d e l i t y . 1 9 Her next two l i n e s (609-610) l i k e w i s e a f f i r m her f i d e l i t y , but the l e n g t h of time she has been f a i t h f u l - and thus, whose s e a l i t i s which she has not broken - i s again not s p e c i f i e d . L i n e s 611-612 ("I do not know p l e a s u r e , or s c a n d a l o u s c o n v e r s a t i o n , from another man, any more than I know the d i p -p ing/tempering of bronze") are a g a i n not an a b s o l u t e statement and imply that i t i s p o s s i b l e that she does know these t h i n g s . The phrase '"^i^KdS fZA^Js " (612) has been v a r i o u s l y i n t e r p r e t e d . C l e a r l y , i t r e f e r s to the use of bronze as a weapon, as one usu-a l l y o n l y tempers blades. Bronze, however, i s not tempered. The primary meaning, that "I know no more of ( i n f i d e l i t y ) than of the tempering of bronze", might be a d e l i b e r a t e i n a c c u r a c y , intended to show t h a t she knows so l i t t l e of weapons t h a t she does not even know bronze l o s e s i t s edge i n c o l d water. "^ d^ Js " has an-o t h e r meaning, of d i p p i n g , or dyeing and l a t e r used by Klytem-n e s t r a of dyeing c l o t h e s (ufut*jj /3<*fiJs , 960) i n the r u s t y , pur-p l e - r e d c o l o u r (TfOiPijk/pios ) of the t a p e s t r i e s , which Goheen (1955: 115-117) has shown to be approximately the c o l o u r of d r i e d b l o o d. T h i s l i n e may then be i n t e r p r e t e d as the even more v i o l e n t "the d y e i n g / d i p p i n g of bronze ( i n b l o o d ) " , with which we l a t e r d i s -cover Klytemnestra to be w e l l acquainted. Now, we can only won-der and f e e l uneasy at her choice of such a v i o l e n t metaphor. 2 0 37 Her c l a i m that her words are " s t u f f e d f u l l of t r u t h " , (rrji k\r}Oitds V^uwi) ,613), as G o l d h i l l (1984: 56) p o i n t s out, r a i s e s i m m e d i a t e l y to mind the p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t they are not; i f i t c o u l d be simply assumed that what she says i s t r u e , she would not need to so assure us. As w i t h 613, so w i t h the whole message to her husband. Her i n s i s t e n c e on her f i d e l i t y - which i s the face value of her speech - i m p l i e s that i t could not i n f a c t be assumed and r a i s e s the p o s s i b i l i t y that she i s not f a i t h f u l . Her e x i t l i n e , " I t i s not shameful f o r a noble lady to p r o c l a i m t h i s " (ow< etigjpos ][W<Wtt yt\}\)ii£ AaKftv 1 , 614), i s an attempt to compensate f o r t h i s e f f e c t . She i s aware that her speech, a p u b l i c avowal of f i d e l i t y , may sound odd to the h e r a l d . T h i s l i n e i n d i c a t e s that i t seems strange because i t i s p u b l i c (which i s a l l o w a b l e f o r a h i g h - b o r n l a d y ) , not because i t i s a l i e . I t draws a t t e n t i o n away from the odd content of her speech to the unusual c i r c u m -stances i n which i t i s d e l i v e r e d . Having f r u s t r a t e d the h e r a l d ' s entrance and g i v e n a mes-sage r a t h e r than a c c e p t i n g one, Klytemnestra e x i t s as suddenly as she appeared. She has appeared to have p e r f e c t command of her words and of the s i t u a t i o n on stage throughout the scene. The chorus' comment on her speech (615-616), however i t be i n t e r p r e t e d (see Denniston, Page 1957: n. ad l o c ) , c e r t a i n l y shows that they r e a l i z e there i s more to her words than appears on the s u r f a c e . "Through c l e a r i n t e r p r e t e r s her speech ( i s ) 38 f a i r - s e e m i n g " (Topoind ipjund(U6ii) zbtipifujs , 616) i n d i c a t e s a need f o r i n t e r p r e t e r s and may w e l l imply that her words onl y seem f a i r . However, they t u r n away from f u r t h e r d i s c u s s i o n of the Queen at t h i s p o i n t : t h e i r doubts of her honesty, whatever they a r e , are not so strong as to absorb t h e i r e n t i r e a t t e n t i o n 2 1 now. 1 They now ask f o r news of the other A t r e i d , Menelaus. The h e r a l d ' s answer "I can't say good t h i n g s of (from) l i e s " (Tj l//ei/$y Ai*lf, 620 )., and the chorus' response "How then can you say good t h i n g s and true (K£$t/«» 'Y'oi.Xrj&rj )? For i f these (the good and the true) are d i v i d e d , i t i s not e a s i l y hidden" (622 - 623), can be seen as a c o n t r a s t to Klytemnestra and her speech - she has had no d i f f i c u l t y i n saying good things which are not tr u e and so f a r t h i s has remained reasonably w e l l hidden. The h e r a l d i s then induced to t e l l the t a l e of the great storm which l a i d waste to the Greek f l e e t . The d i s a s t e r Klytemnestra s a i d she f e a r e d d i d b e f a l l the f l e e t on the dangerous homeward journey. The h e r a l d s t a r t s by saying that i f h i s s t o r y were one of unmixed woe, of the l o s s of the army by the "double l a s h of Ares, the double-speared doom" ( $cir\rj ^ittiji. . . . ii\o^o^ , 642-643 ), i t would be s u i t a b l e t o g i v e t h i s Twioivta to the E r i n y e s (645); but i n t h i s s i t u a t i o n , when the army was v i c t o r i o u s , how can he mix good with e v i l news and t e l l of a storm "not l a c k i n g anger by the gods of the Achaeans"? ('A^twi) O ^ I A UJA.^L'YOJ @ZO[S , 649). The t e x t of t h i s l i n e i s u n c e r t a i n (see Denniston, Page 1957: n. ad l o c . ) but some d i v i n e anger at the Achaeans, r e s u l t -39 i n g i n a storm, i s o b v i o u s l y meant. Thus K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s exp-r e s s e d f e a r of d i v i n e anger a g a i n s t the impious seems to have been j u s t i f i e d and even p r o p h e t i c . The storm i t s e l f was an o v e r t u r n i n g of nature and a mixture ( a l l i a n c e - " fuJt>Jp.o6(t\) Y^f , 650) o f t h i n g s u s u a l l y a p a r t , f i r e and water (651), i n which stormwinds (654) and perhaps even dry land (666) p a r t i c i p a t e d ; and even the sun, "nurturer of a l l things on e a r t h " (*ro^O(jo^) -yoi  CH \tou j^eoJos, 633), rose only to r e v e a l the extent of the c a r -nage, the sea blooming ('oiJeoOi) , 659) wit h A chaian c o r p s e s and wrecked s h i p s . Menelaus and h i s s h i p have v a n i s h e d and o n l y H e l i o s can say i f he i s a l i v e . Agamemnon's s h i p was o n l y saved by chance and the gods (663-664); even i n the b r i g h t day a f t e r the storm they d i d not t r u s t t h e i r good fortune (668), but c o u l d t h i n k o n l y o f the wrecked and beaten f l e e t (670). He hopes i t w i l l t u r n out w e l l and advises the chorus to think of Menelaus as s a f e and on the way home (675). I f he i s a l i v e , there i s some hope t h a t Zeus, "not y e t (O'OITOJ, 678) w i l l i n g t o d e s t r o y the r a c e " , may l e t him come home a g a i n . The h e r a l d a s s u r e s the chorus that what they have heard - d i s a s t e r , u n c e r t a i n t y as to the f u t u r e , d i s t r u s t of good f o r t u n e and t o t a l dependence on perhaps angry gods - i s the t r u t h (680). T h i s perhaps stands, a g a i n , ~ i n c o n t r a s t to Klytemnestra' s " w1ff>t*fj \oy-o*) ". The her-a l d ' s speeches a l s o , then, have s t a r t e d i n joy and triumph and ended i n doubt and f e a r . The A t r e i d a e and t h e i r f o r t u n e s have been t r e a t e d as a c l o s e l y coupled p a i r throughout the p l a y . I t i s n a t u r a l f o r the 40 chorus, having been t o l d only of Agamemnon's a r r i v a l , to immedi-a t e l y i n q u i r e a f t e r Menelaus; and i t i s n a t u r a l a l s o , h a v i n g heard of h i s disappearance and p o s s i b l e death i n the storm K l y -temnestra f o r e c a s t , to f e e l that t h i s d i s a s t e r bodes i l l f o r the other h a l f of the A t r e i d p a i r , when t h e i r f o r t u n e s u n t i l now have been so c l o s e l y l i n k e d . The "doubling" images at the beginning of t h i s speech (642-643), some perhaps r e f e r r i n g d i r e c t l y to the A t r e i d a e , emphasize t h e i r bond. Immediately on the e x i t of the h e r a l d , the chorus t u r n i n the second stasimon t o a d i s c u s s i o n of Menelaus' w i f e , Klytem-n e s t r a 's s i s t e r . As Menelaus i s l i n k e d with Agamemnon, a song of Menelaus' wife r a i s e s thoughts of Agamemnon's; and i n f a c t , much of what the chorus say i n these l i n e s can be a p p l i e d to both s i s t e r s . Helen i s p o r t r a y e d i n the f i r s t s t r o p h e (684-698) as an e n t i r e l y d e s t r u c t i v e f o r c e , to s h i p s , males and c i t i e s . In the a n t i s t r o p h e (700-716), the " w i l l - f u l f i l l i n g " Wrath (tiXHafouid 4 , 701) which formed a "woe/marriage-bond" (ufj^os , 699) f o r Troy, thus " e x a c t i n g f o r h e r s e l f " (1rfJ&o/H.(J* , 705) payment i n l a t e r time (.U6^if>(^ ^foJ<*> , 703) f o r the dishonouring of h o s p i t a l -i t y , b r i n g s s e v e r a l echoes to mind. The " l a t e - a v e n g i n g E r i n y s s e n t by Zeus a g a i n s t P a r i s (58) i s r e c a l l e d h e r e . f1fj\Jc$ , "Wrath", l a s t spoken of by Calchas as a "remembering, r e c u r r i n g " avenger of c h i l d r e n , who s t a y e d at home and f e a r e d no man, i s a l s o brought to mind. Klytemnestra was and i s at t h i s p o i n t i n the p l a y the o n l y person one c o u l d i d e n t i f y with these words. 41 "Remembering" (^u.i/dft.u>J, 155) imp l i e s a lapse of time, echoed here by " i n l a t e r time": "avenging" {VfuJo trocjos > 1 5 5 ) i s echoed by "ex a c t i n g f o r h e r s e l f " . Even i n t h i s passage, the "woeful mar-riage-bond" a p p l i e s not only to Helen and P a r i s , but a l s o Helen and Menelaus. The p a r a l l e l s between the Wrath that waits at home and the one which arranged Helen's marriage make the reader asso-c i a t e KfjSos with a t h i r d couple as w e l l , Klytemnestra and Agamem-non. One set of marriage-hymns has changed a l r e a d y to mourning (705-711); what of the marriage at present before us? The second strophe (718-726) begins the metaphor of the l i o n c u b i n the house. As Knox (1952: passim) has shown, t h i s image, a s s o c i a t e d by the chorus i n t h i s s t a s i m o n with Helen, d e s c r i b e s a l s o every other major cha r a c t e r i n the t r i l o g y . In the beginning of (married) l i f e ( f {)• (ZcoWoo •tTfol-e^ti'o'-s , 720) i t was tame (720-721) and " €b<j>i.\6ir<it<dJ. " (721). In time, however, i t showed the temper of i t s parents (728-729). I t r e p a i d the care i t r e c e i v e d w i t h an unbidden s l a u g h t e r C^rr) i r u i n , 730) of sheep, b e f o u l i n g the house with blood, an i n v i n c i b l e woe to the domestic s e r v a n t s , a many-slaying harm (/u^al ^cOos Irokourcda\) , 734); and t h i s p r i e s t / s a c r i f i c e r (</^ ?fW , 735) to "Arq was brought up i n the house by the w i l l of god (£K Qtob > 735). '"tywr^Aft'-oi»s " r e f e r s to p r e l i m i n a r y s a c r i f i c e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y before mar-r i a g e ; i t was used of I p h i g e n i a ' s s a c r i f i c e [TipoTcXtti \J*u>\) , 227). I t thus b r i n g s I p h i g e n i a to mind, as w e l l as the e a r l y days of Helen's (or K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s) m a r r i a g e . " £o$c\o-ffM £j " b r i n g s Klytemnestra to mind, even at t h i s p o i n t i n the p l a y , more 42 t h a n i t d o e s a ny o t h e r c h a r a c t e r - c e r t a i n l y i t d o e s n ' t s u i t Agamemnon o r H e l e n ; but t h e o f C a l c h a s i s 'TtmJoirotJof .(154-1 5 5 ) . The l i o n c u b shows i t s p a r e n t s ' ways and t h e c h o r u s i d e n t -i f y i t a s H e l e n ( 7 3 9 - 7 4 9 ) ; b u t K l y t e m n e s t r a and H e l e n have t h e same p a r e n t s ( o f f i c i a l l y , a t l e a s t ) . The r e s t o f t h i s a n t i s -t r o p h e , a s f a r as t h e a u d i e n c e y e t knows, does n ot a p p l y t o K l y -t e m n e s t r a ; b u t t h e p a r a l l e l s i n t h e f i r s t h a l f o f t h e a n t i s t -r o p h e , d i s c u s s e d above, make t h e doom and s l a u g h t e r o f t h e l a s t h a l f sound l i k e ominous p r e d i c t i o n s . I n t h e t h i r d s t r o p h e (739-749) H e l e n i s d e s c r i b e d a s a "fy^tev^tot) '/fiv'rof %\J&p5 " (743 ), who b r i n g s a b i t t e r e n d t o a m a r r i a g e , by t h e w i l l o f Zeus X e n i o s ; s he i s a b r i d e - m o u r n e d E r i n y s ( 7 4 9 ) . Thus she i s b o t h t h e c a u s e o f Zeus X e n i o s ' a n g e r and h i s a g e n t i n a v e n g i n g i t . The c h o r u s t h e n t u r n t o a d i s c u s s i o n o f h e r e d i t y . I n t h e ne x t a n t i s t r o p h e and s t r o p h e (750-62, 764-771), t h e y speak o f t h e p r o v e r b i a l p r o s p e r i t y f r o m which grows woe t o a r a c e . The c h o r u s d i s a g r e e w i t h t h i s p r o v e r b ; i t i s t h e i m p i o u s deed w h i c h g i v e s b i r t h t o o f f s p r i n g w h i c h a r e a l i k e , but more i n number (TrAciovU tt^rrtt , ffie-Tfp* two** yiJJd , 75 9 - 7 6 0 ) ; t h e f a t e o f a j u s t (£U6<J £ U « J \ ) , 761) h o u s e h o l d i s alwa y s a b e a u t i f u l c h i l d ( i . e . o f t h e p r e v i o u s g ood d e e d s o f t h e house) ( 7 6 2 ) . O l d h u b r i s , how-e v e r , g i v e s b i r t h a m i d m o r t a l s o r r o w s t o young h u b r i s on t h e a p p o i n t e d day ( 7 6 3 - 7 6 7 ) . T h i s h u b r i s seems t o a c q u i r e q u a s i -d i v i n e p o w e r s , a s an u n c o n q u e r a b l e , i r r e s i s t i b l e (7 6 8) , an u n h o l y d a r i n g o f b l a c k doom f o r t h e h o u s e h o l d , a p p e a r i n g l i k e i t s 43 h u b r i s t i c p a r e n t s (770-771). They conclude i n the f i n a l a n t i -strophe (773-781) that J u s t i c e shines i n the houses of the poor and honours the r i g h t e o u s (773-775); but she l e a v e s w e a l t h y houses with f i l t h y ( i . e . s i n f u l ) hands and does not respe c t the power of wealth " c o u n t e r f e i t e d / f a l s e l y stamped with p r a i s e " (^ -The chorus' concerns i n the l a s t s e c t i o n of the pl a y have been the workings of j u s t i c e and the avenging of crimes. E v i l deeds breed f u r t h e r e v i l , i n another example of f e r t i l i t y from d e s t r u c -t i v e s o u r c e s . There are d i v i n e and q u a s i - d i v i n e - daemonic-f o r c e s at work as w e l l as human a c t i o n s . Zeus and Dike govern a l l ; e v i l deeds ac q u i r e a daemonic l i f e of t h e i r own and per p e t u -a t e themselves. There i s a p e r s i s t e n t f e e l i n g of d e s p a i r and fear i n the words of the chorus. They are worried about the f a t e of t h e i r king, whose d e s t i n y i s l i n k e d to the now l o s t Menelaus. Nature has turned e n t i r e l y a gainst the A r g i v e s : the e n t i r e natu-r a l world u n i t e d against them during the storm; f e r t i l i t y images are used of death (the sea abloom with corpses) and harm (Helen, a " h e a r t - s t i n g i n g " - harmful - " f l o w e r " , who brought d e s t r u c -t i o n ) ; the sun - t r u e knowledge - d i s c l o s e s a scene of carnage and d e v a s t a t i o n . The l i o n c u b metaphor a p p l i e s to others as w e l l as Helen, and he (or she) i s spoken of as a s a c r i f i c e r to'^rn . Agamemnon enters the stage. I t w i l l be u s e f u l to r e c a p i t u l a t e here before c o n t i n u i n g . 44 They are l e s s obviously concerned with Klytemnestra i n this section, though her connection with Helen - whom they speak of as a destructive force - should be remembered. The opposition of the sexes has been strengthened: the reasons the chorus give for d i s b e l i e v i n g Klytemnestra are s p e c i f i c a l l y sexual; other Argive women also s a c r i f i c e d in thanksgiving at the beacon; Helen i s "f\j\)ci(?c>s " (690). Klytemnestra' s i n f i d e l i t y has been hinted at by the chorus and more strongly suggested by Klytemnestra herself. She i s shown obstructing an expected procedure associ-ated with homecoming and apparently controls a l l events on stage when she i s there. She does not cause the storm, but she came c l o s e to p r e d i c t i n g i t . Her s k i l l at manipulating words i s great. Her speech shows her personal character as proud and powerful. The chorus fear and d i s t r u s t her and fear for the safety of the king and of his household. At this juncture, Aga-memnon enters. The chorus address Agamemnon as he progresses in a char-i o t with Kassandra across the stage (783-809). They warn him a g a i n s t those who value mere appearance, "seeming to be" (To 2o«ftv ftJjt , 788) more ( i . e . more than true being). As has been shown above, Klytemnestra i s certainly one of these. The chorus add that such people overvalue appearance "after they have trans-gressed j u s t i c e " . These people w i l l feign sympathy while f e e l i n g none in their hearts; but a good judge of character w i l l be able to discern false loyalty. The fear and di s t r u s t the chorus have shown for Klytemnestra e a r l i e r would make the audience think 45 i m m e d i a t e l y o f her as t h e p e r s o n t h e c h o r u s a r e w a r n i n g Agamemnon a g a i n s t . The c h o r u s a d d t h a t , w h i l e d i s a p p r o v i n g o f t h e o r i g i n a l m i s s i o n , t h e i r f e e l i n g s have a l t e r e d now t h a t Agamemnon has r e -t u r n e d v i c t o r i o u s and t h e y g r e e t him i n l o y a l t y "ou\A k t r ' %uf><tf tfpfJo's " ( 8 0 5 ) . In t i m e , t h e y a r e s u r e , he w i l l d i s t i n g u i s h b e-tween t h o s e who s t a y e d (duoupouJ'roL , ke p t t o t h e house, 809) a t A r g o s j u s t l y and who u n t i m e l y (Mv^^oji , 8 0 8 ) . T h i s w i l l t u r n o u t t o be p a r t l y a r e f e r e n c e t o A e g i s t h u s , who s t a y e d a t home, a s K a s s a n d r a a n d t h e c h o r u s w i l l l a t e r a c c u s e ( 1 2 5 8 - 1 2 5 9 , 1625-1626), though a male o f m i l i t a r y age; but i t a l s o - and as f a r as t h e r e a d e r now knows, i t o n l y - e c h o e s t h e h o u s e k e e p i n g Wrath C a l c h a s s p o k e o f , w h i c h , a s we have s e e n , was a s s o c i a t e d w i t h K l y t e m n e s t r a . Agamemnon (810-853) t h a n k s t h e gods, f i r s t , f o r a s s i s t a n c e i n h i s v i c t o r y . H i s d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e u t t e r d e s t r u c t i o n o f t h e c i t y , i n w h i c h o n l y t h e "storms o f " (819) a r e s t i l l a l i v e , a l l Y(/I/<&K<>; o'vdiUA ( 8 2 3 ) , i s v i v i d and d i s t u r b i n g , c a r r y i n g a h i n t o f t h e h u b r i s t h e c h o r u s sang o f not l o n g ago. The A r g i v e army he c a l l s a r a v e n i n g l i o n , w h ich l e a p t t h e w a l l and drank i t s f i l l o f t h e b l o o d o f t y r a n t s (827-828). T u r n i n g t o t h e c h o r u s ( 8 2 9 ) , he a n s w e r s t h e i r a d d r e s s , b u t e n t i r e l y m i s s e s t h e i r p o i n t . He i s a c q u a i n t e d w i t h f a l s e f r i e n d s , he s a y s ; o n l y O d y s s e u s was l o y a l t o him, o f a l l t h e men a t T r o y (841-842). T h i s m e n t i o n o f Odys-s e u s , a l o y a l man r e t u r n i n g home t o -his l o y a l w i f e , c a l l s K l y t e m -n e s t r a t o mind i n c o n t r a s t . 2 2 As f o r t h e r e s t , he w i l l s e t t h e 46 s t a t e i n o r d e r and c u r e what i s wrong w i t h i t . I t does n o t o c c u r t o him t h a t t h e " f a l s e f r i e n d s " may be i n h i s home, n o t h i s c i t y ; h i s words and c o n c e r n s a r e o n l y t h o s e o f a k i n g , n o t a h o u s e -h o l d e r . He t h e n announces h i s i n t e n t i o n o f g o i n g i n t o h i s house and " s a l u t i n g f i r s t t h e gods" (QioZtt tipwr* $i$tu6op.+<. , 852) a t h i s h e a r t h . He does n o t , ev e n now, m e n t i o n t h e p e o p l e i n h i s h o u s e h o l d , b u t o n l y t h e gods. Of c o u r s e t h i s i s a p u b l i c o c c a -s i o n , a n d Agamemnon t h e k i n g n e e d n o t be e x p e c t e d t o s p e a k o f p r i v a t e m a t t e r s w h i l e s t a n d i n g i n t h e s t r e e t : b u t t h e r e a d e r has s e e n and h e a r d a good d e a l o f K l y t e m n e s t r a i n t h i s p l a y , and h i s c o m p l e t e o m i s s i o n o f h e r f r o m t h i s s p e e c h i s t h e r e f o r e n o t i c e -a b l e . He ends w i t h t h e hope t h a t t h e v i c t o r y w h i c h has f o l l o w e d him u n t i l now w i l l r e m a i n s e c u r e ( 8 5 4 ) . T h i s s p e e c h i s t h e f i r s t w h o l l y t r i u m p h a n t one i n t h e p l a y ; he a c k n o w l e d g e s t h e p r o b l e m s he may e n c o u n t e r i n h i s kingdom, but s p e a k s c o n f i d e n t l y o f s o l u -t i o n s . The f o r e b o d i n g and f e a r o f e a r l i e r s p e e c h e s do not a p p e a r i n Agamemnon's words. He i s s u r e h i s a c t i o n s were j u s t i f i e d and t h a t t h e gods a p p r o v e d and a s s i s t e d him. A t t h i s l i n e K l y t e m n e s t r a s t e p s o u t o f t h e h o u s e a n d b l o c k s h i s e n t r a n c e . As W i n n i n g t o n - I n g r a m (1948: 132) p o i n t s o u t , i t i s p r e c i s e l y when he p r a y s f o r a s e c u r e v i c t o r y t h a t Agamemnon l o s e s ; f o r K l y t e m n e s t r a c o n t r o l s t h e s c e n e f r o m t h a t p o i n t u n t i l t h e y b o t h e x i t a t 974. T h i s s p e e c h i s K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s l o n g e s t and t h e l o n g e s t i n t h e p l a y . I t i s a d d r e s s e d o s t e n s i b l y t o t h e c h o r u s , b u t i s i n -t e n d e d f o r Agamemnon's e a r s . The s p e e c h h a s many f u n c t i o n s . 47 F i r s t and f o r e m o s t , i n t h e a c t i o n o f t h e p l a y , i t i s t h e o p e n i n g move i n h e r e f f o r t t o p e r s u a d e him t o walk t h e t a p e s t r i e s . S e v e -r a l t e c h n i q u e s t o w a r d s t h i s e n d a r e c o m b i n e d i n h e r w o r d s . F i r s t , a s Simpson (1971: 9 7 - 9 8 ) 2 3 p o i n t s o u t , she p r e s e n t s h e r -s e l f as p r e c i s e l y t h e s o r t o f g u l l i b l e , o v e r - e m o t i o n a l b e l i e v e r i n dreams and rumours f o r w h i c h t h e c h o r u s have ( t o h e r annoy-a n c e ) e a r l i e r m i s t a k e n h e r . T h i s p e r s o n a a l l a y s t h e s u s p i c i o n s Agamemnon m i g h t o t h e r w i s e f e e l a b o u t h e r m o t i v e s i n s u g g e s t i n g t h e i m p i o u s and h u b r i s t i c a c t o f w a l k i n g on t h e t a p e s t r i e s . The e x a g g e r a t e d l y d e p e n d e n t , e m o t i o n a l a n d c r e d u l o u s p e r s o n h e r s p e e c h p r e s e n t s m i g h t s u g g e s t t h i s a c t o u t o f an o v e r z e a l o u s d e s i r e t o honour him ( c o u p l e d p e r h a p s w i t h a l i t t l e s t u p i d i t y ) , b u t i t i s h a r d t o s u s p e c t her o f m a l i c e . Second, h e r s p e e c h i s b o t h s o c i a l l y i n a p p r o p r i a t e - as an i n t e n s e l y p e r s o n a l s p e e c h d e l i v e r e d i n p u b l i c - and a l s o g e n u i n e l y d a n g e r o u s , a s i t o v e r -p r a i s e s Agamemnon. ( M i c h e l i n i , 1974: 527.) The c h o r u s have s p e n t much o f t h e l a s t s t a s i m o n commenting on t h e d a n g e r s o f t o o - g r e a t p r a i s e and have j u s t now warned Agamemnon o f t h e danger o f w e a l t h " f a l s e - s t a m p e d w i t h p r a i s e " . I f Agamemnon c a n be b r o u g h t t o a c c e p t h e r s p e e c h as no more t h a n s o c i a l l y i n a p p r o p r i a t e , i t w i l l be e a s i e r t o move him t o c o n s i d e r t r e a d i n g t h e t a p e s t r i e s , a l s o b o t h s o c i a l l y u n a c c e p t a b l e and a c t u a l l y d a n g e r o u s , a s a m e r e l y s o c i a l i m p r o p r i e t y . T h i r d , h er d e s c r i p t i o n o f her s u f f e r i n g s i s d e s i g n e d , among o t h e r t h i n g s , t o g i v e him a s e n s e o f o b l i g a t i o n t o h e r , so t h a t no r e a s o n a b l e r e q u e s t w i l l be r e f u s e d . ( S i m p s o n , 1 9 7 1 : 99.) The i m p l i c a t i o n i s , " o u t o f my g r e a t d e v o t i o n , I 48 s u f f e r e d a l l t h e s e t o r m e n t s f o r y o u r s a k e ; s u r e l y y o u c a n i n r e t u r n do t h i s one t h i n g f o r me" . T h e s p e e c h t a k e n by i t s e l f seems i n t e n d e d t o a s s u r e A g a -memnon o f h e r e m o t i o n a l d e p e n d e n c e on h im i n h i s a b s e n c e a n d t h u s a l l a y any s u s p i c i o n s he m i g h t have a b o u t h e r l o y a l t y . As he h a s n o t i n f a c t e x p r e s s e d a n y s u s p i c i o n o f h e r ( o r , i n f a c t , shown t h e s l i g h t e s t i n t e r e s t i n h e r ) , h e r words d e f e n d i n g a l o v e a n d ( b y i m p l i c a t i o n ) f i d e l i t y w h i c h h a s n e v e r b e e n q u e s t i o n e d seem o d d . T h e y a r e , a t t h e l e a s t , o v e r b l o w n f o r t h e o c c a s i o n ; m o r e -o v e r , d e f e n s e a g a i n s t a c h a r g e w h i c h has no t been l e v e l l e d w i l l o f t e n r a i s e more d o u b t s t h a n i t s t i l l s . K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s p r o t e s t -a t i o n s m i g h t t h e r e f o r e h a v e t h e e f f e c t o f r a i s i n g q u e s t i o n s i n A g a m e m n o n ' s m i n d . H e r e x a g g e r a t e d e x p r e s s i o n s a r e , h o w e v e r , n e c e s s a r y t o t h e image o f h e r s e l f as o v e r - e m o t i o n a l a n d d e p e n d e n t w h i c h s h e w i s h e s h i m t o a c c e p t . A g a i n , t h e s o l u t i o n t o t h i s d i l e m m a i s t o p e r s u a d e Agamemnon t o a c c e p t t h e u n e a s i n e s s s u c h a s p e e c h c r e a t e s i n h im as due m e r e l y t o i t s s o c i a l i m p r o p r i e t y . I n s t r o n g c o n t r a s t t o Agamemnon's s p e e c h , w h i c h i s s o l e l y p o l i t i c a l a n d " k i n g l y " , K l y t e m n e s t r a s p e a k s o f h im e x c l u s i v e l y i n h i s d o m e s t i c r o l e as h e r h u s b a n d and t h e h e a d o f t h e h o u s e h o l d . T h i s r e i n f o r c e s h e r i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h t h e o i k o s r a t h e r t h a n -o r e v e n a s o p p o s e d t o - t h e o u t s i d e w o r l d . Her l a n g u a g e t h r o u g h -o u t i s v i v i d a n d e l o q u e n t ; t h e i m a g e s s h e u s e s i n 890 f f . a r e p a r t i c u l a r l y s t r i k i n g , b u t t h e w h o l e s p e e c h shows h e r g i f t f o r m o v i n g a n d c o l o u r f u l d e s c r i p t i o n . 49 K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s f i r s t l i n e s a f t e r her g r e e t i n g t o t h e c h o -r u s a r e ( 8 5 6 - 8 5 8 ) " I am n o t ashamed (ouu c/c6^°^/^(- ' 8 5 6 ) t o speak t o you o f my h u s b a n d - l o v i n g ways (t^iX^o^ds r^onrous , 8 5 6 ) ; i n t i m e s h y n e s s f a d e s away f o r humans." As M i c h e l i n i (1974: 527) p o i n t s o u t , t h o s e who say t h e y " a r e n ' t ashamed t o s a y " s o m e t h i n g u s u a l l y i n t e n d t o say s o m e t h i n g e m b a r r a s s i n g o r awkward. In t h i s c a s e , what K l y t e m n e s t r a w i l l s a y i s not o n l y e m b a r r a s s i n g - t h a t i s , s o c i a l l y i n a p p r o p r i a t e - b u t a l s o d a n g e r o u s and u n t r u e , - as d i s c u s s e d above; t h e s e l i n e s have t h e e f f e c t o f d i r e c t i n g Agamem-non's a t t e n t i o n away f r o m t h e c o n t e n t o f t h e words and t o w a r d s t h e c i r c u m s t a n c e s i n which t h e y a r e s a i d . In t h i s r e s p e c t , t h e y e c ho t h e e x i t l i n e i n her s p e e c h t o t h e messenger ( 6 1 4 ) . " j^^nj-o/?*$ T/?6itt>u{ " r e c a l l s her s i s t e r ' s " grfiot fitXlJofez " ( 4 1 1 ) . F o r b o t h s i s t e r s , t h e n , i t i s an ambiguous d e s c r i p t i o n ; w h i c h 'JJrjp i s meant? F o r H e l e n a t 411, M e n e l a u s i s t h e man p r i n c i p a l l y r e -f e r r e d t o ; b u t she l e f t him. K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s " m a n - l o v i n g ways", even i f t h e y d i d o r i g i n a l l y a t t a c h t h e m s e l v e s t o Agamemnon, c o u l d by a n a l o g y w i t h H e l e n have changed t o a n o t h e r o b j e c t . K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s e n t i r e d e s c r i p t i o n o f h e r s u f f e r i n g s i n Agamemnon's a b s e n c e (858-894) i s i n t h e p a s t t e n s e . The r e a d e r has no way o f knowing t h a t t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n i s u n t r u e ; a t some t i m e i n t h e p a s t she may have f e l t t h i s way a b o u t her h u s b a n d . ( B e t e n s k y , 1978: 15.) I f s o , she has u s e d her p a s t e x p e r i e n c e t o make t h e s p e e c h more c o n v i n c i n g now. However, any c h a r a c t e r w i t h t h e p o w e r s K l y t e m n e s t r a has a l r e a d y shown us need n o t be assumed t o be d e s c r i b i n g her p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e s h e r e ; she has 50 e a r l i e r shown h e r s e l f c a p a b l e o f d e s c r i b i n g v i v i d l y what she has n e v e r s e e n . She p a s s e s i m m e d i a t e l y from t h e s t a t e m e n t t h a t she knows f r o m h e r own e x p e r i e n c e t h e m i s e r i e s she s p e a k s o f (858-860) t o th e g e n e r a l comment " i t i s a t e r r i b l e h a r d s h i p ( f W ^ W KAUO^ , 862) f o r a woman t o s i t a t home a l o n e w i t h o u t a man" ( 8 6 1 - 8 6 2 ) . T h i s may g e n e r a l l y s p e a k i n g be t r u e , but K l y t e m n e s t r a has n o t had t o do i t h e r s e l f , as t h e c h o r u s have h i n t e d i n t h e i r i n t e r c h a n g e w i t h t h e h e r a l d (546-550). In any e v e n t , w h i l e " s i t t i n g a l o n e " K l y t e m n e s t r a was d i s t u r b e d by r e p o r t s o f worse and worse e v i l , s he c o n t i n u e s . Had a l l o f t h e rumours been t r u e , Agamemnon "had more h o l e s t h a n a n e t " crfTprjttiL Smtvou -V^tui , 868) a n d d i e d t h r e e t i m e s o v e r (869-871). Her d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e s e rumours i s d i s t u r b i n g l y v i o l e n t and s o u n d s ( p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t h e l i g h t o f l a t e r e v e n t s ) more l i k e a s t a t e m e n t o f i n t e n t t h a n o l d f e a r . 2 4 She s o d e s p a i r e d a t t h e s e t a l e s t h a t she f r e q u e n t l y a t t e m p t e d s u i c i d e ( 8 7 4 - 8 7 6 ) , she a d d s . T h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f b e l i e v i n g u n s u b s t a n t i a t e d rumours i s one which t h e c h o r u s e x p e c t e d h e r , a woman, t o have. She v e h e m e n t l y r e j e c t e d t h e i r a s s u m p t i o n o f h e r g u l l i b i l i t y , b u t i s w i l l i n g (or even e a g e r ) t h a t Agamemnon s h o u l d b e l i e v e i t o f her now. She u s e s t h i s as an e x p l a n a t i o n o f O r e s t e s ' a b s e n c e : she has s e n t him t o an a l l y ' s house so t h a t , i f she c o m m i t t e d s u i c i d e a n d / o r Agamemnon was k i l l e d a t T r o y - e i t h e r o f w h i c h c o u l d l e a d to r e v o l u t i o n a t A r g o s - he would s t i l l be s a f e . L i n e s 877-879 51 do n o t o n l y r e f e r t o O r e s t e s , however; t r a n s l a t e d i n t h e o r d e r o f t h e G r e e k , t h e s e l i n e s a r e : And f o r t h e s e r e a s o n s , i n d e e d , t h e c h i l d does not s t a n d h e r e b e s i d e us, o f me and o f you a w a r r a n t o f ( o u r ) p l e d g e s , as i s p r o p e r , ( t h a t i s ) O r e s t e s . U n t i l s he s a y s O r e s t e s ' name, t h e o n l y m i s s i n g c h i l d we have h e a r d o f i s t h e one Agamemnon k i l l e d , I p h i g e n i a ; "77,05 ( 8 7 7 ) " c a n r e f e r t o e i t h e r s e x , "KvptPS " ( a d j e c t i v a l ) has two e n d i n g s i n i t s a l t e r n a t e f o r m , and no a r t i c l e i s g i v e n t o t e l l us w h i c h g e n d e r i s meant. The k i l l i n g o f I p h i g e n i a i s t h e o n l y e v e n t w h i c h c o u l d come t o m i n d f o r t h e a u d i e n c e . I p h i g e n i a i s , i n K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s t h o u g h t h e r e , t h e p o s s e s s o r o r g u a r a n t o r o f t h e p l e d g e s between h e r s e l f and her husband; w i t h o u t h e r , s u c h p l e d -ges do n o t n e c e s s a r i l y h o l d . As Simpson (1971: 97) p o i n t s o u t , 884-885 a r e i n agreement w i t h Agamemnon's and t h e c h o r u s ' w o r r i e s a b o u t f a l s e ( p o l i t i c a l ) f r i e n d s - c e r t a i n l y Agamemnon has t h o u g h t o n l y o f p o l i t i c a l t r e a c h e r y . Thus she has p r o v i d e d a r e a s o n f o r O r e s t e s ' a b s e n c e w i t h w h i c h Agamemnon has a l r e a d y a g r e e d and c a n n o t now deny. She c o n t i n u e s , "Such an e x c u s e , i n d e e d , c an c a r r y no d e -c e i t " (oo $6\oJ (f>{pfc t 886), s u r e t h a t Agamemnon w i l l a g r e e w i t h h e r p o l i t i c a l r e a s o n i n g and t h e r e f o r e d e t e c t no d e c e i t . But a s , i n f a c t , t h a t i s n o t why she s e n t O r e s t e s away ( t h o u g h t h i s i s n o t y e t a b s o l u t e l y c l e a r ) , and as she was not r e f e r r i n g o n l y t o O r e s t e s - as t h e a u d i e n c e i s w e l l aware - i t t a k e s d a r i n g t o make 52 t h i s s t a t e m e n t . A g a i n , r e f e r r i n g t o t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f d e c e i t r a i s e s q u e s t i o n s i n t h e minds o f t h e h e a r e r s ; t h e t r u t h o f h e r s t a t e m e n t s c a n n o t s i m p l y be assumed, o r she would n ot t h i n k i t n e c e s s a r y t o r e a s s u r e u s . 2 5 T h e " g u s h i n g s p r i n g s o f h e r t e a r s " (KArfi^i^wD ZiriMvfot TTrj^i » 887-888) w h i c h have r u n d r y a r e c l e a r l y a n e g a t i v e f e r t i l -i t y image. She does not s a y p r e c i s e l y what she was weeping f o r ; by i m p l i c a t i o n i t i s Agamemnon's p e r i l , but I p h i g e n i a was r e c e n t -l y r e c a l l e d t o t h e a u d i e n c e ' s mind as w e l l . 2 6 She has a l s o been d e e p l y t r o u b l e d by h e r dreams (894-895) - t h i s , f r o m t h e woman who "would n o t a c c e p t t h e f a n c y o f a s l e e p i n g i n t e l l e c t " (275) . A g a i n , she i s p o r t r a y i n g h e r s e l f as a weak and g u l l i b l e f e m a l e . Now, h a v i n g e n d u r e d a l l o f t h e s e t h i n g s OtHhi. tXiiJL > 895, w h i c h s e t s up d i s t u r b i n g e c h o e s o f Agamemnon's frame o f mind a t t h e s a c r i f i c e (221) , o r H e l e n ' s when she d e s e r t e d h e r h u s b a n d (408) ) , she s p e a k s o f " t h i s man" (unnamed) i n a s e r i e s o f s e v e n h y p e r b o l i c m e t a p h o r s . The f i r s t t h r e e , "watchdog o f t h e h o u s e " (896) ( t h e a m b i g u i t y o f which has a l r e a d y been n o t e d ) , " f o r e s t a y o f t h e s h i p " a nd " f i r m p i l l a r o f a l o f t y r o o f " ( 896-897) , a l l r e f e r t o p h y s i c a l p r o t e c t i o n and s t a b i l i t y ; t h e l a s t t h r e e , l a n d a p p e a r i n g t o s a i l o r s b e y o n d hope (899) ( a s P e n e l o p e p e r c e i v e s O d y s s e u s , 23 :233 -40 ) , a f a i r day a p p e a r i n g f r o m a s t o r m a nd a f l o w i n g s p r i n g t o a t h i r s t y t r a v e l l e r (901), a l l p r e s e n t an image o f u n h o p e d - f o r r e l i e f f r o m n a t u r a l phenomena. The "WX\«TOJ rjf^p " a p p e a r i n g f r o m t h e s t o r m r e c a l l s t h e b e a c o n , b r i g h t a s day i n t h e n i g h t (22) , or t h e morning which a p p e a r e d " f r o m " mother 53 morning which appeared "from" mother night (265); the image, of l i g h t s p r i n g i n g from darkness and d e s t r u c t i o n , has d e s t r u c t i v e connotations once again. The "flowing s p r i n g " r e f e r s back to her own t e a r s , dry f o r some time but now r e s t o r e d by Agamemnon's stream. The "land appearing to hopeless s a i l o r s " metaphor would c a l l Penelope to the minds of an audience who knew t h e i r Homer and remind them t h a t i t i s not Penelope who now speaks these words. The c e n t r a l metaphor of the seven, "only c h i l d to a f a -t h e r " (898), stands out because i t alone i s human and because i t i s very ambiguous. Agamemnon and Menelaus have been too c l o s e l y p a i r e d t h r o u g h o u t the p l a y to p r o p e r l y c a l l e i t h e r an " o n l y c h i l d " now; but (as Betensky 1978: 17 p o i n t s o u t 2 7 ) , i t r e f e r s q u i t e w e l l to Odysseus, who has been mentioned e a r l i e r and whom these l i n e s r e c a l l . Aegisthus i s the s o l e s u r v i v i n g c h i l d of h i s f a t h e r ; I p h i g e n i a seems to be the only c h i l d her mother c o n s i -ders. The audience would not yet think of Aegisthus (though they would remember the reference once he appears): but the r e c o l l e c -t i o n of Odysseus c o n t r a s t s the homecomings of the two heroes; and whether or not Iphigen i a came immediately to mind, i t i s always d i s t u r b i n g to hear Klytemnestra speak of c h i l d r e n . She r e f e r s to the (j)eo\)os he w i l l f e a r , and which too-great p r a i s e might induce, only to dismiss i t - " l e t 0&oi)o{ be absent; f o r we have endured many e v i l s " (904-905) - that i s , t h e i r p r e v i -ous s u f f e r i n g s j u s t i f y her great p r a i s e now. T h i s f r u s t r a t e d prayer i s another i n the s e r i e s which began with Calchas; K l y -54 t e m n e s t r a knows t h a t what she i s sa y i n g and about t o do w i l l invoke gj&6\)os and that i t w i l l not be absent from f u t u r e events. At t h i s p o i n t i n the play , the very mention of fieoJot ~ p a r t i c u -l a r l y a f t e r the second stasimon's c o n c l u s i o n - i s ominous; the p o s s i b i l i t y that i t may indeed be present i s r a i s e d by her prayer to the c o n t r a r y . Having d e l i v e r e d t h i s m a s t e r f u l l y m u l t i - l e v e l l e d and de-c e p t i v e speech, she says "Now, my dear, step down from the c a r " (905-906) - as he had intended to do, 61 l i n e s e a r l i e r . I t i s as i f she had s a i d " I have f i n i s h e d what I had to say; now I w i l l p e r m i t you to s t e p down". From her entrance she has a l r e a d y c o n t r o l l e d events and f r u s t r a t e d Agamemnon's p l a n s . He may en-t e r , but only when she allows i t and - i t soon appears - onl y on her terms: f o r she c a l l s to the maids to l a y down the p u r p l e {iroptfufeos ) t a p e s t r i e s . She concludes (910-913) with the ominous l i n e s : ... l e t there be a purple-strewn path (stream), so that {cos ) J u s t i c e may lead (him) i n t o an unhoped-f o r home. As f o r the r e s t , thought not overcome by s l e e p w i l l arrange the des t i n e d things j u s t l y , with the gods' a s s i s t a n c e . As Goheen ( 1955: 121) p o i n t s out, '"ttdpos " (910) can mean "stream" as w e l l as "path". The f a c t that h i s w i f e thought a blood-red stream was necessary, so that J u s t i c e could l e a d him t o an unexpected home, s h o u l d perhaps have g i v e n even Agamemnon pause. 2 8 The Dike which w i l l lead him i s o b v i o u s l y Klytemnestra, who i d e n t i f i e s h e r s e l f w i t h J u s t i c e here ( P o d l e c k i 1966:67). 55 This i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i s foreshadowed in her speech about Troy and stated almost d i r e c t l y here; for as she speaks of "Justice lead-ing him" inside, the tapestries are being l a i d down on her order; and she has already ensured that he cannot get inside without her lead, that i s , her permission and guidance. As for the "other things", destined "with the w i l l of the gods" - what are they? But Agamemnon does not think of t h i s . The thought (fyk/Jrcf ~ of the same root as $f>r/i) ) not overcome by sleep i s Klytemnestra' s and r e c a l l s p a r t i c u l a r l y l i n e 275, as well as 15 and 290-91: what she i s about to arrange w i l l be no i d l e dream. This i s a hint that she has not, even in this speech, cast aside the masculine i n t e l l e c t ( ) she claimed e a r l i e r (for instance at 275); but Agamemnon does not notice this e i t h e r , encouraged as he i s to think of her as an emotional, g u l l i b l e woman throughout t h i s speech. Klytemnestra speaks only of Agamemnon's return to the household and to her; she does not mention his p o l i t i c a l role. This focus i s in sharp contrast to Agamemnon's speech, which, as we have seen, was exclusively p o l i t i c a l , referring to his hearth and household gods once and his family not at a l l . His over-valuing of p o l i t i c a l at the expense of domestic t i e s was shown c l e a r l y by his s a c r i f i c e of Iphigenia; the same misjudgement causes h i s h a l f - b l i n d n e s s now. When the chorus warned him against false friends and false praise, he thought only of public enemies and for this reason i s caught off guard by an attack from the household. Klytemnestra 1s speech i s intended, by misleading 56 him as to her character and a t t i t u d e , to b l i n d him even f a r t h e r to the p o s s i b i l i t y of a t t a c k from that q u a r t e r . His answer to her makes i t obvious that she has succeeded. While her speech has made him uneasy, he accepts the impression she has t r i e d to g i v e that i t i s based on feminine f o o l i s h n e s s and overemotional tendencies, not i n d e l i b e r a t e , harmful i n t e n t . I t w i l l be u s e f u l to mention here the s i g n i f i c a n c e of " t r e a d i n g on the t a p e s t r i e s " , about which t h e r e has been some d i s p u t e 2 9 . I take the s i g n i f i c a n c e to be somewhere between the m e a n i n g l e s s "walking on a r a t h e r expensive p i e c e of m a t e r i a l " (Dawe, 1963: 48 n.2), which Aeschylus uses as an excuse f o r a c o n f l i c t between husband and wife and the sine qua non on which hangs K l y t e m n e s t r a 1 s d e c i s i o n to k i l l her husband. Klytemnes-t r a ' s purpose i s c l e a r l y to persuade her husband w i l l i n g l y to commit an impious act on h i s homecoming. Ewans (1982: 12) p o i n t s out that t h i s impious act occurs d i r e c t l y before Agamemnon s a c r i -f i c e s , thus r e n d e r i n g him u n f i t to do so; Lanahan ( 1974 : 25 ) suggests that Agamemnon's "not s e t t i n g foot on the ground" sym-b o l i c a l l y meant, a l s o , that he had not yet reclaimed h i s k i n g -dom.30 Burkert (1966: 108-109) shows that i n Greek s a c r i f i c i a l r i t u a l i t was considered a b e t t e r omen i f the v i c t i m approached the a l t a r w i l l i n g l y and were g u i l t y of some minor s i n which made i t r e s p o n s i b l e f o r i t s own death. (For i n s t a n c e , goats would be teased i n t o e a t i n g i v y leaves sacred to Dionysus and then s a c r i -f i c e d f o r doing so.) T h i s r i t u a l f i t s events here p e r f e c t l y and accounts f o r the f e e l i n g (however i m p o s s i b l e to prove) of some 57 readers that Klytemnestra would not have k i l l e d him i f he had not walked on the t a p e s t r i e s . In f a c t , what she "would have done" cannot be known, as i t does not happen; but Agamemnon c e r t a i n l y makes himself a more p e r f e c t v i c t i m by walking w i l l i n g l y on the t a p e s t r i e s . There are s e v e r a l l a y e r s of s i g n i f i c a n c e here and the f e e l i n g that something of importance occurs i s f u l l y j u s t i -f i e d . The degree and q u a l i t y of impiety or h u b r i s i n v o l v e d can-not be a b s o l u t e l y determined: i t i s not zero, or the scene would be p o i n t l e s s ; i t i s not absolute - an impious and g r o s s l y h u b r i s t i c a c t under any p o s s i b l e c i r c u m s t a n c e s - or Klytemnes-t r a 's arguments would not take the form they do of r a i s i n g ques-t i o n s about s i t u a t i o n s i n which the a c t might be p e r m i s s i b l e . (Were i t an a b s o l u t e l y impious a c t , she would not be a b l e to suggest that t h e r e c o u l d be any c i r c u m s t a n c e s i n which i t was proper.) Many c r i t i c s have commented on t h i s scene. Goheen 1s d i s -c u s s i o n (1955: 115-120) of the colour and i t s connection with the blood s p i l l e d on the ground again and again i n the course of the t r i l o g y i s w e l l taken, as i s Jones' (1962: 86-87) p o i n t that the economic value of the t a p e s t r y i s a l a r g e i n g r e d i e n t i n i t s s i g -n i f i c a n c e , p a r t i c u l a r l y a f t e r the chorus 1 comments on the dangers of e x c e s s i v e wealth. The economic value of the t a p e s t r i e s i s emphasized by K l y t e m n e s t r a 1 s f i n a l speech i n t h i s scene. The h u b r i s i n v o l v e d i n conspicuous consumption i s , of course, one of the kinds shown i n t h i s scene, but i t i s only one aspect of the g e n e r a l h u b r i s of g e t t i n g above one's s t a t i o n , which i s l i k e -58 l y to a t t r a c t <^>&o\)os (both human and d i v i n e ) . Jones i s q u i t e r i g h t i n p o i n t i n g out that Agamemnon wounds the oikos (economic-a l l y ) by h i s very entrance; but the economic aspect i s only one p a r t of h i s hubris here. The t r e a d i n g of the t a p e s t r i e s i s a l s o the g r e a t e s t of the symbols c r e a t e d by Klytemnestra's powers of symbolic manipula-t i o n . She has here i n v e n t e d an a c t which i s s u r e l y h u b r i s t i c (though the degree of h u b r i s i n v o l v e d i s not c e r t a i n ) and then succeeded i n r e p r e s e n t i n g i t as only very l i t t l e more than what i s due the conqueror of Troy. (That i s , she c r e a t e s a symbol which c l e a r l y has one s i g n i f i c a n c e and then persuades her hearer that i t has q u i t e another.) T h i s i s a f e a t which only a c h a r a c -t e r of Klytemnestra's powers of d e f i n i t i o n and p e r s u a s i o n c o u l d accomplish. F i n a l l y , t h i s scene i s the prime example of Klytem-n e s t r a ' s -prec&hj. Agamemnon a d d r e s s e s her as " o f f s p r i n g o f Leda" (Arj$<v ygi)£Q^o\) ,914), r e c a l l i n g to one's mind immediately t h a t o t h e r daughter of Leda, the d e s t r u c t i v e f o r c e d e s c r i b e d i n the second stasimon. "Guardian of my house" r e c a l l s K l y t e m n e s t r a 1 s "dog of the house" (607), with the d i f f e r e n c e that Klytemnestra does not use the p o s s e s s i v e pronoun. Neither does she ever c a l l i t "my husband's house"; i t i s simply the house, the only important one. M i c h e l i n i (1974: 527-530) argues p e r s u a s i v e l y that the phrase "^ujyaJ yy> tffrni/JS " (916) i s , i n the interchange between the two c h a r a c t e r s , not an i n s u l t , but rather a m i l d w i t t i c i s m de-signed to take away the s t i n g of the reproof which f o l l o w s , and 59 i n the for m a l s t r u c t u r e of the p l a y , a marker to show a break from the r h e s i s - f o r m of Klytemnestra's speech and a r e t u r n to the a c t i o n . 3 1 Agamemnon's o b j e c t i o n to her speech, her t a p e s t r i e s and perhaps her p o s t u r e , i f " "^/fa/t tfTTf 5" (920) ( " g r o v e l l i n g " ) r e f e r s t o her p o s i t i o n and not her s t y l e of s p e e c h 3 2 , shows c l e a r l y that he has accepted the image she presented of h e r s e l f as an e x c i t a b l e female. She should not t r e a t him d e l i c a t e l y , " l i k e a woman" {^oj ^t/\)<u#os €i) l-poliocs k/*€ 'AffuJi , 919), he says ( e i t h e r "as i f he were a woman" - i . e . o v e r - l u x u r i o u s l y - or "as women do t r e a t p e o p l e " - i . e . w i t h e x a g g e r a t e d emotion), nor g r o v e l " l i k e a ba r b a r i a n " ( ^ A ^ ^ C O U ... S e x y ) , 919), nor l a y down a (fie&os - l i a b l e path of t a p e s t r i e s . He sees her a c t i o n , then, as womanish and over-emotional, l i k e a bar b a r i a n ' s ; and he assumes that he must e x p l a i n to her that her t a p e s t r i e s might cause <fi&o -^ ( 9 2 1 ) . C l e a r l y , he e n t e r t a i n s no s u s p i c i o n of her mo t i v e s , which he assumes are f r i e n d l y ; he simply doubts her i n t e l l i g e n c e . His next l i n e s confirm t h i s impression: he e x p l a i n s c a r e f u l l y , as i f he assumes that she w i l l have t r o u b l e understanding him, that i t i s only proper t o honour the gods t h i s way (922); that f o r a mortal to walk on these t a p e s t r i e s i s "ou£yuu>j <fiofoo " (924); and t h a t t h e r e f o r e she should honour him as a man, not a god. Hi s fame c r i e s aloud without "footwipes" and embroideries ( 925-926, f o l l o w i n g Denniston, Page 1957: n. ad l o c ) . He continues w i t h some p l a t i t u d e s which have g r e a t e r p e r s o n a l s i g n i f i c a n c e than he r e a l i z e s . 3 3 His tone i s not " c o l d and h o s t i l e " , as Den-n i s t o n , Page b e l i e v e (1957: n. at 915); r a t h e r , i t i s g e n t l e , i f a n y t h i n g , but extremely condescending, as i f he addresses the 60 young g i r l whom, Greek m a r r i a g e customs b e i n g what t h e y were, he may v e r y w e l l have l e f t b e h i n d him t e n y e a r s b e f o r e . The o b j e c t -i o n s he r a i s e s t o t h e a c t i t s e l f a r e a l l c o n v e n t i o n a l . The s p e e d o f Agamemnon's c a p i t u l a t i o n , w h i c h t a k e s p l a c e o n l y f o u r t e e n l i n e s a f t e r h i s r e f u s a l i n t h i s s p e e c h , has p u z z l e d many. However, by t h e end o f h i s s p e e c h (930) most o f t h e work o f p e r s u a d i n g him t o t a k e t h i s c o u r s e o f a c t i o n has a l r e a d y been a c c o m p l i s h e d . He d o e s n o t s u s p e c t d a n g e r f r o m h i s o i k o s and t h a n k s t o K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s s p e e c h , he does not t h i n k h e r i n t e l l i -g e n t o r " m a s c u l i n e " enough t o s u s p e c t h e r m o t i v e s . He i s a l -r e a d y , c o n s e q u e n t l y , v e r y much o f f g u a r d and o f f b a l a n c e ; i t w i l l n o t t a k e much more t o l e a d him o n t o t h e t a p e s t r i e s . K l y t e m n e s -t r a ' s s u d d e n a t t a c k c a t c h e s him u n a w a r e s . The v e r s a t i l i t y and range o f h e r arguments, t h e s p e e d w i t h w h i c h she l e a v e s one a p -p r o a c h a s s o o n as s h e has g a i n e d h e r p o i n t t h e r e and a t t a c k s a g a i n f r o m a n o t h e r a n g l e , h e r use o f s o p h i s t r y where n e c e s s a r y ( e s p e c i a l l y i n e q u a t i n g "envy" and " a d m i r a t i o n " ( 9 3 9 ) , and h e r use o f a p e r s o n a l a p p e a l a t t h e p e r f e c t t a c t i c a l moment l e a v e him no c h a n c e a t a l l t o d e f e n d h i m s e l f . Her s k i l l i n argument and h e r i n t e l l e c t u a l s u p e r i o r i t y o v e r h e r h u s b a n d a r e b r i l l i a n t l y d e m o n s t r a t e d i n t h i s s c e n e . K l y t e m n e s t r a r e s p o n d s t o Agamemnon's c o n v e n t i o n a l o b j e c -t i o n s (931) " T e l l me t h i s , not a g a i n s t your o p i n i o n " - i . e . " t e l l me what you r e a l l y t h i n k " , i m p l y i n g t h a t he does not r e a l l y be-l i e v e t h e o b j e c t i o n s he j u s t r a i s e d . He a n s w e r s "Be s u r e my o p i n i o n w i l l n o t be c o r r u p t e d " ( 9 3 2 ) . I t i s d i f f i c u l t n o t t o 61 hear a note of i n d i g n a t i o n i n t h i s ; he i s a l i t t l e o f f - b a l a n c e , caught unawares by her u n f l a t t e r i n g question a f t e r a t o o - f l a t t e r -in g speech. She asks (933) "Would you have vowed to the gods to act thus iOjSi) i n a time of fear (hc'sAs)?" I f t h i s a c t i s i n the c l a s s of things he could o f f e r to the gods, she i m p l i e s , i t cannot i t s e l f be prima facie an impious a c t . He answers (934) "yes, i f someone who knew c l e a r l y ( i . e . a seer) proclaimed t h i s duty". One i s reminded of the l a s t time he accepted the word of a s e e r ; the r e s u l t was a mons t r o u s l y impious a c t . One might wonder why he does not add "but there i s no seer here; the con-d i t i o n has not been f u l f i l l e d " . The answer i s that Klytemnestra wanted to e l i c i t from him the t h e o r e t i c a l admission that there might be some circumstances under which t h i s act might be com-m i t t e d without d i v i n e d i s a p p r o v a l ; t h i s accomplished, she cuts him o f f before he can r a i s e a strong o b j e c t i o n to the p a r t i c u l a r circumstances of t h i s a c t . 3 4 There are some circumstances, then, Her next q u e s t i o n (935) i s "What do you think Priam (would do) i f he had achieved your deeds?" .Certainly Priam would walk on the t a p e s t r i e s , answers Agamemnon (936). Again, he does not add "but he's an O r i e n t a l t y r a n t ; i t would not be s u i t a b l e f o r a Greek k i n g " - something he c e r t a i n l y knows, f o r he has e a r l i e r r e p -roached Klytemnestra f o r behaving too f l a t t e r i n g l y , " l i k e a bar-b a r i a n " - because Klytemnestra cuts him o f f . So there are some circumstances under which Agamemnon would do t h i s and there are some people who would think t h i s act a p p r o p r i a t e , not impious, i n h i s p r e s e n t c i r c u m s t a n c e s . D i v i n e <fie>6Jos , then i s not a sure under which he would do i t , which would not incur d i v i n e 62 consequence of the a c t . Turning from t h i s p o i n t , she a t t a c k s the o t h e r p o t e n t i a l source of (j)eo\)o$ , human o p i n i o n , s a y i n g (937) "Don't f e e l ashamed then at (merely) human censure." I f the gods do not disapprove, what do humans matter? But he demurs, s a y i n g (938 ) "But the v o i c e , at l e a s t , of the people i s very s t r o n g " . She answers w i t h a touch of the p r a i s e of her f i r s t s p e e c h -probably welcome to him now, a f t e r t h i s sudden cross-examination - and s k i l f u l l y using a s o p h i s t i c a l r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of "faoJot"-. "The unenvied (kfieodyo-os ) man i s not admired." (939) Her i m p l i -c a t i o n i s that any admirable man i s envied. Throughout, Klytem-n e s t r a has made only negative arguments (the gods wouldn't nece-s s a r i l y be angry; some people would do t h i s ; the people wouldn't envy a man they didn' t admire), which do not prove the p o s i t i v e c o r o l l a r i e s she implies (the gods won't be angry; you should do t h i s ; i f the people envy you, i t i s because they admire y ou). Her arguments thus do not give an a c t u a l , p o s i t i v e b a s i s f o r the a c t i o n she suggests. Agamemnon, however, has accepted at l e a s t the p o s s i b i l i t i e s she has i n t r o d u c e d - as G o l d h i l l puts i t , he has accepted the idea that an act which he thought had only one s i g n i f i c a n c e has, i n f a c t , s e v e r a l d i f f e r e n t p o s s i b l e s i g n i f i -cances (1984: 77) - and i s now i n p o s i t i o n to be toppled by the t h i r d l e v e l of argument, the p e r s o n a l , based on sexual d i f f e r -ences which he himself i n t r o d u c e s . He says (about her w i l l i n g -ness to q u a r r e l with the people) " I t i s not the part of a woman to d e s i r e b a t t l e " . Klytemnestra d e l i b e r a t e l y misunderstands him to mean b a t t l e with himself and answers (941) "For the f o r t u n a t e ( i . e . Agamemnon), i t i s f i t t i n g even to be conquered ( i . e . i n 63 t h i s b a t t l e with h e r ) . " When Agamemnon answers "Does i t r e a l l y mean that much to you?" (942), he i s doomed; h i s q u e s t i o n makes i t c l e a r that he has given up h i s c e r t a i n t y that the gods or men would o b j e c t and h i s o n l y r emaining ground f o r r e f u s a l i s an uneasy r e l u c t a n c e . While he has no longer a good reason to r e -f u s e , t h i s does not g i v e him good reason to agree. Klytemnes-t r a ' s d e s i r e t h a t he t r e a d the t a p e s t r i e s i s the o n l y f a c t o r m o t i v a t i n g him to do so, i f he does; so he asks how important i t i s to her. T h i s i s where the groundwork of Klytemnestra's f i r s t speech proves d e c i s i v e . F i r s t , her motives seem to be innocent and do not, i f the a c t i o n i t s e l f i s (as i t now seems) f a i r l y harmless, i n themselves give him anything to f e a r . There i s no harm i n g i v i n g i n . Second, he i s under o b l i g a t i o n to her because of the s u f f e r i n g she d e s c r i b e d there and so should grant her a favour i f she s t r o n g l y d e s i r e s i t . When she answers "be persuaded; you r u l e indeed i n sub-m i t t i n g w i l l i n g l y to me" (Jceod- upjrtls ^fJrn Trusts (y ) Ij^oc , 943 ) 3 5 , showing that i t is_ important to her, he has no c h o i c e l e f t but to y i e l d . Throughout, Agamemnon has been gi v e n no good reason to a c t ; KLytemnestra 1s arguments have been s u f f i c i e n t to remove h i s o b j e c t i o n s , but no more. This negative approach i s not i n i t s e l f s u f f i c i e n t to produce a c t i o n ; and K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s "VCBou " i s s i g n i f i c a n t . Argument c o u l d b r i n g him to the p o i n t of u n c e r -t a i n t y , but no f a r t h e r ; i t - i s her powers of p e r s u a s i o n which 64 a c t u a l l y b r i n g him t o t h e p o i n t o f a c t i o n - p r e c i s e l y t h a t f o r c e -f u l p e r s u a s i o n o f which t h e c h o r u s sang so f e a r f u l l y ( 3 8 6 - 3 9 5 ) . Agamemnon t h e n has h i s shoes removed, so as t o damage t h e f a b r i c l e s s and m i n i m i z e t h e (fieo'Jos p e r h a p s i n c u r r e d . H i s p r i n -c i p a l o b j e c t i o n s now (948-949) a r e e c o n o m i c - w a s t i n g t h e s u b -s t a n c e o f t h e house - and i t i s on t h i s a c c o u n t t h a t he i s a f r a i d o f d i v i n e e n v y , w h i c h he p r a y s may n o t s t r i k e him as he w a l k s (much a s he p r a y e d t h a t t h e r e s u l t s o f I p h i g e n i a ' s s a c r i f i c e m i g h t be g o o d ) . He t h e n s p e a k s o f K a s s a n d r a , whom he d e s c r i b e s f l a t t e r i n g l y a s a " f l o w e r c h o s e n f o r me from among much w e a l t h " (.ifoW&d yp/jjuirud 'ffApe-rod 'iJeos ,954-955) - t h a t i s , t h e p i c k o f t h e r i c h b o o t y a t T r o y - and commends her t o h i s w i f e ' s k i n d n e s s f o r an e s c o r t i n s i d e . T h i s i s p r o o f , were any n e e d e d a t t h i s p o i n t , t h a t he d o e s n o t u n d e r s t a n d h i s w i f e . B r i n g i n g home a c o n c u b i n e was no way t o i n g r a t i a t e y o u r s e l f w i t h y o u r l o n g - a b a n -doned s p o u s e , even i n G r e e c e , whose customs, we a r e a s s u r e d , were d i f f e r e n t ( b u t see Gomme, 1925: 1-25). Even L a e r t e s n e v e r s l e p t w i t h E u r y c l e i a , f o r f e a r o f h i s w i f e ' s anger - and h i s w i f e was no K l y t e m n e s t r a . And i n d e e d , K l y t e m n e s t r a does not answer t h i s p a r t o f h i s s p e e c h . Agamemnon wal k s i n t o t h e house on t h e t a p e s t r i e s , s p e a k i n g o f h i m s e l f as h a v i n g been "subdued" (^T^rpj^y^.M( , 956) by K l y -t e m n e s t r a i n t h i s m a t t e r . T h e r e i s no doubt t h a t t h i s i s a v i c -t o r y f o r K l y t e m n e s t r a ; Agamemnon has e n t e r e d t h e s t a g e a c o n -q u e r o r and l e f t i t c o n q u e r e d by h i s own w i f e . T h i s s p i r i t u a l 65 v i c t o r y i s the symbol and precursor of the p h y s i c a l v i c t o r y K l y -temnestra w i l l win i n s i d e . K l ytemnestra f o l l o w s , making another v i v i d , eloquent and double-edged speech. (She i s thus the l a s t of the two to speak, which r e i n f o r c e s her dominance over her husband.) She speaks of the sea as unendingly f e r t i l e , n o u r i s h i n g CYf>t0ot>6A , 959) an ever-renewed Ctfu^Mti)c£^ro\) , 960) flow of p u r p l e dye (nop^uj/P'iS , 959) f o r dipping (fj^JS, 960) garments. T h i s sea, however, was l a s t spoken of using another f e r t i l i t y image - as "blooming with shipwrecks and Argiv e corpses" (659-660); and the "tfop^tjpdS " she speaks of i s the same d r i e d - b l o o d c o l o u r which has been mentioned b e f o r e . /3j.ftd$ was l a s t used of d i p p i n g bronze; now i t i s used of dipping c l o t h e s i n t h i s ominously-coloured dye. The image of the d e s t r u c t i v e l y f e r t i l e sea producing b l o o d - c o l -oured l i q u i d (xrjutSj. , 960) i s q u i t e d i s t u r b i n g . She c o n t i n u e s , saying "Our house has a s u f f i c i e n t supply of these things (T^Sf / 961), by the gods' w i l l ; the house does not know how to be poor" (961-962). T h i s statement i s a l s o menacing, p a r t l y because of the chorus' warnings i n the l a s t stasimon of the dangers a r i s i n g from t o o - g r e a t wealth (772-781) and p a r t l y because one wonders what, e x a c t l y , the house has a s u f f i c i e n c y of, given the ominous tone o f her p r e v i o u s l i n e s . The ob v i o u s r e f e r e n t i s "GcjM'ru/i) pztftAS " (960)or " {ao^uj}tii "; e i t h e r one has f r i g h t e n i n g connota-t i o n s of v i o l e n c e and bloodshed. Her c l a i m (963-965) that she would have vowed the trampling of many such garments, at an o r a -c l e ' s guidance, to save t h i s man's l i f e , shows the same e x t r a v a -66 gance as her previous comments and o f f e r s a j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r the a c t i o n which Agamemnon does not have - no o r a c l e has commanded him. T h i s seems intended to point out h i s g u i l t to the chorus, while i t o s t e n s i b l y reassures him. Furthermore, i t i s probably a l i e . 3 6 The o s t e n s i b l e s u b j e c t of her next two statements (966-969) i s Agamemnon; he i s the root which remains to spread f o l i a g e over the house and p r o t e c t i t against the "s c o r c h i n g d o g ( s t a r ) " , i . e . the summer heat; i t i s he, r e t u r n i n g to h i s h e a r t h , t h a t b r i n g s warmth i n w i n t e r . She l a t e r speaks of Aegisthus i n p r e -c i s e l y the terms of the second image ( 9 6 8 - 9 6 9 ) . Now, however, the reader has been given no h i n t that he should think of anyone but Agamemnon. The fulsome language of the next seven l i n e s ( 9 6 6 - 9 7 2 ) , expressing the highest degree of joy at her husband's homecoming, i s p u z z l i n g . I t i s even more emotional than her f i r s t speech i n Agamemnon's presence. But that f i r s t speech was fulsome by n e c e s s i t y , i n order to delude Agamemnon: these l i n e s do not seem to have a s i m i l a r purpose. Agamemnon has a l r e a d y g i v e n i n , and i s walking on the t a p e s t r i e s even as she speaks; she does not need to persuade him f u r t h e r . One could argue that she needed to keep up the i l l u s i o n of welcome u n t i l he was a c t u -a l l y i n the door, l e s t he begin to suspect the t r u t h and take f r i g h t while escape i s s t i l l p o s s i b l e . T h i s e x p l a n a t i o n does not however account f o r the sheer i n t e n s i t y of emotion p r e s e n t i n these l i n e s . Perhaps Klytemnestra here should be seen as ex-p r e s s i n g her r e a l joy (at the f a c t that Agamemnon has been sue-67 c e s s f u l l y d e c e i v e d ) i n t h e o n l y way she c a n i n p u b l i c c i r c u m -s t a n c e s : she shows h e r j o y , b u t a s c r i b e s i t t o t h e a c c e p t a b l e c a u s e t h a t she i s p l e a s e d t o see Agamemnon e n t e r t h e house a g a i n . T h e s e l i n e s a r e i n t h e m s e l v e s a l s o d e c i d e d l y d o u b l e - e d g e d . The " r e t u r n i n g f o l i a g e {faW&S , 9 6 6 ) " i s c l e a r l y t h e symbol o f h e r r e t u r n i n g f e r t i l i t y , w h ich she l o s t when Agamemnon l e f t and r e c e i v e s on h i s r e t u r n , s h e i m p l i e s - o r , a s s h e has i m p l i e d e a r l i e r , w h i c h she l o s t when he k i l l e d I p h i g e n i a and w i l l r e c o v e r when she k i l l s him. Agamemnon has e a r l i e r been c a l l e d t h e "J(CJJL 6rn0jktH)" ( 8 9 6 ) , s o t h e n6tCf>c'ou KVI/O'S " ( 9 6 7 ) , w h i c h w i t h e r s t h e f e r t i l i t y o f t h e h o u s e , r e f e r s t o him as w e l l . The s u b j e c t o f t h e t h i r d s t a t e m e n t i s Zeus, w i t h whose w i l l D i k e has p r e v i o u s l y b e e n i d e n t i f i e d . When Zeus makes w i n e f r o m b i t t e r ( u n r i p e ) g r a p e s {bftfauo* ffiupZs , 970), she s a y s , t h e n i n d e e d t h e r e i s c o o l i n t h e house, when t h e "man i n f u l l a u t h o r i t y " , "man who accom-p l i s h e s t h i n g s " ( z f y o s Te\{coo , 97 2) o c c u p i e s t h e h o u s e . Zeus " m a k i n g w i n e f r o m u n r i p e g r a p e s " c o u l d r e f e r t o an u n t i m e l y d e a t h w i l l e d by Z e u s / D i k e - t h a t i s , Agamemnon's d e a t h ; t h e wine would t h e n s y m b o l i z e b l o o d . Wine, t h e s e a and t h e dye t h e n have a l l b e e n c o n v e r t e d t o n e g a t i v e , f a t a l i m a g e s . 3 7 I f t h e "fl^po* 'YzXeLou " i s Agamemnon, which i s t h e immediate i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , one s h o u l d remember t h a t the a d j e c t i v e 7t\icos " was u s e d o f p e r f e c t s a c r i f i c i a l v i c t i m s . The f a t e Agamemnon i s about t o f a c e i s t h u s f o r e s h a d o w e d by t h i s e p i t h e t . When Agamemnon has e n t e r e d t h e p a l a c e ( a t ab o u t 972: s e e A p p e n d i x B , ! ^ ) K l y t e m n e s t r a c o n c l u d e s w i t h a p r a y e r t o Zeus 68 Accomplisher (973-974) to f u l f i l her prayers and c o n s i d e r what he i s about to f u l f i l . What has gone before i s a strong h i n t that the o b j e c t of her prayers i s something harmful to Agamemnon. In these f i f t e e n l i n e s (958-974), K l y t e m n e s t r a uses the words " O C K O S " or " 9o^«?s " seven times. I t i s never "Agamemnon's house"; i t i s j u s t the house, with whose good she i s concerned and w i t h which she has been c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d throughout the p l a y . T h i s speech (958-974) u n i t e s many of the t e c h n i q u e s and themes found e a r l i e r : Klytemnestra's connection with s a c r i f i c i a l r i t e s , her use of f e r t i l i t y imagery, negative nature images i n -c l u d i n g l i g h t (the Gtiptou KvJos ), the household and Klytem-n e s t r a ' s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with i t , the w i l l of Zeus and the ex-tremely ambiguous use of metaphor and speech by Klytemnestra . In the e n t i r e scene, Klytemnestra has shown the f u l l range of her powers of eloquence, manipulation, i n t e l l i g e n c e and persua-s i o n ; and at the l a s t i t i s her power, not h i s , a g a i n s t the back-ground of c o n f l i c t between house and s o c i e t y , female and male, which overcomes. The motives she might have f o r h o s t i l i t y t o -wards her husband - Iphigenia, Aegisthus and Kassandra - have a l l been more or l e s s o b l i q u e l y presented i n t h i s scene. Agamemnon's complete i n a b i l i t y to c o n t r o l h i s wife has a l s o been shown - she seems to have c o n t r o l l e d events from f i r s t to l a s t , as she d i d with the messenger. 69 I t i s no wonder t h a t t h e c h o r u s on her e x i t b e g i n (975-977) "Why does t h i s f e a r , h o v e r i n g c o n s t a n t l y , f l i t a b o u t my p r o p h e t i c h e a r t ? " A l t h o u g h t h e y have s e e n t h e r e t u r n o f t h e f l e e t ( o r p a r t o f i t ) , t h e y c o n t i n u e , t h e y s t i l l f e e l no hope; t h e i r s p i r i t s s i n g " t h e l y r e l e s s d i r g e o f t h e E r i n y e s " (toi) S'fyeo ...QfyM 'Epc*) -t/o$, 990-991) and t h e i r h e a r t s " w h i r l i n e d d i e s b r i n g i n g f u l f i l l -ment t o w a r d s m i n d s c o n s c i o u s o f j u s t i c e " (iJScUocs , 9 9 6 - 9 9 7 ) . T h a t i s , t h e y s t i l l f e a r some d i s a s t e r w h i c h , however, t h e y w o u l d r e c o g n i z e a s j u s t ( 1 0 0 1 - 1 0 1 6 ) . T h e y c o n t i n u e i n t h e s e c o n d s t r o p h e w i t h a d i s c u s s i o n o f t h e danger o f t o o - g r e a t f o r t u n e ; i t i s b e s t t o throw some p a r t o f w e a l t h o v e r b o a r d , so t h a t t h e whole house i s not d e s t r o y e d . T h i s i s c l e a r l y a r e f e r e n c e t o t h e r e -c e n t s p e e c h o f K l y t e m n e s t r a , e m p h a s i z i n g t h e p o t e n t i a l l y i n -f i n i t e w e a l t h o f t h e house; i t i s a l s o a r e f e r e n c e t o Agamemnon's g r e a t good f o r t u n e i n c o n q u e r i n g T r o y . They f e e l t h a t s u c h good f o r t u n e i s p e r i l o u s and s u g g e s t a remedy a g a i n s t i t ; b u t ( t h e y c o n t i n u e i n t h e f i n a l a n t i s t r o p h e , 1018-1033) once a man's b l o o d has f a l l e n t o e a r t h , who can c a l l i t up a g a i n ? T h e r e i s no r e -medy f o r d e a t h . T h i s i s t h e c l o s e s t t h e y come t o s p e a k i n g o f what t h e y t r u l y f e a r , t h e d e a t h o f t h e i r m a s t e r . K l y t e m n e s t r a r e - e n t e r s a t 1035 t o f e t c h K a s s a n d r a i n s i d e ; she r e t i r e s a t 1068, d e f e a t e d i n her o b j e c t . Her d e f e a t i s a s -t o n i s h i n g ; s h e h a s o v e r c o m e t h e e l e m e n t s , t h e c h o r u s a n d t h e k i n g , b u t c a n n o t budge a f o r e i g n s l a v e - g i r l . T h e r e have b e e n 70 many d i s c u s s i o n s o f t h i s s c e n e and r e a s o n s s u g g e s t e d f o r her l o s s o f c o n t r o l h e r e . 3 8 The f i r s t e x p l a n a t i o n , s u g g e s t e d by K l y t e m -n e s t r a , i s t h a t she does n o t u n d e r s t a n d G r e e k (1060-1061); b u t a f t e r K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s d e p a r t u r e K a s s a n d r a p r o v e s t h i s e x p l a n a t i o n wrong by s p e a k i n g f l u e n t G r e e k . The e a s i e s t e x p l a n a t i o n i s t h a t K a s s a n d r a , a s a s e e r , knows what l i e s i n w a i t f o r h e r and i s r e l u c t a n t t o f a c e i t . In t h e end, however, she does e n t e r , o f h e r own f r e e w i l l ( t h a t i s , i n w i l l i n g o b e d i e n c e t o A p o l l o ) . I f she i s w i l l i n g t o e n t e r a t a l l , why not when she i s a s k e d ? I b e l i e v e t h e answer i s t h a t she i s a s e e r and knows t h e t r u t h ; k n o w i n g e v e r y t h i n g , a s A p o l l o r e v e a l s i t t o h e r , s h e knows a l s o K l y t e m n e s t r a 1 s p l a n s and what her words c o n c e a l . F o r t h a t r e a s o n , K l y t e m n e s t r a 1 s TTSLBOO , w h i c h i s b a s e d on d e c e p t i o n and o b s c u r i n g o f meaning, has no e f f e c t on h e r . O t h e r p e o p l e c a n be t a l k e d i n t o a c c e p t i n g K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s t e r m s and p l a n s ; K a s s -a n d r a does not r e s p o n d a t a l l , or even a n s w e r . 3 9 B e f o r e a t r u e s e e r , K l y t e m n e s t r a 1 s powers o f i m a g i n a t i o n f a i l ; b e f o r e one who knows what symbols r e a l l y mean, K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s a t t e m p t s t o m a n i -p u l a t e them a r e u s e l e s s ' . The f a c t t h a t K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s s p e e c h i s a t l e a s t i n p a r t a c a l c u l a t e d i n s u l t may r e i n f o r c e K a s s a n d r a ' s r e f u s a l t o g i v e i n t o i t . K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s s p e e c h t o K a s s a n d r a i s d o u b l e - e d g e d , a s a l w a y s , a n d t h i c k w i t h c o n d e s c e n d i n g k i n d n e s s q u i t e p o s s i b l y o f f e n s i v e t o a p r i n c e s s . She i n t e n d s t o p u t her i n h e r p l a c e as a s l a v e q u i c k l y and b e g i n s by a d d r e s s i n g her o n l y as K a s s a n d r a , w i t h o u t p a t r o n y m i c ( 1 0 3 5 ) . Zeus has s e t K a s s a n d r a i n t h e h o u s e , 71 she c o n t i n u e s , t o s h a r e t h e s a c r i f i c i a l w a t e r , s t a n d i n g among t h e many s l a v e s a t t h e h o u s e h o l d a l t a r (1036-1038). K l y t e m n e s t r a o f c o u r s e means K a s s a n d r a t o s t a n d a t t h e a l t a r as a v i c t i m ; t h e c h o r u s do n o t r e a l i z e t h i s . But even i n i t s s u r f a c e meaning, i t i s an i n s u l t ; K a s s a n d r a i s n o t t o t h i n k o f h e r s e l f e v e n a s an u n u s u a l s l a v e - she w i l l be t r e a t e d as a n o t h e r d o m e s t i c and no more. T h i s i s c l e a r l y not what Agamemnon meant f o r h e r , as h i s d e s c r i p t i o n o f her and d i r e c t i o n s f o r her c a r e r e v e a l (950-955); s h e i s a u n i q u e c r e a t u r e i n h i s e y e s , and no common d o m e s t i c s e r v a n t . " G et down f r o m t h e c h a r i o t and d o n ' t be a r r o g a n t " (1039), K l y t e m n e s t r a now adds; K a s s a n d r a has n o t y e t r e s p o n d e d t o h e r o r i g i n a l o r d e r . She a t t e m p t s f l a t t e r y a t t h i s j u n c t u r e , s a y i n g t h a t even H e r c u l e s was once a . s l a v e (1040-1041). T h e r e i s no r e s p o n s e . I f one must be a s l a v e , K l y t e m n e s t r a t h e n a d d s , i t i s b e t t e r i n a house w i t h o l d money t h a n i n t h e house o f a nou-veau riche, who i s a p t t o t r e a t h i s s l a v e s h a r s h l y . (1042-1043). T h i s i s s m a l l c o m f o r t a t b e s t , and sounds more as i f - K l y t e m n e s t r a w i s h e s t o p r a i s e her own h o u s e h o l d t h a n r e a s s u r e her c a p t i v e . K a s s a n d r a r e m a i n s s i l e n t . Command, f l a t t e r y and d u b i o u s r e a s s u r a n c e have had no e f f e c t ; t h e c h o r u s a d v i s e h e r t o "obey", o r "be p e r s u a d e d " (•frciW' '^i> , tc nrtc&oi! ( 1049 ) ) , b u t she d o e s n o t . K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s p e r s u a s i v e t a c t i c s have f a i l e d . K l y t e m n e s t r a w o n d e r s n e x t i f p e r h a p s K a s s a n d r a s p e a k s a n o t h e r l a n g u a g e ; i f n o t , t h e n she w i l l p e r s u a d e her w i t h words (1050-1053). The c h o r u s a g a i n s u g g e s t t h a t K a s s a n d r a obey t h e Queen. S t i l l t h e r e i s no r e s p o n s e . K l y t e m n e s t r a becomes impa-72 t i e n t now (1055-1061) - she has no l e i s u r e t o waste o u t s i d e ; t h e sh e e p s t a n d r e a d y a t t h e a l t a r f o r s a c r i f i c e , f o r her who n e v e r hoped f o r s u c h a p l e a s u r e (cos o'uiro'Y i X i r U o t t s r/ji)$' YfaiJ ^^ci) , 1 0 5 8 ) . Her o s t e n s i b l e meaning i s t h e p l e a s u r e o f a s a c r i f i c e i n honour o f h e r husband's homecoming. In f a c t , Agamemnon i s one o f t h e " f l o c k " [jUjL. , 1057) a t t h e a l t a r ; t h e s a c r i f i c e o f s h e e p r e c a l l s t h e l i o n c u b ' s s a c r i f i c e as a p r i e s t o f 'fan ( 7 3 0 - 7 3 1 ) . The u n e x p e c t e d p l e a s u r e , we w i l l s o o n d i s c o v e r , i s t h a t o f k i l l i n g K a s s a n d r a , whose p r e s e n c e K l y t e m n e s t r a had n o t p l a n n e d f o r , as w e l l a s t h e k i n g . I f K a s s a n d r a means t o come i n s i d e , t h e Queen c o n t i n u e s , she s h o u l d do so now; i f she d o e s n ' t " r e c e i v e ( K l y t e m -n e s t r a 's) s p e e c h " ( ^ o ' p o J , 1060), she s h o u l d s i g n a l w i t h h e r hand i n p l a c e o f a v o i c e . T h i s i s a r e t r e a t t o t h e n e x t l e v e l o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n , t h e v i s u a l ; b u t K a s s a n d r a does n ot i n f a c t " r e -c e i v e " - t h a t i s , a c c e p t - K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s s p e e c h and so i g n o r e s t h e compromise K l y t e m n e s t r a o f f e r s . K l y t e m n e s t r a , t h o r o u g h l y i n c e n s e d by now, s a y s t h a t K a s s -a n d r a i s mad and " l i s t e n s t o an e v i l <fy>j\) " ( 1 0 6 4 ) , not knowing how t o b e a r t h e b r i d l e (^AcJox) , 1066 ) ( i . e . o f s l a v e r y ) . She c o n c l u d e s " I w i l l n o t be d i s h o n o u r e d by s a y i n g any more" [ov ju"rj\> TrXtu pctjJM' %r<f.j.eJ6o/~ic ,1068) and d e p a r t s , l e a v i n g K a s s a n d r a i n p o s s e s s i o n o f t h e s t a g e . K l y t e m n e s t r a o b v i o u s l y f e e l s t h a t t h i s s c e n e w i t h K a s s a n d r a has been a h u m i l i a t i n g d e f e a t , and r e f u s e s t o make i t any worse by c o n t i n u i n g her a t t e m p t . She does n o t , i n f a c t , show as much s u b t l e t y and s k i l l i n p e r s u a s i o n i n t h i s s c e n e as she had w i t h t h e c h o r u s , t h e h e r a l d or Agamemnon, a l l o f whom 73 s h e c o u l d c o n t r o l . One has t h e i m p r e s s i o n t h a t s h e b e g a n by u n d e r e s t i m a t i n g her v i c t i m and c o u l d not c o r r e c t t h e e r r o r . E v e n s o , s u c h power and p e r s u a s i o n as she d i d u s e s h o u l d h a v e b e e n s u f f i c i e n t w i t h any o t h e r s l a v e , even a new and h i g h - b o r n one. K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s Witeu i s s i m p l y not e f f e c t i v e a r o u n d t h e s e e r , who knows what K l y t e m n e s t r a i s . K a s s a n d r a ' s p r o p h e c y and s c e n e w i t h t h e c h o r u s (1072-1330) l i n k s t o g e t h e r t h e p a r t s o f t h e O r e s t e i a ; s h e p r o p h e s i e s t h e e v e n t s o f t h e n e x t p l a y a s w e l l as d e s c r i b i n g a l l o f t h e p a s t e v e n t s and s u p e r n a t u r a l c a u s e s which have a f f e c t e d , o r w i l l a f -f e c t , t h e c y c l e o f r u i n she s e e s . She s e t s t h e e v e n t s o f t h e Agamemnon i n a l a r g e r c o n t e x t which has o n l y been h i n t e d a t p r e -v i o u s l y i n t h i s p l a y . She i s o n l y p a r t l y c o n c e r n e d w i t h K l y -t e m n e s t r a . What K a s s a n d r a does say about t h e Queen c a r r i e s some w e i g h t , f o r she s e e s t h e t r u t h , f r o m a p a r t i c u l a r , c o s m i c p e r -s p e c t i v e ; she s e e s t h e f i n a l v a l u e s a c t i o n s w i l l have, not t h e i r s h i f t i n g , t e m p o r a r y j u s t i f i c a t i o n s . F o r i n s t a n c e , i n t h i s p l a y t h e a u d i e n c e s e e s - or w i l l s ee - a K l y t e m n e s t r a who i s p e r h a p s u n l i k e a b l e and f e a r - i n s p i r i n g , but not e n t i r e l y a v i l l a i n ; she i s g i v e n an e x c e l l e n t m o t i v e f o r her a c t i o n s and may even, f o r a l l t h e c h o r u s know, have been n e a r l y j u s t i f i e d . By t h e Eumenides, K l y t e m n e s t r a i s a l m o s t e n t i r e l y a m o n s t e r , whose m o t i v e s a r e n e a r l y f o r g o t t e n . K a s s a n d r a ' s p r o p h e c y h e r e does not m e n t i o n t h e m o t i v a t i o n s o f a c t i o n a l r e a d y d i s c u s s e d i n t h e p l a y , b ut r a t h e r a d d s o t h e r s t o them. However, t o h e r , m o t i v a t i o n s e x c u s e no-t h i n g . T h e r e i s no s e n s e i n her words t h a t t h e g u i l t o f a c r i m e 74 i s l e s s e n e d o r i n c r e a s e d d e p e n d i n g on t h e r e a s o n s f o r i t . And t o h e r , K l y t e m n e s t r a i s o n l y an u n n a t u r a l , d e s t r u c t i v e , l y i n g , a d u l -t e r o u s and e v i l c r e a t u r e . No e x c u s e s a r e o f f e r e d f o r h e r . A b s o -l u t e i n s i g h t seems t o a l l o w no h a l f - m e a s u r e s ; e v i l a c t s , s e e n c l e a r l y , a r e s i m p l y e v i l a n d h a v e no j u s t i f i c a t i o n . I n t h i s p l a y , K a s s a n d r a p r o v i d e s a u s e f u l i n s i g h t i n t o K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s " e s s e n t i a l n a t u r e " as i t w i l l e v e n t u a l l y a p p e a r i n t h e t r i l o g y . However, i t s h o u l d be remembered t h a t i n t h i s p l a y , K a s s a n d r a ' s i s n o t t h e o n l y v i e w p o i n t we a r e g i v e n . K a s s a n d r a f i r s t a s k s A p o l l o (1085 f f . ) t o what s o r t o f house he has b r o u g h t h e r . She s e e s i t as a g o d - h a t i n g {ju.i6OQfo0 , 1090; s e e F r a e n k e l 1950: n. ad l o c . ) abode, w h i c h has s e e n many e v i l k i n d r e d - s l a y i n g s and f l e s h - c u t t i n g s , m a n - s l a y i n g s and g r o u n d s p r i n k l e d ( w i t h b l o o d ) . I p h i g e n i a , t h e n , has not been t h e o n l y v i c t i m . K a s s a n d r a ne x t p r o c l a i m s t h a t ( o t h e r ) c h i l d r e n weep o v e r t h e i r r o a s t e d f l e s h , e a t e n by t h e i r f a t h e r ( 1 0 9 5 - 9 8 ) . N ext, she f o r e s e e s a " g r e a t e v i l " (/^fy* ftJHoD ,1102) b e i n g now p l o t t e d i n t h e house, an e v i l w h ich i s beyond c u r e . The c h o r u s do not un-d e r s t a n d and she c o n t i n u e s , a d d r e s s i n g K l y t e m n e s t r a ( o f f s t a g e ) : W r e t c h ! W i l l you a c c o m p l i s h t h i s ? H a v i n g washed y o u r h u s b a n d a n d b e d - p a r t n e r i n t h e b a t h s - how w i l l I t e l l t h e end? F o r q u i c k l y , i t w i l l be; hand a f t e r hand s t r e t c h e s o u t , r e a c h i n g ( t o w a r d s i t ) . (1107-1110) The c h o r u s do not know whom she i s a d d r e s s i n g and s t i l l f a i l t o u n d e r s t a n d . She c o n t i n u e s (1114 f f . ) , s e e i n g a " n e t o f Hades" w h i c h i s t h e b e d - s h a r i n g s n a r e (&nu$ , 1116), t h e p e r s o n c o - r e -75 s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e mur d e r . K l y t e m n e s t r a i s t h e " n e t o f H a d e s " h e r e , t h e s n a r e i n t h e bed. "ju<Jdt,yU " (1116) i s t h e f i r s t i n d i -c a t i o n t h a t anyone or a n y t h i n g o t h e r t h a n K l y t e m n e s t r a t a k e s p a r t i n t h e murder. The r e a d e r had not b e f o r e been t o l d d i r e c t l y t h a t t h e r e would be a murder, but t h e c h o r u s ' f e a r s o f any p e r s o n have b e e n c o n f i n e d ( e x c e p t f o r a h i n t a t 549-550) t o K l y t e m n e s t r a . Now she i s c a l l e d a " c o - a g e n t " . N e t s have been s p o k e n o f b e f o r e : Zeus f l u n g o v e r T r o y a "net o f a l l - c a t c h i n g Arn " ( 3 6 1 ) . Now t h e n e t o f d e s t r u c t i o n seems s e t t o c a t c h t h e c o n q u e r o r . K a s s a n d r a c a l l s on " D i s c o r d " ({rises , 1119), whom t h e c h o r u s i d e n t i f y w i t h t h e E r i n y s ( 1 1 2 1 ) , t o r a i s e a c r y o f t r i u m p h t o t h e r a c e o v e r t h e s a c r i f i c e . The c h o r u s a t l a s t (1121-1124) b e g i n t o be f r i g h -t e n e d . K a s s a n d r a c o n t i n u e s (1125-1129) "Keep t h e b u l l f r o m t h e cow!" {'ilttijz ^fji /Soo-z yhi fjufod , 1125-26.) A f e m a l e has c a u g h t a male i n a garment, she c o n t i n u e s , and s t r i k e s w i t h a " b l a c k h o r n e d c o n t r i v a n c e " (^ue^^/pe . . . juyujJy/mvc , 1126). She t h e n s p e a k s o f a " b a s i n w h i c h m u r d e r s by t r e a c h e r y " . {$o\ofl6i)ou hz^y-ros , 1 1 2 9 ) . I t i s d i f f i c u l t t o say which i s t h e b u l l and whi c h t h e cow h e r e ; as t h e b u l l i s a t t a c k i n g t h e cow, one mi g h t t h i n k t h a t t h e s e x e s have been r e v e r s e d and K l y t e m n e s t r a i s t h e b u l l , Agamemnon t h e cow. T h i s i m p l i c a t i o n i s s t r e n g t h e n e d by K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s f r e q u e n t l y s t r e s s e d m a s c u l i n e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s (^\)^o^3oo\o\) ( 1 1 ) , e t c . ) and ( P o d l e c k i 1983: 34-35), by t h e h i n t s o f Agamemnon's e f -f e m i n a c y ( f o r i n s t a n c e , he e n t e r s t h e s t a g e i n a c h a r i o t ; he 76 r e f u s e s t o be pampered " l i k e a woman", but i n t h e end c a p i t u l a t e s t o i t ; he i s d e f e a t e d by a woman. T h e r e i s a n o t h e r i m p l i c a t i o n ; o r d i n a r i l y one would keep a b u l l f r o m a cow o n l y t o keep her from b e i n g b r e d . 4 0 K a s s a n d r a i s t h e f i r s t p e r s o n t o speak o f t h e m a r r i a g e o f K l y t e m n e s t r a as a s e x u a l bond (ofia$e/«Jcoi) , 1108; ^ c^gyJos , 1116; and t h i s l i n e ) . I n f a c t , s h e i s t h e f i r s t t o s p e a k o f K l y t e m n e s t r a i n e r o t i c t e r m s a t a l l , however vague (or b e s t i a l ) . The c h o r u s have g a t h e r e d t h e i m p r e s s i o n by t h i s t i m e (1130 f f . ) t h a t t h i s o r a c l e f o r e t e l l s no good t h i n g . K a s s a n d r a n e x t p r e d i c t s h er own d e a t h , mourns t h e wedding o f P a r i s and r e t u r n s t o t h e s u b j e c t o f h e r d e a t h ( w h i c h t h e c h o r u s t h i s t i m e u n d e r -s t a n d ) and mourns her c i t y . The c h o r u s s t i l l do not u n d e r s t a n d a l l and she p r o m i s e s t o speak c l e a r l y (1178-1183). K a s s a n d r a now spe a k s (1186-1193) o f t h e c h o i r o f E r i n y e s b o r n w i t h t h e r a c e (6uy^o\)u/i) , 1190) w h i c h w i l l n o t l e a v e t h e hous e , d r i n k e r s o f human b l o o d , which s i n g s o f t h e f i r s t , b e g i n -n i n g "A7rj., t h e t r a m p l i n g o f a b r o t h e r ' s b e d ( sujlis 'd^ifC) /hn7outJ/Yi , 1 1 9 3 ) . She p a u s e s f o r v e r i f i c a t i o n o f t h i s deed and th e c h o r u s a g r e e t h a t such a c r i m e ( T h y e s t e s ' a d u l t e r y w i t h A t -r e u s ' w i f e ) was committed. ''/\yrj has been spoken o f b e f o r e : i t i s t h e f o r w a r d - p l a n n i n g mother o f P e r s u a s i o n . I t i n d u c e d H e l e n and P a r i s t o a c t as t h e y d i d ( 3 9 9 - 4 0 8 ) . The l i o n c u b , when grown, s a c r i f i c e s t o 'Arrj ( 735-7 3 6 ) ; and h u b r i s , g i v i n g r i s e t o worse h u b r i s , e v e n t u a l l y becomes 77 a "black " f o r the house, an avenging daemon who resembles the a c t s she sprang from (763-771). Now i t appears that there has been an e a r l i e r '^fy i n t h i s house than had been spoken of b e f o r e ; the c y c l e has gone on f o r a long time. E r i n y s or E r i n y e s have a l s o been mentioned b e f o r e . Zeus sends a " l a t e - a v e n g i n g E r i n y s " on t r a n s g r e s s o r s (59); the dark E r i n y e s i n time wear away the l i f e of a prosperous man without J u s t i c e (463-466); Helen was sent to Troy by Zeus as an E r i n y s who b r i n g s t e a r s to b r i d e s (749); the chorus' s p i r i t s i n g s the lament of the E r i n y s when Agamemnon enters the house (990-991). Now Kassandra sees, or hears, a whole c h o i r of E r i n y e s , every one that has ever haunted the house, s i n g i n g together. None of the past crimes or past vengeances of the house have l e f t i t ; they a l l remain, growing stronger. Kassandra's v i s i o n continues (1215-1225) with the image of the c h i l d r e n k i l l e d by r e l a t i v e s and eaten; and she sees ven-geance being p l o t t e d against Agamemnon by a " s t r e n g t h l e s s l i o n " (\€oJ"r' 'JJI\M'J , 1224) who l i e s i n bed and stays at home ( 1224-1225). T h i s i s the f i r s t c l e a r r e f e r e n c e to A e g i s t h u s i n the p l a y . Now (1226 - 1241) she turns to K l y t e m n e s t r a . Agamemnon does not know what work she w i l l do, with e v i l f o r t u n e , l i k e a s e c r e t 'A*rrj (1230) , a f t e r the " h a t e f u l b i t c h " ( W « , 1228) - as noted b e f o r e , t h i s word has connotations of u n c h a s t i t y as w e l l ) 78 spoke so long and so amicably (fijtfyoJous , 1229 ; a c t u a l l y "with c h e e r f u l d i s p o s i t i o n " ) . She continues toc^St yo\fL*' Qy\us '*lf><s£\Jos <fto\)gus (1230). Some degree of "daring" has been seen i n the commission of each shocking crime so f a r narrated. The most shocking aspect of the coming murder, to Kassandra, i s that a female k i l l s a male. Kassandra continues, searching f o r a d e s c r i p t i o n f o r K l y -t emnestra - "What s o r t of h a t e f u l noxious beast s h a l l I c a l l her?" (Tc XAOUSA $</<s0t\is $U«o$ Tujoij^ Hi) ;, 1232-33 ). Kass-andra suggests a l i s t of powerful and unnatural female monsters-an amphisbaena, a S k y l l a who destroys s a i l o r s , a raging mother from H e l l ( h e l l i s h - /\tzou , 1235) who "breathes war without t r u c e a g a i n s t her nearest k i n " (1235-1236). That K l y t e m n e s t r a i s a female makes her crime p a r t i c u l a r l y h o r r i b l e and makes Klytemnes-t r a h e r s e l f u nnatural, a monster; f o r a woman to k i l l a man over-s e t s the n a t u r a l order. Klytemnestra c r i e d out i n triumph (Z v u k a X u ^ u n - o , 1236) at the beacon "as i f at the turn of b a t t l e " (1237), Kassandra con-t i n u e s . A woman's b\o\u^os of course should not be heard at a b a t t l e ; a d e s i r e f o r b a t t l e i s not s u i t a b l e f o r women, as Agamem-non has s a i d (940). She i s " teJroTo\f*.os " (1237 ), l i k e her hus-band; and she was only p r e t e n d i n g to r e j o i c e at her husband's homecoming. (12 38) The chorus have understood nothing a f t e r Kassandra's men-t i o n of the f e a s t of Thyestes (1242-1245). Even a f t e r under-79 standing that Agamemnon may be murdered, they ask what man (yi'Jos Iff/os %J5f>e>s , I 2 5 1 ) w i l l commit the crime. The v i s i o n s s e i z e Kass-andra a g a i n (1256 f f . ) and she sees K l y t e m n e s t r a as a "§tfws \ietiJ<* ", thus l i n k i n g her unmistakably to the l i o n c u b metaphor. T h i s l i o n e s s l i e s with the wolf (^KaLjucjjuiJrj \u\tco ,1258-1259-that i s , Aegisthus) i n the well-born l i o n ' s absence, which sounds not only a d u l t e r o u s but deviant. She i s planning to k i l l Kass-andra as w e l l ( 1260 ) and w i l l boast as she "whets the sword a g a i n s t the man" (1262) t h a t she "exacts a p e n a l t y of death" (U\)"ri~'r$(6f6&<ii 06i/oi) , 1263) because Kassandra was brought there (1262-1263). The meaning of these l i n e s i s ambiguous: e i t h e r K l y t e m n e s t r a , w h i l e h e r s e l f committing a d u l t e r y , w i l l use her husband's i n f i d e l i t y as an excuse f o r h i s murder- or, a l t e r n a -t i v e l y , she w i l l use Kassandra's presence as a reason to k i l l Kassandra h e r s e l f . The former seems the obvious i n t e r p r e t a t i o n at t h i s p o i n t i n the p l a y , but the l a t t e r i s what w i l l a c t u a l l y happen l a t e r on. Both are implied here. A f t e r prophesying the vengeance to come i n the next p l a y (1279-91), Kassandra e n t e r s the house to face her death, which she f i r s t (1277-1278) d e s c r i b e s as a s a c r i f i c e , but l a t e r (1309) sees as murder. To the knowledge a l r e a d y g i v e n of Klytemnestra has been added now the c e r t a i n t y that she has a l o v e r , Thyestes' son, and t h a t she means to k i l l her husband, by d e c e i t , i n a bat h t u b . E r o t i c overtones have entered the d e s c r i p t i o n of Klytemnestra f o r the f i r s t time i n Kassandra's words; but they are deviant or even 80 b e s t i a l . She has been connected with the image of the d e s t r u c -t i v e net over Troy and with the l i o n c u b , p r i e s t of 'A tij . She i s a l l - d a r i n g , as Agamemnon was at A u l i s . We knew t h a t she was u n n a t u r a l l y i n t e l l i g e n t and powerful, f o r a woman. Through Kass-andra's eyes we see her as simply unnatural: e v i l , monstrous and p e r v e r t e d . The coming murders have been d e s c r i b e d i n s a c r i f i c i a l terms, though Kassandra i n the end r e j e c t s t h i s image; and there has been a d i s t u r b i n g v i s i o n of a c h o i r of E r i n y e s who w i l l not leave the house. Agamemnon i s stabbed i n s i d e the house, c r i e s out twice and i s s i l e n t . (1343-1345). The chorus m i l l about, t r y i n g to decide what to do. They seem to assume that K l y t e m n e s t r a had accom-p l i c e s , as i s shown by the p l u r a l verb forms at 1354-1355 and 1362-1363 ( i f these are not simply g e n e r a l i z i n g p l u r a l s ) ; perhaps Aegisthus' r o l e , i f any, i s hi n t e d here. They expect tyranny to f o l l o w the a c t ( 1355-1365). In the end, they decide to do no-th i n g u n t i l they know more. K l y t e m n e s t r a now appears - p r o b a b l y on the ekkyklema-standing over the bodies of Agamemnon and Kassandra. This scene and the next have provoked a good deal of argu-ment over the "change" i n Klytemnestra's c h a r a c t e r . The kommos between K l y t e m n e s t r a and the chorus i s opened by K l y t e m n e s t r a with a speech i n which she cl a i m s f u l l , f i n a l and ab s o l u t e r e -s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r Agamemnon's death; only 100 l i n e s l a t e r , she blames the murder on the k\ScTu>p, the avenging s p i r i t . By the 81 end of the scene, she i s w i l l i n g to compromise with the daemon-Klytemnestra, who has never compromised before. This change s u r e l y argues, at the l e a s t , a change of a t t i t u d e . G i l b e r t Murray goes the whole way, arguing that u n t i l about half-way through the kommos Klytemnestra is genuinely possessed by the daemon; af t e r the murder, the daemon releases the body to i t s o r i g i n a l inhabitant, who i s l e f t to cope as best she may.41 Other interpretations have r e l i e d on "inconsistency of character" (Dawe, 1963: 51) - the theory that one should not expect Klytem-nestra to act l i k e "the same person", because Aeschylus did not write the scene, or the play, with her character as his primary concern. Therefore, as this theory explains, we are mistaken in expecting a consistency of character in this scene, or anywhere in the play, as i t would never have crossed the playwright's mind that such a q u a l i t y was necessary to the drama. This theory, however, i s unconvincing when one considers the obvious consis-tency of Klytemnestra's character in a l l the rest of the play-i f consistency of character did not concern Aeschylus at any time, i t i s hard to imagine why her character should only become "inconsistent" here, after 1300 l i n e s . Those interpretations which do allow Klytemnestra's char-acter to retain i t s integrity explain her change in various ways. Podlecki (1983: 33), for instance, explains that she i s seeking refuge from her g u i l t in uncharacteristic submissiveness (in this play and the next), hoping thus to appease the world. He adds that this could easily be an elaborate charade on the part of a 82 n o t o r i o u s l y d e c e i t f u l woman. I agree that she i s r e a c t i n g t o " g u i l t " , i f t h i s means " r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r a crime and r e a l i z a -t i o n that i t may have consequences" and not ( f o l l o w i n g the mod-ern usage) "a f e e l i n g that she had done something wrong". K l y -temnestra never shows any remorse over Agamemnon's death, only unhappiness at i t s consequences. But i n the Agamemnon, at l e a s t , t h e r e i s not so much "feminine submissiveness" as a d a p t a t i o n to new circumstances. The r e a l change i s i n the f a c t t h a t , before the murder, Klytemnestra has never seemed to adapt; she has ap-p a r e n t l y c o n t r o l l e d a l l circumstances h e r s e l f and f o r c e d o t h e r s -with one exception - to adapt to her. In f a c t , as w i l l appear, she d i d not e n t i r e l y c o n t r o l her world; the f o r c e s which combined to produce the death of Agamemnon c o i n c i d e n t a l l y agreed with her own wishes, and thus seemed to be under her c o n t r o l . She i s , b e f o r e the murder, p e r f e c t l y adapted to a world i n which a l l events f a l l out as she has planned them, and which thus appears to be completely i n her power. A f t e r the murder she must adapt to a world which i s revealed to be only p a r t i a l l y amenable to her w i l l . M i c h e l i n i e x p l a i n s the "change" i n Klytemnestra's charac-te r as born of her new s o c i a l circumstances: she i s now not the r e b e l , but the maintainer of a new status quo; her a c t i v e r o l e i n the c y c l e has gone by and i t w i l l next be her t u r n to s u f f e r (1979: 55). Betensky (1978: 12) ex p l a i n s the change as one not so much i n K l y t e m n e s t r a as i n the way she i s viewed by those around her. This l a s t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n e x p l a i n s a good d e a l of the 83 p r o g r e s s i o n of the t r i l o g y , but i s not as u s e f u l i n the f i r s t p l a y , when a change i n the way Klytemnestra handles the world i s evident as w e l l as i n the way i t sees her. More than anything, Klytemnestra seems to me to act l i k e a person who has not thought past a c e r t a i n p o i n t , or whose expect-a t i o n s past that p o i n t have not been f u l f i l l e d . A l l events and elements of her world have u n i t e d , apparently (to the reader and to Klytemnestra) under her c o n t r o l , i n order to b r i n g about the death of her husband. A f t e r that event she ( u n l i k e Aegisthus) had no c l e a r p l a n s , no great goal towards which to s t e e r events. Her immense t a l e n t s f o r manipulating people and things are no use when she has no reason to manipulate them. Moreover, the world a f t e r the murder i s not what she expected, i n as much as she e x p e c t e d a n y t h i n g - she hoped, as she says h e r s e l f , t h a t the murder of Agamemnon would end the bloodshed i n the house. The chorus convince her that t h i s w i l l not n e c e s s a r i l y be the r e s u l t of her crime; that there may be consequences she d i d not d e s i r e or f o r e s e e : that her c o n t r o l , i n f a c t , may have been i l l u s o r y . Her goal i s gone and the world she c o n t r o l l e d turns out, i n one re s p e c t , to have been u n c o n t r o l l a b l e , at l e a s t by her. I t i s no wonder that a d apting to these f a c t s causes her to act a l i t t l e d i f f e r e n t l y . K l y t e m n e s t r a 1 s "character change", whatever i t s cause and na t u r e , has i n any case been exaggerated by some commentators. For i n s t a n c e , i t i s true that at 1372-1398 she claims r e s p o n s i -b i l i t y f o r Agamemnon's death and at 1496-1504 says that i t was 84 e n t i r e l y the j W r w ^ ' s crime; but by 1552-1553 she once a g a i n c l a i m s at l e a s t p a r t i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , t h i s time using a (per-haps p o e t i c ) p l u r a l : "By our (hands) he f e l l , he d i e d ; and we w i l l b u r y him." {Ifpbs fj/<wi) niir*£6( urr9*k uil KinWlpo^tJ 1552-1553). I t i s f a i r , then, to t r e a t her as the same c h a r a c t e r we met before the murder and to i n t e r p r e t a c c o r d i n g l y . Most of the important i s s u e s and images brought out ear-l i e r i n the p l a y come together i n the kommos, c e n t e r i n g around Klytemnestra . In d i s c u s s i n g the death with the chorus, Klytem-n e s t r a slowly r e a l i z e s that there were motives and f o r c e s , i n d e -pendent of her, which a l s o l e d to the death of her husband. 4 2 T h i s d i s c u s s i o n makes her w i l l i n g to compromise at the end of the 43 scene. 0 Klytemnestra begins by a d m i t t i n g that she has s a i d much "as s u i t e d the moment" (K<xcpiuiS , 1372) i n the past; she i s not ashamed now to do the opposite - that i s , to t e l l the t r u t h . How e l s e c o u l d one planning h o s t i l i t i e s towards "enemies who seem to be fi\o$ " ( f r i e n d s or r e l a t i v e s , 1374) hope to "fence the nets of harm" (•nr^ojjs <kp«J&ir*'r7 ^ ybJtp$u£i) ) h i g h e r than can be l e a p t o v e r ? (1374-1375) The phrase "an enemy who seemed f r i e n d l y " would u n t i l now have been thought to d e s c r i b e Klytemnestra's r o l e towards Agamemnon; K l y t e m n e s t r a r e v e r s e s i t . T h i s r e v e r s a l , showing the e q u a l i t y of t h e i r separate crimes, echoes the r e c i p -r o c a l - a c t i o n m o t i f which has been brought up i n s e v e r a l p l a c e s e a r l i e r i n the pl a y and which i s emphasized f r e q u e n t l y by Klytem-n e s t r a i n t h i s scene; she i s t r y i n g to show t h a t her a c t o n l y 85 r e c i p r o c a t e d h i s . The inescapable net of d e s t r u c t i o n which she speaks of was once draped over Troy by Zeus, and became Klytem-n e s t r a h e r s e l f i n Kassandra's v i s i o n ; now Klytemnestra speaks of i t as a t r a p which she c o n s t r u c t e d : she sees the net as being i n her power. She has thought of t h i s s t r u g g l e f o r a l o n g time, she continues (1377-1378); i t f i n a l l y ("with time" {GCA) ypoJw , 1378) - r e m i n i s c e n t of the E r i n y e s , who a c t l a t e and ypojw , 463) a r -r i v e d . She i s i n s i s t e n t on her personal r e s p o n s i b i l i t y : I stand where I s t r u c k , upon the completed deeds. Thus I d i d , and I w i l l not deny these t h i n g s . (1379-1380) She used d e c e i t to k i l l him. The f i g u r a t i v e i n e s c a p a b l e net has suddenly become r e a l , f o r she threw an endless net, l i k e a f i s h n e t , a r o und him, "7r\oQ-rJ d^tJ-ros u-i«o\) " ( 1383 ). T h i s phrase v i v i d l y r e c a l l s the t a p e s t r i e s , which were c a l l e d " fyt-i^ " (921) and which were an " e v i l wealth", as the c h o r a l odes b e f o r e and a f t e r that scene i m p l i e d . She struck twice - we heard him c r y out at these blows (1343, 1345) - and a f t e r he " l e t h i s limbs r e l a x " ( i . e . a f t e r h i s death - 1385) she s t r u c k a t h i r d time. She has switched to present tense now (1386) to b r i n g the scene she d e s c r i b e s more v i v i d l y to her hearers. The t h i r d s t r o k e was added as an o f f e r i n g to "Zeus Saviour" (Ato's . . . cajr^joos , 1387)-but the "below-ground" (JW-TJ oeeodos ) Zeus, Saviour "of the dead" (Jmpwd ). T h i s act i s q u i t e p o s s i b l e s a c r i l e g i o u s . Z e i t l i n (1965: 473) p o i n t s out t h a t one o r d i n a r i l y poured t h r e e l i b a -87 c o r p s e (1395), her deeds would be j u s t , i n f a c t , "ufrffSt-'ws 11 (1396); Agamemnon f i l l e d a bowl of e v i l s i n the house which he hi m s e l f drank down on h i s r e t u r n . (1396-97). The bowl from which Klytemnestra would be f i t t i n g l y pour-in g l i b a t i o n s i s presumably the one Agamemnon f i l l e d and drank; her l i b a t i o n s would then be "KJHUI) tyuiu>\) " (1396-1397). T h i s image thus continues the p e r v e r s i o n of s a c r i f i c i a l imagery; one does not p r o p e r l y pour out curses as l i b a t i o n s to a god. Her d e s c r i p t i o n of her deeds as "viftpSiuojs " i s p e r f e c t l y accurate^ and damning. J u s t i c e , the theme of the p l a y , i s a matter of balance; one cannot be "more than j u s t " without becoming u n j u s t . In these 26 l i n e s Klytemnestra has a s s e r t e d r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the murder ten times, i n the most f o r c e f u l language p o s s i b l e . The c h o r u s 1 f i r s t r e a c t i o n i s i n f a c t to her language: they are s u r p r i s e d at her boldness of speech (Qp*i6udrof4.os , 1399) and t h a t she b o a s t s i n t h i s way over her man (kfopc , 1400). T h e i r s u r p r i s e i s not at what she has done, but at her v i o l a t i o n of the f e m i n i n e r o l e to do i t - not "How c o u l d you k i l l our k i n g ! " but "How c o u l d a p r o p e r l y - b r e d woman use such immodest language!" T h e i r use of "kJfyc " emphasizes t h i s i m p l i c a t i o n by g i v i n g Agamemnon a sexual r o l e (opposed to Klytemnestra's) . Klytemn e s t r a shows the same r e a c t i o n she has had i n the past when s l i g h t e d and d i s m i s s e d on sex u a l grounds; her answer shows a touch of offended p r i d e . "You t r y me as i f I were a f o o l i s h woman" (yvJjtKos u>s 'o(^A6juo\)oi ,1401) she s a y s ; but i t 88 doesn't matter, her deed s t i l l s t ands. Agamemnon, her husband (tOSi$ , 1405, g i v i n g only h i s s o c i a l r o l e ) l i e s dead, the work of her hand, a j u s t craftsman (Stuiu* 'rkwroOos , 1406). T h i s phrase r e c a l l s the " c r a f t e r (^ S V Y O J U , 151) of feuds that does not fe a r a man, ... c h i l d - a v e n g i n g ft^Ou " (151-155), with which the reader has always suspect that Klytemnestra was i d e n t i f i e d . That i d e n t -i f i c a t i o n i s now v e r i f i e d : Klytemnestra and the C a l c h a s spoke of are one. The phrase a l s o shows that Klytemnestra i d e n t -i f i e s her a c t and h e r s e l f with j u s t i c e and wants i t to be seen that way, unbiased by c o n s i d e r a t i o n s of the sexes of the k i l l e r and v i c t i m . The chorus ask "w " (1407) what she has eaten which made her take on t h i s " s a c r i f i c e " (Quo$ , 1408), " c a s t i n g o f f " (!/ir{$LK€2 , 1410) - i . e . , not concerned with - the curses of the people (1407-1410). Their i m p l i c a t i o n i s that as she i s female, her a c t cannot have been the product of a r a t i o n a l d e c i s i o n ; she must have simply gone mad. They warn her that she w i l l be e x i l e d from the c i t y ('jirono\t$ , 1410). Klytemnestra p o i n t s out (1412-1421) that they sentence her to e x i l e and hatred of the people, but d i d not do the same when Agamemnon s a c r i f i c e d h i s own daughter - her "dearest b i r t h p a n g " (1418) - l i k e a beast (1415). Why d i d they not banish him? The crimes were equal, i n sho r t , a s a c r i f i c e f o r a s a c r i f i c e ; why do they judge her alone so harshly? But i f they t h r e a t e n her, she continues (1421-1425), i t i s on the f o l l o w i n g equal terms (PA -y&O CfioLuiO , 1423): i f they win (the argument), they w i l l r u l e ; i f the 89 god g r a n t s the o p p o s i t e , then "having been t a u g h t , you w i l l l e a r n , though l a t e , to be wise (To sojfooJtiJ, 1425)". The s t r i c t r e c i p r o c i t y and e q u a l i t y of judgement Klyt e m n e s t r a d e s i r e s i s s t r e s s e d i n t h i s speech and once a g a i n , she seems to d e s i r e s t r i f e and v i c t o r y , as she d i d i n the t a p e s t r y scene and as women s h o u l d not do. 1425 i s r e m i n i s c e n t of the Zeus hymn, where wisdom comes even to the u n w i l l i n g , through s u f f e r i n g . She i s then promising them s u f f e r i n g here. The chorus respond (1426-1430) by r e i t e r a t i n g t h e i r b e l i e f t h a t she i s i n s a n e : she i s o v e r w e e n i n g l y proud (jUfyi\o^^Te5 , 1426), they say, and her words haughty because her i s mad-dened with the b l o o d - d r i p p i n g crime (foJoXySft y^y* , 1427). How-ever, they accept the idea of a c t i o n paying for a c t i o n and pro-mise that i n r e q u i t a l ('JJ^i-raJ , 1429) f o r her crime she w i l l yet pay blow f o r blow, b e r e f t of f r i e n d s . K l y t e m n e s t r a responds to the suggestion that she w i l l be 6/rtp>of4.fJjd <fii\u\) (1429) by enumerating her s u p e r n a t u r a l and human a l l i e s (1431-1437). She has not invoked an Olympian i n the p l a y , except Zeus Tt\<uo<i at the end of the t a p e s t r y scene (973-974) ("Zeus of the underworld" i s hardly Olympian); now she mentions Dike TiXetoi) (1432), who i s a s s o c i a t e d with Zeus -i\s.1os , but i s fe m a l e . K l y t e m n e s t r a swears "by J u s t i c e a c c o m p l i s h e d f o r my c h i l d , by 'hrn and E r i n y s , to whom I slew t h i s man" (1432-1433). These are a l l female d e i t i e s and have a l l been important i n the p l a y ; Dike, f o r dishonouring whom the E r i n y e s w i l l d e s t r o y a man; E r i n y s , who b r i n g s punishment f o r c r i m e s , though l a t e ; ^ ? ^ , 90 "Doom" and " F o l l y " both, mother of the Persuasion that b l i n d s men and i n d u c e s them t o commit a c t s l e a d i n g t o 'J/Trj (doom). Klytemnestra thus claims to be p r i e s t e s s / s a c r i f i c e r to three of the most powerful f o r c e s i n the p l a y . As the l i o n c u b grew up to s a c r i f i c e to ATIJ , t h i s image l i n k s Klytemnestra the more s t r o n g l y to t h a t metaphor. She c o n t i n u e s and swears "(By these t h r e e goddesses), E x p e c t a t i o n does not set foot i n the house of Fear f o r me, as long as Aegisthus l i g h t s the f i r e on my hearth" (1434-1436), Aegisthus who i s l o y a l as he was before and a s h i e l d f o r her c o n f i d e n c e (1436-1437). The f i r s t time Aegisthus i s named, then, i s by Klytemnestra h e r s e l f ; she speaks of him as an a l l y , i n a m i l i t a r y metaphor (%ircs , 1437) and as a key member of her household as w e l l , i n an image she f o r m e r l y used of Agamemnon (601-602) and which s u r e l y has e r o t i c c onnotations. His r o l e i n her l i f e has been the same f o r some time (1436); that i s , t h e i r a f f a i r i s a lon g - s t a n d i n g arrangement, something e l s e which has only been h i n t e d at before. So, while Klytemnestra s t i l l c l a i m s p e r s o n a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the a c t , her mention of the t h r e e powers f o r whom she s a c r i f i c e d and the one on whom she r e l i e s f o r human a i d b r i n g s o t h e r elements i n v o l v e d i n the murder under c o n s i d e r a t i o n f o r the f i r s t time i n the kommos. Having admitted her own i n f i d e l i t y , the weak p o i n t of her p o s i t i o n , she f e e l s compelled to j u s t i f y i t and uses the same method of r e c i p r o c i t y of a c t i o n . She t h e r e f o r e speaks of Agamem-non's a d u l t e r y (1438-1443). She has k i l l e d the " d a r l i n g of a l l the g o l d e n g i r l s ( C h r y s e i s e s ) at I l i u m " (Xpunr^cSc^J <-Y/*-ot > 91 1439) and l o v e r of t h i s " c a p t i v e , seer and bedfellow" (^ y/^ Xw -7 0 4 .. . W W . . . Hoc\/6\wrpos , 1440-1441 - Kassandra) as w e l l , the "prophesying b e d f e l l o w of t h i s man, t r u s t y c o n s o r t , wearer-down of the s a i l o r ' s benches" (1441-1443). The p a i r has not s u f f e r e d u n j u s t l y , she adds: he i s dead, and Kassandra, the l o v e r of him, l i e s here a l s o , b r i n g i n g "an added r e l i s h to the p l e a s u r e s of my bed (? text u n c e r t a i n ) " (1445). There i s more anger and b i t t e r n e s s i n her words here than can be e x p l a i n e d without assuming j e a l o u s y on K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s p a r t . J ealousy need not be based on any s o r t of a f f e c t i o n , how-ever and c e r t a i n l y i t i s not here. I t i s not s u r p r i s i n g t h at a woman who has so f a r shown a d e s i r e - and an apparent a b i l i t y -to c o n t r o l almost a l l elements of her world would now show e v i -dence of v i o l e n t p o s s e s s i v e f e e l i n g s towards her husband - that i s , of d e s i r e to c o n t r o l , or to have c o n t r o l l e d , a l l h i s a c t i o n s as w e l l . Such a d e s i r e can c e n t r e on hated o b j e c t s as w e l l as loved ones. 4 4 However, i f Agamemnon's death repays I p h i g e n i a ' s and h i s i n f i d e l i t y b a l a n c e s K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s, then what w i l l repay the death of Kassandra? A e g i s t h u s 1 death? K l y t e m n e s t r a 1 s own? By K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s own r u l e s , i f one i n f i d e l i t y i s p u n i s h e d , the other must be a l s o ; as, i n f a c t , i t w i l l be l a t e r on. In f a c t , K a s s a n d r a has not s u f f e r e d j u s t l y ; even K l y t e m n e s t r a t a c i t l y admits t h i s by g i v i n g such a f r i v o l o u s reason f o r k i l l i n g her (because i t gave her a d d i t i o n a l p l e a s u r e ) . T h i s , l i k e her ex-92 c e s s i v e l a n g u a g e e a r l i e r , shows t h a t K l y t e m n e s t r a 1 s a c t i o n was i n f a c t u^Y'S5 -The c h o r u s a r e now b r o u g h t , p e r h a p s by t h e t h o u g h t o f a d u l t e r y , t o t h i n k o f H e l e n . H e l e n and K l y t e m n e s t r a , a l w a y s p a r a l l e l , a r e f i n a l l y l i n k e d as c l o s e l y t o g e t h e r i n t h i s p a s s a g e as t h e A t r e i d a e were a t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e p l a y . The c h o r u s mourn t h e i r k i n g , who has " s u f f e r e d many t h i n g s on a c c o u n t o f a woman/ and by a woman l o s t h i s l i f e " (yuJuwb* / ti^os yuJjtx -os ,1452-1453). The c h o r u s ' t e n d e n c y t o speak o f women as o p p o s e d t o men, r a t h e r t h a n naming s p e c i f i c i n d i v i d u a l s , has been c o n s i s -t e n t t h r o u g h o u t t h e p l a y , p a r t i c u l a r l y when t h e y speak o f H e l e n . In t h e c h o r u s ' e y e s , - t h a t i s , i n t h e e y e s o f t h e male A r g i v e c i t i z e n r y whom t h e y r e p r e s e n t - a woman's sex, and t r a n s g r e s s i o n o f h e r s e x u a l r o l e , i s more i m p o r t a n t t h a n her p e r s o n a l c h a r a c -t e r i s t i c s . To t h e c h o r u s , an a c t c a n n o t be d i s c u s s e d o r j u d g e d i n i s o l a t i o n ; t h e y must c o n s i d e r a l s o ( o r even p r i m a r i l y ) w hether t h i s a c t was committed by a woman, and i f s o , whether i t s u i t s a woman's p r o p e r r o l e . So, t h e y f i r s t e s t a b l i s h H e l e n ' s s e x ; t h e y t h e n a d d r e s s h e r s p e c i f i c a l l y . They c a l l her i n s a n e (irifuJoos , 1455) and s o l e d e s t r o y e r o f t h e many l i v e s a t T r o y , she who has now a d d e d Agamemnon's b l o o d a s a f i n a l g a r l a n d f o r h e r s e l f . (k-HrjOeUu AL^.' , 1460, f o l l o w i n g F r a e n k e l ' s t e x t (1950: n. ad l o c . ) ( 1 4 5 5 - 1 4 6 1 ) . T h e r e was c e r t a i n l y an E r i s , woe o f m a l e s [Uttfor otyvs , 1461) i n t h e house, t h e y c o n t i n u e . The E r i s ( S t r i f e ) t h e y mean i s H e l e n , b u t K l y t e m n e s t r a , s t i l l s t a n d i n g o v e r h e r h u s -band's c o r p s e , i s t h e woe t o men who comes i m m e d i a t e l y t o mind. 93 The "garland of blood" (1459-1460) - l a s t i n the s e r i e s of f a t a l f l o w e r s i n t h i s p l a y - i s another p e r v e r t e d f e r t i l i t y image which f o r t h a t r e a s on reminds one of K l y t e m n e s t r a w h i l e o s t e n s i b l y r e f e r r i n g to H e l e n . The f i n a l l i n k between the s i s t e r s , o f course, i s that they a t t r i b u t e Agamemnon's death to Helen. K l y t e m n e s t r a (1462-1467) does not deny Helen's r o l e i n Agamemnon's murder. This non-denial i s the s i g n of the t u r n i n g -p o i n t i n her a t t i t u d e towards her crime; she has not g i v e n an i n c h u n t i l now. She o b j e c t s , i n s t e a d , to t h e i r c a l l i n g Helen a "man-destroyer" (^J^/W'-Tf <yo' , 1465) and s a y i n g that she a l o n e d e s t r o y e d ... ohf6££ , 1465-1466) the l i v e s of many Greek men. She i m p l i e s i n these l i n e s that Agamemnon and Menelaus were a l s o g u i l t y (as the chorus i t s e l f s a i d i n the f i r s t s t a s i m o n ) . The chorus agree that Helen was not s o l e l y r e s p o n s i b l e , but g i v e s her a d i f f e r e n t a s s i s t a n t ; they begin to s i n g (1468-1473) of the "SdtyuwJ" who f a l l s on the house and on the double-natured T a n t a l i d women;" you (i^ t^c^ t) ) w i e l d a like-minded power from women ... he (the daemon) e x u l t s , s i n g i n g a tuneless song (WO^JS . . . b^u) , 1473-1474), s e t t l e d on the body l i k e a crow The " t u n e l e s s song" reminds one of the " l y r e l e s s d i r g e " of the E r i n y e s (990-991); daemon and E r i n y e s are thus a s s o c i a t e d . "Double-natured" ($LJ>UIOC6L , 1469 ) means e i t h e r "of d i f f e r e n t n a t u r e s " or "each one of a double nature" ( i . e . two-faced). Given what we have a l r e a d y heard of the two s i s t e r s - the daemon wields a " l i k e -s o u l e d " power from the women; they are both a bane (o*i-\vi , 1461) to t h e i r men; they are both adulterous and d e s t r u c t i v e ; i n s h o r t , 94 they are shown as very much a l i k e - the second meaning seems more a p p l i c a b l e . The natures of the two s i s t e r s are not d i f f e r e n t . T h i s daemon has now s e t t l e d on Agamemnon's body (1472-1473), thus showing p l e a s u r e and p a r t - r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the de a t h . T h i s daemon, f i n a l l y , f e l l f i r s t on the ( A t r e i d ) house, then on the women ($cyu*i6c K J I ... T^^u\c^csc , 1467-1468). Kassandra has al r e a d y shown that the d i s a s t e r s of the house antedate Klytemnes-t r a , which i n d i c a t e s t h a t Klytemnestra's a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h the house, w i t h which she so s t r o n g l y i d e n t i f i e s h e r s e l f , i n f a c t came a f t e r the daemon s e t t l e d i n i t . Klytemnestra's l i n k with the house i s then not as absolute as she has thought; the daemon i n f e s t e d i t e a r l i e r and f a r from r e l i n q u i s h i n g c o n t r o l of i t to her, has - i n the chorus' eyes at l e a s t - f a l l e n on her as w e l l . K l y t e m n e s t r a has a l r e a d y admitted the a u t h o r i t y o f some s u p e r n a t u r a l powers. She i s happy t o a c c e p t the daemo, now (1475) as a f o r c e i n the crime ( i t i s p r e f e r a b l e to i m p l i c a t i n g her s i s t e r , at l e a s t - 1475). They are r i g h t to speak of the t h r i c e - g o r g e d (/Ypc^i^u\JAro J , 1476) daemon, she says, f o r he nour-i s h e s (i" 'you . . . fpiftwc , 1478-1479) the c r a v i n g (fytos , 1478) f o r blood, new i c h o r (pus - cjuf* , 1479) before the o l d has ceased (1479-1480). That i s : one crime f o l l o w s another b e f o r e the wounds of the o l d one are f o r g o t t e n ; and w h i l e the a c t i o n i s s t i l l the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the doer, the d e s i r e to act i s promp-ted by the daemon. Klytemnestra's d e s c r i p t i o n of him as " t h r i c e -gorged" shows that she i s now w i l l i n g to accept the idea that her a c t i o n was part of a s e r i e s of a c t i o n s , not n e c e s s a r i l y beginning 95 w i t h I p h i g e n i a . The " t h r e e " t h e daemon has f e d on c o u l d by I p h i -g e n i a , Agamemnon and K a s s a n d r a , b u t K a s s a n d r a wasn't r e a l l y o f t h e " r a c e " {j£\)\)rjs , 1477); k e e p i n g t o t h e f a m i l y , t h r i c e - g o r g e d must i m p l y Agamemnon, I p h i g e n i a and T h y e s t e s ' c h i l d r e n . B e f o r e , she has c l a i m e d t h a t Agamemnon's d e a t h was a s i m p l y b l o w - f o r - b l o w payment f o r t h e d e a t h o f h e r d a u g h t e r , whose d e a t h had no h i s -t o r y ; s h e i s now b e g i n n i n g t o a c k n o w l e d g e t h a t a n o t h e r c o n t e x t f o r h e r c r i m e e x i s t s , one which d i d not c o n c e r n her d i r e c t l y and wh i c h she d i d not c o n t r o l . The c h o r u s lament t h e " g r e a t and h a r m f u l l y w r a t h f u l (pyrir-jisujjol, 1482) daemon" she p r a i s e s and move u n h a p p i l y ( luJ ly , 1485) t o c o n s i d e r i n g Zeus " Ij^a^coo 'frAtJipyi-rJ. " (1486) - "what i s a c -c o m p l i s h e d ( o r "ends" -1~z\tirJt ) f o r men w i t h o u t Z e u s ? " (1487) E v e n t h i s c r i m e - a n d e v e n t h e daemon - must be g o d - o r d a i n e d (O*ou\jo*i]'rod , 1 4 8 8 ) . T h e y have come t o t h i s u l t i m a t e l e v e l o f c a u s a t i o n b e f o r e , i n t h e p a r o d o s , i n a l a s t - d i t c h a t t e m p t t o u n d e r s t a n d why e v e n t s f a l l o u t as t h e y do; and so h e r e . The c a u s e s o f Agamemnon's d e a t h have moved back f r o m K l y -t e m n e s t r a , t o H e l e n , t o a daemon o f t h e T y n d a r i d s , t o a daemon o f t h e ( A t r e i d ) h o u s e , t o Zeu s . However, when t h e y r e t u r n (1489-1496) t o l a m e n t i n g t h e i r b e l o v e d k i n g ("Oh k i n g , how s h a l l I weep f o r you? From a l o v i n g mind what s h a l l I s a y ? " (1489-1491) t h e y r e t u r n a l s o t o t h e p r e s e n t and t o the d i r e c t c a u s e o f h i s i m p i o u s d e a t h , t h e d o u b l e - e d g e d weapon w i e l d e d by a w i f e ' s hand (1495-1 4 9 6 ) . 96 K l y t e m n e s t r a , however, has l i s t e n e d t o and a c c e p t e d t h e p a s t h i s t o r y a n d s u p e r n a t u r a l c a u s e s s h e a n d t h e c h o r u s h a v e b r o u g h t up between them. She answers them w i t h an a s s e r t i o n a s s t r o n g a s t h a t 100 l i n e s ago, but a p p a r e n t l y o p p o s i t e i n m e a n i n g : You a r e s u r e t h e d e e d i s mine and t h a t ... I am Agamemnon's w i f e . But a p p e a r i n g i n t h e l i k e n e s s (faJ'rj.$o/<t\/os i 1500) o f t h e w i f e o f t h i s c o r p s e , t h e a n c i e n t b i t t e r s p i r i t (itXJ^^/> ) a v e n g i n g A t r e u s t h e c r u e l f e a s t e r , h a v i n g s a c r i f i c e d t h i s f u l l -grown man, r e p a i d him ( a s payment) f o r t h e y o u n g ( i . e . T h y e s t e s ' c h i l d r e n ) . (1498-1504) T h i s i s t h e u l t i m a t e e x p r e s s i o n o f s u p e r n a t u r a l c a u s e s g o v e r n i n g human a c t i o n s ; i t comes a t t h e end o f a s e r i e s o f s u c h e x p r e s s i o n s . I t i s s u r p r i s i n g b e c a u s e i t i s i n t h e f i r s t p e r s o n and b e c a u s e i t i s s a i d by K l y t e m n e s t r a , who e a r l i e r c l a i m e d f u l l p e r s o n a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . But w i t h i n a t h e i s t i c ( o r p o l y t h e i s t i c ) w o r l d - v i e w , s u c h as t h e one f o u n d i n t h i s p l a y , o v e r - d e t e r m i n a -t i o n o f a c t i o n s ( t h a t i s , t h e c o i n c i d e n c e o f d i v i n e a n d human f o r c e s i n t h e same a c t i o n ) i s p e r f e c t l y p l a u s i b l e . I t i s i d l e t o ask whether e i t h e r f o r c e by i t s e l f would have been s u f f i c i e n t t o p r o d u c e t h e a c t i o n ; a s i t h a p p e n s , b o t h f o r c e s were p r e s e n t . K l y t e m n e s t r a e x p r e s s e d t h e human c a u s a t i o n f i r s t , b a s e d on t h e s a c r i f i c e o f h e r d a u g h t e r , w i t h o u t any s u p e r n a t u r a l e l e m e n t . T a u g h t by t h e c h o r u s , t o whom she i s w i l l i n g t o l i s t e n a f t e r t h e y f i r s t t h r e a t e n her w i t h repayment f o r her own c r i m e - s o m e t h i n g h e r own code t e a c h e s her t o f e a r - she r e a l i z e s t h a t t h e r e were o t h e r m o t i v e s and f o r c e s c o n t r i b u t i n g t o t h e c r i m e , w h i c h have a c t e d t h r o u g h h e r . Her l i n e s h e r e e x p r e s s t h e s t r i c t l y d a e m o n i c 97 c a u s a t i o n , b a s e d on t h e T h y e s t e a n f e a s t . In f a c t , b o t h m o t i v e s a n d f o r c e s e x i s t now and d i d b e f o r e ; she e x p r e s s e d them s e p a r -a t e l y b e c a u s e s h e d i d n o t o r i g i n a l l y a c k n o w l e d g e ( o r p e r h a p s r e a l i z e ) t h e s u p e r n a t u r a l f o r c e s o p e r a t i n g o u t s i d e h e r c o n t r o l . Now she does acknowledge t h e s e f o r c e s . She t h u s a c k n o w l e d g e s and f u l l y i d e n t i f i e s h e r s e l f and h e r a c t i o n s w i t h t h e £)u'<?-r&^ > / §Myf<ioJ / 'EptVo* //JyJts /'fy** w h i c h has been c o n n e c t e d w i t h t h e house and the f a m i l y s i n c e l i n e s 154-155. T h i s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i s t h e l o g i c a l c o n c l u s i o n o f t h e i n t e r m e d i a t e s t a g e she p a s s e d t h r o u g h , i n w h i c h she s u g g e s t e d t h a t ( w h i l e t h e a c t i o n was s t i l l h e r s ) t h e d e s i r e t o commit t h e a c t i o n came f r o m daemonic powers. The c h o r u s o b j e c t t o t h i s c o n c l u s i o n ( 1 5 0 5 - 1 5 1 2 ) . Who c o u l d s a y she was e n t i r e l y g u i l t l e s s ? An ataVruyj m i g h t have been a tfc/Wjtr'ny), a s h a r e r i n t h e c r i m e ; but she s t i l l has some r e s p o n s i -b i l i t y . They r e t u r n t o t h e p r e s e n t and a g a i n lament t h e i r k i n g ( 1 5 1 3 - 1 5 2 0 ) . K l y t e m n e s t r a , a l s o a t t e n d i n g t o t h e p r e s e n t ( a s b o t h s i d e s do f o r t h e r e m a i n d e r o f t h e kommos) d e f e n d s h e r s e l f o n ce a g a i n by p o i n t i n g o ut her immediate j u s t i f i c a t i o n , t h a t t h e k i n g k i l l e d I p h i g e n i a and has s u f f e r e d w o r t h i l y f o r what he d i d -" OiJlru> ttUjs lfatf> ... zpffj " ( 1529 ) . The c h o r u s f e a r t h e d e s t r u c t i o n o f t h e house by a "h o u s e -r u i n i n g b l o o d y r a i n " (oju^joou uru-JToJ ZcyofpsXy ">-o) v/^<-?r^coV , 1532-1533) c r a s h i n g a g a i n s t i t ; t h e d r i z z l e K l y t e m n e s t r a s p o k e o f (1390) i s c e a s i n g . N a t u r e has not r e t u r n e d t o n o r m a l , t h e n , a s 98 K l y t e m n e s t r a hoped i t would; her b l o o d y dew may o n l y be a p r e l u d e t o a b l o o d y s t o r m . The c h o r u s a l s o f e a r t h a t J u s t i c e - w i t h whom K l y t e m n e s t r a u s e d t o i d e n t i f y h e r s e l f - i s b e i n g " w h e t t e d on " o t h e r w h e t s t o n e s " by f a t e (Hoijo*), f o r new harm ( 1 5 3 5 - 1 5 3 6 ) . J u s t i c e a n d n a t u r e h a v e b o t h p a s s e d o u t o f K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s c o n t r o l . P e r h a p s t h e y , l i k e t h e daemon and p e r h a p s A e g i s t h u s , were t h e c o - w o r k e r s t h e c h o r u s and K a s s a n d r a spoke o f , and were n e v e r under h e r c o n t r o l a t a l l , d e s p i t e a p p e a r a n c e s . They wonder n e x t (1541-1550) who w i l l b u r y t h e k i n g and s i n g a d i r g e f o r him? I t i s K l y t e m n e s t r a 1 s d u t y , b u t how c a n she when s h e k i l l e d him? E v e n i f she d i d b u r y him, how c o u l d s h e s p e a k a e u l o g y a n d mourn a t h i s g r a v e s i d e s i n c e r e l y {'j\r\$it* , 1550)? " T h a t i s no c o n c e r n o f y o u r s " (ol es ^po^rfufc r"a yut'X^' k\{fiii\) -ruhro i 1 5 5 1 - 1 5 5 2 ) , a n s w e r s t h e Q u e e n . She ( o r " t h e y " -p l u r a l , 1 5 5 2 ) k i l l e d h i m a n d w i l l b u r y h i m ( 1 5 5 2 - 1 5 5 3 ) ; t h e h o u s e h o l d w i l l n o t mourn (15 5 4 ) , but h i s murdered d a u g h t e r w i l l g r e e t him "as i s p r o p e r " (OJS ^prj , 1556) a t t h e r i v e r o f woe ( t h e S t y x ) , w i t h a k i s s . T h i s p a s s a g e makes i t c l e a r t h a t K l y t e m n e s -t r a may ack n o w l e d g e now t h a t o t h e r f o r c e s and m o t i v e s were o p e r a -t i n g , b u t i n h e r e y e s , t h e y i n no way d i m i n i s h h e r own i n v o l v e -ment; she a c c e p t s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r her a c t and she has n o t l o s t h er p r i d e ( o r h e r v i v i d use o f l a n g u a g e ) . The c h o r u s c a n n o t a n s w e r t h e a r g u m e n t o f t h e d e a t h o f I p h i g e n i a . They a d m i t t h a t t h e c a s e i s h a r d t o j u d g e ( 1 5 6 0 ) . 99 They add t h a t i t i s t h e w i l l o f Zeus t h a t t h e d o e r s h a l l s u f f e r (Titetii) ri\) epfevh-J. , 1564). They see ( t h e r e f o r e ) no end t o t h e s u f f e r i n g s o f t h e house - nKu6\\q*AL y40os npos %*r*i » ( 1 5 6 6 ) . T h i s p e s s i m i s t i c v i e w o f t h e h o u s e ' s c o n d i t i o n and p r o b -a b l e f u t u r e a c c o r d s w i t h K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s o r i g i n a l e y e - f o r - a n - e y e v i e w o f j u s t i c e ; she c a n n o t d i s a g r e e w i t h i t . Her new knowledge o f t h e d a e m o n i c f o r c e s o f t h e w o r l d prompt h e r t o t r y t o f i n d a n o t h e r s o l u t i o n , one v e r y c l o s e t o a compromise. She a n s w e r s t h e c h o r u s "you e n t e r i n t o t h i s o r a c l e w i t h t r u t h " (1567 ) a n d s a y s t h a t she i s w i l l i n g t o swear a compact (bpuovs &i^*(Jrj , 1570) w i t h t h e daemon, whereby i t c e a s e s t o t o r m e n t t h e house o f P l e i s -t h e n e s and "wears o u t a n o t h e r f a m i l y w i t h k i n d r e d - m u r d e r s " ( 1 5 7 1 -1 5 7 3 ) ; i n r e t u r n , she w i l l g i v e up a l l but a s m a l l p a r t o f h e r p o s s e s s i o n s and be c o n t e n t , i f o n l y t h e m u t u a l b l o o d s h e d i s t a k e n f r o m t h e house (1574-1576). T h i s o f f e r s u r p r i s i n g f r o m t h e woman who was e a r l i e r so e x t r a v a g a n t w i t h t a p e s t r i e s and o t h e r r e s o u r c e s ( t h e s e a , t h e b e a c o n - l i g h t s , e t c . ) . The house "does not know how t o be p o o r " ( 9 6 2 ) , she s a i d o n c e , i n o b v i o u s p r i d e ; but t h i s s c e n e w i t h t h e c h o r u s has had s u c h an e f f e c t on her t h a t she i s w i l l i n g t o l e t t h e house l e a r n p o v e r t y , i n o r d e r t o e s c a p e worse d a n g e r s w h i c h she d i d n o t b e f o r e f o r e s e e . K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s TTZ.I&U> has worked on t h e c h o r u s i n t h i s s c e n e : t h e y no l o n g e r condemn he r u t t e r l y t o e x i l e a n d t h e i r f i n a l word i s t h a t i t i s d i f f i c u l t t o j u d g e . However, t h e y have had an e f f e c t on h e r as w e l l : she now r e c o g -n i z e s t h e f o r c e s which were beyond h e r c o n t r o l a l l t h e t i m e and 100 which i n f a c t a s s i s t e d (and perhaps even i n f l u e n c e d ) her own a c t i o n s , when she thought h e r s e l f and the world e n t i r e l y , at only her command. Because of these f o r c e s , she a l s o r e a l i z e s , t h i s may not be the end; she may be the v i c t i m of the daemon i n her t u r n . She does not regr e t her crime, but understands i t s context and consequences b e t t e r than she had before. The o p p o s i t i o n between male and female (and t h e i r uses of l a n g u a g e ) , the l i n k between the T y n d a r i d s , the r o l e s o f the c h t h o n i c , daemonic and Olympian powers, and the s a c r i f i c i a l and n a t u r a l imagery of the p l a y a l l combine and c u l m i n a t e i n t h i s scene. A r e s o l u t i o n of the var i o u s opposing elements appears to be c l o s e a t hand; t h i s kommos seems to be the end of the p l a y . But there i s one loose end, who suddenly enters at t h i s j u n c t u r e (1577) with a bodyguard. Aegisthus' scene f u n c t i o n s p r i n c i p a l l y as a l e a d - i n to the Choephoroe; w i t h o u t h i s entrance to d e s t r o y the rapprochement d e v e l o p i n g between Klytemnestra and the chorus, the r e s t of the t r i l o g y would be unnecessary. His e x i s t e n c e (and thus a d u l t e r o u s l o v e as a motive f o r the death of Agamemnon), i s very important i n the Choephoroe, and i t i s p r i n c i p a l l y f o r t h i s reason that he i s i n t r o d u c e d here. He a l s o makes v i s i b l e something about K l y -temnestra which has only been spoken of before: that she i s an a d u l t e r e s s , t h a t she does not l i v e alone; that perhaps she d i d not a c t a l o n e . The l a s t of the other f o r c e s o p e r a t i n g i n the p l a y i s thus presented here. 101 Klytemnestra i s nearly e n t i r e l y s i l e n t i n t h i s scene. Aegisthus gives his version of the death of Agamemnon after his entrance. To him there was only one motive for i t - the feast of Thyestes, which was the result of a dynastic struggle (1585). He does not mention the cause Kassandra does (1193 - Thyestes' adul-tery with his brother's wife), as i t weakens his case. Aegisthus claims that after Justice led him home from e x i l e , he devised the whole plan f o r the murder (1609) and thus k i l l e d Agamemnon, though he was absent at the time. Aegisthus, then, also sees himself as an agent of Dike and sees Klytemnestra as only a tool in his plot. The chorus' h o s t i l i t y , subdued by Klytemnestra i n the previous scene, i s f u l l y reawakened by Aegisthus' speech. They threaten him with stoning and curses (1616); Aegisthus responds with threats of prison and enforced hunger (1620-1621). The chorus c a l l him "^OJJI " (1625), who stayed home from b a t t l e , d e f i l i n g the bed of this man (^f>t , 1626) while planning t h i s fate for "a man, a general" (MSpS , s~rf>7n-nyZ» , 1627). They add that he didn't have the courage to k i l l Agamemnon himself (1635). Aegisthus, who shares the assumptions about women which the other males in the play have shown, explains that "Y0 %\U>SJ<. " (1636) was c l e a r l y the woman's part; Agamemnon would have recognized his old enemy. Where Klytemnestra was w i l l i n g to give away most of the wealth, Aegisthus now announces his intention of using Aga-memnon's wealth to rule the people (1638-1640). The chorus' early fears of tyrannical intent on the part of the k i l l e r s are 102 p a r t l y j u s t i f i e d , i t seems: A e g i s t h u s has such a m b i t i o n s , a l -t h o u g h K l y t e m n e s t r a , who a c t u a l l y p e r f o r m e d the murder, never mentions a d e s i r e t o r u l e at any t i m e . 4 5 The chorus repeat t h e i r a c c u s a t i o n of co w a r d i c e i n a l l o w -i n g a woman t o k i l l the k i n g (1643-1646). They now pr a y f o r the r e t u r n o f O r e s t e s (1646-1648). A e g i s t h u s responds t o t h i s t h r e a t by c a l l i n g up h i s guards ( 1650 ); t h e c h o r u s s q u a r e o f f f o r a f i g h t ; and o n l y now does K l y t e m n e s t r a speak, t o a v e r t bloodshed. She asks the " d e a r e s t o f men" (2 ^'^wr' XJSpZjJ , 1654) t h a t they work no f u r t h e r e v i l s ; a l r e a d y t h e r e a r e enough. She wishes t o a v o i d bloodshed ( 1 6 5 6 ) . She a d v i s e s the chorus t o dep a r t " b e f o r e d o i n g makes you s u f f e r " (y*i) 1t&&Ui) fyfjJrrs , 1658); c e r t a i n l y she has taken t h a t l e s s o n t o h e a r t . She speaks of h e r s e l f and A e g i s t h u s - and the cho r u s a l s o , p e r h a p s - as " u n f o r t u n a t e l y s t r u c k by the daemon's hoof" ( 1 6 6 0 ) and f e a r s f u r t h e r s o r r o w s . She ends her s h o r t s p e e c h "Thus you have t h e speech o f a woman ( yuJituos ), i f any t h i n k i t worth knowing" ( 1 6 6 1 ) . The d i s t a s t e f o r f u r t h e r bloodshed does not show a major change i n c h a r a c t e r , as some ( e g . M i c h e l i n i , 1979: 156) have thought. I t was o n l y Agamemnon's b l o o d she wanted and she thought the b l o o d s h e d would s t o p t h e r e . She would s t i l l p r e f e r t h i s t o be s o , but now t h a t she un d e r s t a n d s the daemonic a s p e c t o f the w o r l d , she i s a f r a i d t h a t i t w i l l not end her e , a f r a i d t h a t her s h e d d i n g of b l o o d w i l l l e a d t o more - a s , o f c o u r s e , i t w i l l . 103 She t r e a t s Aegisthus with respect and a f f e c t i o n , as a wife would, and does not challenge h i s misconceptions about her as she d i d tho s e of the chorus ( f o r i n s t a n c e at 277, 348 or 1401). The combination of c o n v e n t i o n a l w i f e l i n e s s and f e a r of the daemon, both changes, both appearing i n the same speech, might be s i g n i -f i c a n t , i n d i c a t i n g t h a t she wishes to appease the daemon by no longer being "unnatural" and beginning i n s t e a d to le a d an o r d i -nary feminine l i f e . Or, i t may be that towards A e g i s t h u s , with whom she l i v e s as a wife, and against whom she has no grudge, she i s prepared to behave i n a "normal" w i f e l y manner. Her l a s t l i n e (1661), however, which c e r t a i n l y sounds submissive, i s so reminiscent of l i n e 348 ('"TocJun -T-oi ^ ^ o s 4j ^ut>2 «\ufi$ ") - which was mock-humble and, i n f a c t , an answer to the chorus' previous doubts about women - that we should pause here. In f a c t , A e g i s t h u s does l i s t e n to the "\6yos ^uO^c^os »; imminent bloodshed i s averted by her i n t e r v e n t i o n . Her powers of pers u a s i o n are s t i l l i n t a c t , whatever e l s e may have changed. In f a c t , the audience would wonder i f , even here, she has s i m p l y manipulated both s i d e s to avert the thre a t of v i o l e n c e by a c t i n g f e a r f u l and feminine, as she manipulated Agamemnon i n t o t r e a d i n g the t a p e s t r i e s ; and here, as i n the t a p e s t r y scene, succeeded i n her i n t e n t . The exact p r o p o r t i o n s of t r u t h and p e r s u a s i o n i n t h i s speech, as i n her other speeches, cannot be p r e c i s e l y d e t e r -mined. Her fear of the f u t u r e i s probably r e a l , as i t was d e v e l -oped i n the previous scene. However, her use of that f e a r here and her show of a f f e c t i o n f o r Aegisthus, seem to me to be proof 104 o n l y that her a b i l i t y to say the r i g h t thing at the r i g h t time i s undiminished. Aegisthus grumbles and a few more i n s u l t s are traded; but Kl y t e m n e s t r a persuades him, i n the end, to pay no a t t e n t i o n to the "v a i n yappings" ((/A^urfei) , 1672) of the chorus. She speaks of the two of them as equal masters of the household (she does not, even now, speak of r u l i n g the c i t y ) and ends the pl a y hope-f u l l y , "&rjfo/<fi) . ..Wt\Os " (1673). They then enter the house. The l a s t l i n e of the scene and of the play i s hers, as the domi-nant c h a r a c t e r ; and even i n t h i s l a s t scene, a f t e r a l l that has happened, c o n t r o l of events has u l t i m a t e l y passed to Klytemnes-t r a . The c e n t r a l q u e s t i o n Aeschylus asks i n t h i s p l a y i s "Why d i d Agamemnon d i e ? " The answer i s revealed to be complex, to the s u r p r i s e of some of the c h a r a c t e r s and p a r t i c u l a r l y to Klytem-n e s t r a , who thought she was the answer. But the p l a y i s not about her crime, but Agamemnon's death; she was the p r o t a g o n i s t , not the purpose,.of the drama. She i s by f a r the most v i v i d and i n t e r e s t i n g c h a r a c t e r i n the p l a y . T h i s v i v i d n e s s i s the r e s u l t of s e v e r a l combined f a c -t o r s . In the a c t i o n of the play, she i s the major a c t o r : she seems to h e r s e l f and to the reader to c o n t r o l the e n t i r e world of the p l a y u n t i l the end of the ta p e s t r y scene, and i s throughout the p l a y the major human (and only v i s i b l e ) f o r c e a f f e c t i n g the a c t i o n . The i s s u e s r a i s e d i n the p l a y a l l i n v o l v e her, as a 105 p r i n c i p a l f i g u r e or major anomaly: i n the o p p o s i t i o n of male and female, she i s more masculine - that i s , i n t e l l i g e n t ( p o s s e s s i n g ), d e c i s i v e , a g gressive and powerful - than any man she en-counters; i n the o p p o s i t i o n of oikos and s o c i e t y , she r e p r e s e n t s the o i k o s even to the extent of k i l l i n g the head of the s o c i e t y f o r undervaluing household bonds; i n the o p p o s i t i o n of t r u t h and i l l u s i o n , of v i s u a l and v e r b a l meaning ( v e r b a l s k i l l s being ap-p r o p r i a t e to males), she has both the a b i l i t y to manipulate v i s -u a l symbols and the persuasion attendant on her formidable v e r b a l s k i l l s - she i s both more v i s u a l l y imaginative and more v e r b a l l y eloquent than any other s i n g l e c h a r a c t e r (except perhaps Kass-andra, who l a c k s , however, the a b i l i t y to co n v i n c e ) ; she i d e n t i -f i e s with J u s t i c e and i n f a c t a c t s as an agent not only of J u s -t i c e , but a l s o of E r i n y s and the daemon. The s u p e r n a t u r a l f o r c e s which u n i t e to k i l l Agamemnon u n i t e through her a c t . The v i v i d imagery of the play l i k e w i s e comes to center i n her, or i s used p r i m a r i l y by her from the beginning. She sees the world i n terms of f r u s t r a t e d or negated f e r t i l i t y , as a f r u s -t r a t e d mother h e r s e l f ; and negative f e r t i l i t y images, or ne g a t i v e n a t u r a l images, pervade the p l a y . She i s the c h i e f s a c r i f i c e r i n a p l a y t h i c k with s a c r i f i c e s . She i s the l i o n who turns i n t o a p r i e s t e s s of AT*} , the net which Zeus threw over Troy and which she used to k i l l her husband. She arranged the beacons and the s a c r i f i c i a l f i r e s , thus making even l i g h t the negative image i t becomes i n the p l a y . She i s c l o s e l y l i n k e d to the other d e s t r u c -t i v e f o r c e of the p l a y , her s i s t e r Helen. Her unnatural male/ 106 female c h a r a c t e r i s the c o n c r e t e , human m a n i f e s t a t i o n of the u n n a t u r a l world of the p l a y . Every image and every theme i n the p l a y , i n s h o r t , a t one time or another i s r e f l e c t e d i n Klytem-n e s t r a or seems to be i n her power. I f the p l a y were not as v i v i d , complex, and i n t e r e s t i n g as i t i s , n e i t h e r would Klytem-n e s t r a be. But t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n t r e a t s K l y t e m n e s t r a o n l y as a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of " f o r c e s " and "images", a w a l k i n g bundle of themes and m o t i v a t i o n s , symbolizing e v e r y t h i n g , nothing i n her-s e l f . K l y t e m n e s t r a 1 s p e r s o n a l i t y - her unique p e r s o n a l c h a r a c t e r - i s more than the sum of a l l of the f o r c e s and images i n the p l a y . T h i s p e r s o n a l i t y i s e v i d e n t i n a l l her speeches and i s i l l u m i n a t e d a l s o by the r e a c t i o n of the other c h a r a c t e r s to her. In her own speeches she i s shown as proud, c o n f i d e n t , e l o q u e n t , p e r s u a s i v e , and g i f t e d with a v i v i d i m a g i n a t i o n . She dominates every scene she i s i n except her contest with Kassandra (even K l y t e m n e s t r a could not compete s u c c e s s f u l l y with A p o l l o ) , but whenever she c o n f r o n t s s i m p l e human f o r c e s she triumphs. Even i n the l a s t scene of the p l a y , i n which she h a r d l y speaks at a l l , she u l t i m a t e l y g e t s her own way. Whatever the chorus may say, her power does not come s o l e l y from her p o s i t i o n as Queen; i t s p r i n g s from the a b i l i t y to w i e l d a u t h o r i t y which i s e v i d e n t i n e v e r y t h i n g she does. She shows at l e a s t one strong emotion, her h a t r e d of her husband. She i s a l s o capable of anger and perhaps, i n the end, f e a r . 107 T h e o t h e r c h a r a c t e r s h a v e d i f f e r e n t r e a c t i o n s t o h e r , d e p e n d i n g on t h e i r p o s i t i o n s and t h e i r k n o w l e d g e ; t h u s t h e y show d i f f e r e n t f a c e t s o f h e r p e r s o n t o u s . The watchman i s a f r a i d o f h e r a n d u n h a p p y i n h e r h o u s e . The c h o r u s c a n be p e r s u a d e d b y h e r , b u t remember t h e i r f e a r and d i s t r u s t o f h e r w h e n e v e r s h e i s n o t on s t a g e . K a s s a n d r a , whom K l y t e m n e s t r a w i l l k i l l , h a t e s h e r , w i l l n o t s u b m i t t o h e r and s e e s h e r as a m o n s t e r , a n o x i o u s f r e a k o f n a t u r e . Agamemnon t r e a t s h e r l i k e a f o o l i s h woman, w h i c h e r r o r l e a d s t o h i s d e a t h . A e g i s t h u s a l s o u n d e r e s t i m a t e s h e r i n t e l l i g e n c e , b u t seems w i l l i n g t o a c c e p t h e r l e a d . And t h o u g h t h e o t h e r c h a r a c t e r s a r e c a p a b l e o f d i s p l a y i n g a f f e c t i o n f o r e a c h o t h e r ( a s t h e watchman and t h e c h o r u s do f o r Agamemnon, t h e c h o -r u s d o e s f o r K a s s a n d r a , Agamemnon f o r t h e c h o r u s a n d K a s s a n d r a , a n d K l y t e m n e s t r a f o r A e g i s t h u s ) , no c h a r a c t e r , n o t e v e n A e g i s -t h u s , shows t h e s l i g h t e s t s i g n o f p e r s o n a l l i k i n g o r l o y a l t y f o r K l y t e m n e s t r a . K l y t e m n e s t r a i s t h e v e h i c l e o f J u s t i c e i n t h i s p l a y a n d t h e e x p r e s s i o n o f many o t h e r f a c e t s o f t h e Agamemnon. Her f u n c -t i o n a s a v e h i c l e o f t h e themes o f t h e p l a y i s an i n t r i n s i c p a r t o f h e r r o l e a n d , no r e a d e r c a n - or s h o u l d - i g n o r e i t . B u t w i t h i n t h a t c o n t e x t , t h e K l y t e m n e s t r a who e n t h r a l l s t h e c h o r u s w i t h h e r d e s c r i p t i o n s o f T r o y , who i s i r r i t a t e d when t h e c h o r u s u n d e r e s t i m a t e h e r a n d e n r a g e d when K a s s a n d r a i g n o r e s h e r , who k i l l s h e r h u s b a n d a n d r e j o i c e s o u t r a g e o u s l y i n t h e d e e d - a n d o n l y l a t e r b e g i n s t o c o n s i d e r what t h e c o n s e q u e n c e s m i g h t b e -108 l e a v e s most s t r o n g l y , a t t h e end o f t h e p l a y , t h e i m p r e s s i o n an i n t e n s e and v i v i d p e r s o n a l i t y . 109 NOTES ^ h e r e has been so much argument o v e r t h e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f c h a r a c t e r i n G r e e k t r a g e d y i n r e c e n t y e a r s t h a t I h a d b e t t e r d i s c u s s i t b e f o r e I go f a r t h e r . By " p e r s o n " I do n o t o f c o u r s e mean " l i v i n g , b r e a t h i n g human b e i n g who has an e n t i r e l i f e , mere g l i m p s e s o f w h i c h c a n be s e e n on s t a g e and t h e r e s t o f w h i c h may be r e c o n s t r u c t e d , or assumed t o e x i s t , e x a c t l y a s t h e p r i v a t e l i v e s o f t h o s e humans we meet e v e r y day can be assumed o r r e c o n -s t r u c t e d . " L e a v i n g a s i d e t h e p o i n t t h a t , e v e n w i t h a human b e i n g , a t t e m p t s t o r e c o n s t r u c t t h e p a r t s o f a l i f e w h i c h a r e unknown t o us on t h e b a s i s o f t h o s e w h i c h a r e known a r e a l m o s t a l w a y s f u t i l e , I a g r e e t h a t t h e t e x t o f Greek t r a g e d y does n o t i n f a c t s u g g e s t t h a t t h e r e a d e r e v e r make s u c h a t t e m p t s . The r e a d e r i s n e v e r l e d t o b e l i e v e , f o r i n s t a n c e , t h a t A e s c h y l u s wanted t h e a u d i e n c e t o i n v e n t an e r r a n d t o t a k e K l y t e m n e s t r a o f f s t a g e e v e r y t i m e she e x i t s , u n l e s s an o f f s t a g e a c t i v i t y i s a c t u a l l y m e n t i o n e d by someone on s t a g e . As G o u l d (1978: 44) p o i n t s o u t , when c o n -s i d e r i n g a d r a m a t i c c h a r a c t e r , what t h e r e i s on s t a g e i s n o t m e r e l y a l l we c a n see; i t i s a l l t h e r e i s . F o r t h a t r e a s o n , t h e r e a d e r c a n n o t i n v e n t what he has not been t o l d ; t o do so i s n o t t o e x p l a i n t h e s t o r y a t hand, but t o t e l l a d i f f e r e n t one. A t t h e same t i m e , an a p p r o a c h w h i c h i n t e r p r e t s t h e l i n e s a t t r i b u t e d t o K l y t e m n e s t r a , o r any o t h e r c h a r a c t e r , as o n l y l i n e s o f p o e t r y s u i t a b l e t o t h a t s c e n e i n t h e p l a y , d e l i v e r e d by one. c h a r a c t e r r a t h e r t h a n a n o t h e r a c c o r d i n g t o p r i n c i p l e s o f " d r a m a t i c e f f e c t -i v e n e s s " , c o n v e n i e n c e , and o n l y t h e b r o a d e s t c r i t e r i a o f s u i t a -b i l i t y t o t h e s p e c i f i c c h a r a c t e r ( i n whom one need see l i t t l e o r no c o n s i s t e n c y ) m i s s e s a g r e a t d e a l o f t h e o b v i o u s c o n s i s t e n c y a n d p e r s o n a l i t y w h i c h c h a r a c t e r s i n A e s c h y l u s - p a r t i c u l a r l y K l y t e m n e s t r a - c e r t a i n l y do have. P e r h a p s i t i s wrong t o t r y t o d e d u c e K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s i n n e r s o u l f r o m t h e l i n e s s h e s p e a k s . However, i t i s c e r t a i n l y wrong t o i g n o r e t h e c o n s i s t e n c y i n t h o s e l i n e s and t h u s deny t h e p e r s o n a l c h a r a c t e r who s p e a k s them. Dawe ( 1 9 6 3 : 21) was r i g h t t o q u e s t i o n t h e p r e m i s e t h a t c h a r a c t e r i -z a t i o n i n A e s c h y l u s i s c o n s i s t e n t , as had h i t h e r t o s i m p l y been a ssumed. However, h i s c o n c l u s i o n - t h a t i t i s not c o n s i s t e n t -i s m i s t a k e n . F a r more o f A e s c h y l u s c a n be e x p l a i n e d w i t h o u t s t r a i n i n g i f one assumes c o n s i s t e n c y o f c h a r a c t e r t h a n i f one i g n o r e s and e x p l a i n s away t h e c o n s i s t e n c y w h i c h a c t u a l l y e x i s t s , as Dawe was i n p l a c e s f o r c e d t o do. In s a y i n g t h a t K l y t e m n e s t r a i s a " p e r s o n " I s i m p l y mean, f i r s t , t h a t her c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n i n t h e p l a y i s c o n s i s t e n t , and s e c o n d , t h a t many o f h e r l i n e s j u s t do n o t f i t an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f h e r c h a r a c t e r as n o t h i n g more t h a n a v e h i c l e f o r a theme, a " d r a m a t i c e f f e c t " an i d e o l o g y o r a s u p e r n a t u r a l f o r c e . The e a s i e s t way t o e x p l a i n t h e s e l i n e s i s t o a c c e p t them as e x p r e s s i o n s o f a p e r s o n a l c h a r a c t e r beyond t h o s e themes and c o n f l i c t s w h i c h she c e r t a i n l y a l s o r e p r e s e n t s . t r a n s l a t i o n s a r e my own. The G r e e k t e x t u s e d , e x c e p t where n o t e d , i s t h a t o f D e n n i s t o n , Page ( 1 9 5 7 ) . 3 S e e A p p e n d i x A. 110 4See Appendix B. 5 M i c h e l i n i (1974: 525 n.2) p o i n t s out t h a t the ch o r u s ' address - and Agamemnon's l a t e r "daughter of Leda" - should be taken as i n n o c e n t l y s a i d , f o r "with two such f a m i l y h i s t o r i e s , a l l u s i o n s to an c e s t r y can ha r d l y be without i r o n y , to the a u d i -ence at l e a s t " . Thus, the chorus can be assumed to have intended no double meaning, but the audience can be expected to have un-derstood one. 6 I t has been suggested by Denniston, Page (1957: n. ad l o c . ) and the s c h o l i a s t on t h i s l i n e that by " s o l e - g u a r d i n g b u l -wark" the c h o r u s mean themselves, not K l y t e m n e s t r a , on the grounds that they fear and m i s t r u s t Klytemnestra and would n e i -ther r e f e r to her as a defence nor hope that a l l would happen as she d e s i r e s . T h i s i s r e a s o n a b l e , except t h a t i t i s a t y p i c a l i n t r o d u c t o r y comment on the entrance of a major c h a r a c t e r and that the f e a r s and doubts of the chorus before t h i s comment and a f t e r i t are not n e a r l y so s p e c i f i c as t h i s : they do not r e f e r d i r e c t l y t o Klyte m n e s t r a as the danger they f e a r elsewhere i n t h i s passage and i t would be odd i f they d i d so here and then f o r g o t i t i n favour of d i s m i s s i n g her as a f a n c i f u l , g u l l i b l e woman l a t e r on (eg. 4 8 2 f f . ) . I am i n c l i n e d to thi n k t h e r e f o r e t h a t they speak, w i t h formal r e s p e c t , of K l y t e m n e s t r a . T h e i r immediate address to her, e s s e n t i a l l y as the s o l e keeper of the throne i n the absence of i t s owner (who i s the proper "bulwark of the land") would seem to confirm t h i s reading. 7Por a f a s c i n a t i n g d i s c u s s i o n of the chorus' s e a r c h f o r t r u t h throughout the Agamemnon see G o l d h i l l (1984: ch. 1). 8 I n l i n e 1669 the chorus, angry at Aegist h u s , t e l l him t o " f a t t e n h i m s e l f " ( ) on (presumably v a i n ) hopes. I f the i m p l i c a t i o n s of nnM™ a r e the same i n both l i n e s , i t must imply here that she has been convinced by evidence she should not have t r u s t e d . The c h o i c e o f word may i n a d d i t i o n be d e l i b e r a t e l y o f f e n s i v e . 9 I would t h e r e f o r e l i k e to add my v o i c e to the chorus of disagreement at Dawe's comment (1963: 50) that Klytemnestra i s i n the beacon speech " l i t t l e more than a mouthpiece f o r Aeschylean i a m b i c s " , through which Aeschylus indulges h i s p a s s i o n f o r geo-graphy. Were t h i s so i t would h a r d l y f i t the p l a y and Klytemnes-t r a , as w e l l as i t does. Perhaps, as he says, the l i n e s do not f i t a "wronged mother or a f a i t h l e s s wife"; but they s u i t a pow-e r f u l Queen. 1 0 " S e m i o t i c s i s concerned with e v e r y t h i n g t h a t can be taken as a s i g n ... Thus s e m i o t i c s i s i n p r i n c i p l e the d i s c i p l i n e s t u d y i n g e v e r y t h i n g which can be used i n order to l i e . " (Eco, 1979: 7.) I l l n T h i s shows up e s p e c i a l l y i n the image of "doubling the post of a double course" («i/*^«t S<.*6\oo , 344) on the homeward journey, or "may the c a p t u r e r s not i n turn be captured!" G o l d h i l l d i s c u s s e s t h i s at greater length (1984: 42). 1 2She omits the mourning^ of parents f o r c h i l d r e n , but t h a t o f c h i l d r e n f o r p a r e n t s (ir*t$tf ^ipoOywO , 328) would p e r h a p s suggest i t . (See Gantz 1977: 31 n. 32.) 1 3 G o l d h i l l (1984: 44) t h i n k s that only c o r r u p t T>f<*" uses f o r c e - eg. Aegisthus and P a r i s . He a l s o speaks of f a l s e T I L » J , which K l y t e m n e s t r a uses, to " f a l s i f y the r e l a t i o n s h i p between speaker and l i s t e n e r " ; and impotent nu*<J , l i k e Kassandra's. The chorus at t h i s j u n c t u r e , however, c l e a r l y think of a l l as f o r c e f u l and born of e v i l . 1 4Jones (1962: 84) p o i n t s t h i s out and adds that the con-n e c t i o n between the two b r o t h e r s keeps the a c t i o n t o the one o i k o s A e s c h y l u s i s i n t e r e s t e d i n . C e r t a i n l y i t s i m p l i f i e s the m a t t e r . He i s c o r r e c t i n t h i n k i n g that the household, not the p o l i s , i s the focus of a t t e n t i o n i n t h i s p l a y and that the c h a r -a c t e r s are a l l shown i n t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p to the o i k o s and t h e i r e f f e c t on i t . He i s wrong, however, i n t h i n k i n g that the c h a r a c -t e r s are o n l y u n i t s of the o i k o s , with no concept of i n d i v i d u a l w i l l or p e r s o n a l g u i l t (1962: 93-94). Were that so, the long and e x t e n s i v e d i s c u s s i o n s of p o s s i b l e motives f o r t h e i r a c t i o n s would never a r i s e . G o l d h i l l (1984: 46) a l s o goes a l i t t l e too f a r i n s a y i n g that the c h a r a c t e r s are not i n d i v i d u a l s , but p a r t s of the o i k o s . I f t h i s were true we would be unable to understand them and be u n i n t e r e s t e d i n them. Furthermore, i f they had no w i l l s of t h e i r own, s u r e l y they would act only i n harmony with the good of the o i k o s . The bonds of the oikos are c e r t a i n l y s t r o n g e r i n t h i s p l a y than they are i n most North American households now, but they are not the only f a c t o r which a f f e c t s the a c t i o n . I t i s the c o n f l i c t between the i n d i v i d u a l w i l l s of the c h a r a c t e r s and the good of the o i k o s which produces the a c t i o n of t h i s p l a y . Without i n d i v i d u a l w i l l s there would be no p l a y . In t h i s s t a s i -mon, however, i t i s true that the p r i n c i p a l concern of the chorus i s the o i k o s and that t h e i r i n t e r e s t i n i n d i v i d u a l s i s l i m i t e d to t h e i r e f f e c t on the o i k o s . 1 5 G o l d h i l l (1984: 41) developed t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . I t ' s not e n t i r e l y c o n v i n c i n g , but has the merit of e x p l a i n i n g a l i n e which has been wholly i n e x p l i c a b l e by anyone e l s e . 1 6489-500 are c e r t a i n l y spoken by the chorus, d e s p i t e the m a n u s c r i p t a t t r i b u t i o n of t h e s e l i n e s to K l y t e m n e s t r a . (See Appendix B, ). 1 7 P e r a d o t t o (1964: passim). I am indebted to t h i s a r t i c l e f o r n e a r l y every comment I make on any nature imagery i n the p l a y . 112 i a T h e s e l i n e s a p p e a r t o r e f e r t o t h e c h o r u s ' comments a t 475 f f . , b u t she c o u l d not have been on s t a g e t h e n (App. B,XXX XXX) . One c o u l d e x p l a i n h e r words as r e f e r r i n g i n f a c t t o a c o m b i n a t i o n o f t h e c h o r u s ' q u e s t i o n s a t 268-280 and t h e i r d i s b e -l i e f a t 317-319, p l u s t h e i r o b v i o u s m i s o g y n y , t o w h i c h K l y t e m n e s -t r a has a p p l i e d h e r t a l e n t f o r e x t r a p o l a t i o n . T h i s i s u n s a t i s -f a c t o r y , however; "how l i k e a woman t o be p e r s u a d e d and r e j o i c e a t a b e a c o n " i s t o o c l o s e t o t h e c h o r u s ' comments a t 479-482 f o r h e r t o be r e f e r r i n g t o a n y t h i n g e l s e . To g r a n t h e r s e e r ' s powers f o r s u c h a t r i v i a l m a t t e r now, when we have d e n i e d them f o r h e r m a j o r s p e e c h e s , i s a b s u r d . P e r h a p s e x t r a p o l a t i o n i s t h e c o r r e c t answer; o r p e r h a p s t h e r u l e s about how much o f t h e p l a y o c c u r r i n g o n s t a g e an o f f s t a g e c h a r a c t e r was a l l o w e d t o "know" were l o o s e r f o r A e s c h y l u s t h a n N o e l Coward (w h i c h s t r i k e s me as more l i k e l y ) . P e r h a p s s h e was j u s t i n s i d e t h e d o o r . I have n o t -been a b l e t o t h i n k o f a w a t e r t i g h t e x p l a n a t i o n f o r t h i s , b u t I t h i n k i t i s i m p o s s i b l e , n e v e r t h e l e s s , f o r her t o have been o n s t a g e . 1 9 I t i s not n e c e s s a r y t o see " t h e l a n g u a g e e s c a p i n g e v e n ( K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s ) ... c o n t r o l " h e r e , as G o l d h i l l (1984: 56-57) d o e s . Why s h o u l d she be u n c o n s c i o u s o f , or not i n t e n d , t h e c o n -n o t a t i o n has t h a t she i s u n f a i t h f u l ? G i v e n t h e c o u r s e o f t h e r e s t o f t h e p l a y , i t seems more l i k e l y t h a t , h e r e as e l s e -where, she f u l l y i n t e n d s any d o u b l e meaning she u t t e r s and t h a t i t i s h e r i n t e r l o c u t o r s who m i s s them. 2 0One s h o u l d n o t c h o o s e one m eaning o f " 1 1 o v e r t h e o t h e r as t h e " c o r r e c t " i n t e r p r e t a t i o n ; i f a word has two c o n n o t a -t i o n s ( o r m o r e ) , e a c h s h o u l d be remembered. T h i s i s p r o b a b l y t h e moment t o s a y t h a t I a g r e e w h o l e h e a r t e d l y w i t h Aya B e t e n s k y ' s a p p r o a c h t o K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s s p e e c h e s . As B e t e n s k y ( 1 9 7 8 : 13) p o i n t s o u t , i t i s not s e n s i b l e t o a c c e p t t h e m u l t i p l e m e a n i n g s , i n v o l v i n g p a s t , p r e s e n t and f u t u r e , o f t h e c h o r a l o d e s , as mean-i n g f u l , o n l y t o d i s m i s s K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s e q u a l l y m u l t i - l e v e l l e d s p e e c h e s as m e r e l y " h y p o c r i t i c a l " o r " f u l s o m e " . Such d e s c r i p -t i o n s t e l l s us l i t t l e a b o u t t h e s p e e c h e s a n d p r e j u d i c e o n e ' s r e a d i n g o f K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s c h a r a c t e r . 2 1 G o l d h i l l (1984 : 57) t h i n k s t h e u s e o f " ^ V ^ v " (616) r e f e r s t o t h e v i s u a l r a t h e r t h a n v e r b a l modes o f p r o o f and t h a t t h e c h o r u s use i t t o show t h a t K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s s p e e c h i s m i s l e a d -i n g , as v i s u a l knowledge t e n d s i n t h e i r o p i n i o n t o be. T h i s i s s e n s i b l e enough, but t h e c h o r u s do not a t t a c h so much i m p o r t a n c e t o t h e i r s t a t e m e n t as t o a l l o w us t o make much o f i t o u r s e l v e s . T h i s i s no more t h a n a p a s s i n g r e f e r e n c e t o t h e i r d o u b t o f K l y -t e m n e s t r a . 2 2 0 n e c a n n o t be c e r t a i n t h a t , as G o l d h i l l (1984: 68) s u g -g e s t s , t h e a u d i e n c e would h e r e remember O d y s s e u s ' r e p u t a t i o n as a d e v i o u s l i a r , o r r e c a l l t h a t i t was O d y s s e u s who s u g g e s t e d t h e r u s e o f a m a r r i a g e t o A c h i l l e s t o draw I p h i g e n i a t o A u l i s . I f t h i s a s p e c t o f O d y s s e u s r e p u t a t i o n d i d come t o m i n d , G o l d h i l l b e l i e v e s t h a t i t would have t h e e f f e c t o f c a s t i n g d o u b t on A g a -113 memnon's a b i l i t y to judge character - the only man he c o n s i d e r s a l o y a l f r i e n d i s the most d e c e p t i v e and t r e a c h e r o u s of a l l the w a r r i o r s a t T r o y . However, an a u d i e n c e which remembered i t s Homer would r e c a l l that Odysseus d i d indeed always a c t i n Agamem-non's be s t i n t e r e s t s at Troy, and i n the end was the author of the ruse which won the war f o r him; so Agamemnon's judgement of h i s l o y a l t y i s not unreasonable. Moreover, while Odysseus' a b i l -i t i e s a t d e c e p t i o n and s t o r y - t e l l i n g were noted from e a r l i e s t t imes, they were not g e n e r a l l y condemned or thought dishonour-a b l e , i n extant l i t e r a t u r e at l e a s t , u n t i l the Athenian o r a t o r s of the l a t e r Peloponnesian war undertook to blacken h i s r e p u t a -t i o n , some t h i r t y years a f t e r the O r e s t e i a was produced. Pindar does condemn him i n Nemean 7 and 8; but there i s no evidence that t h i s judgement of Odysseus as not only i n v e n t i v e , but treacherous as w e l l , was an o p i n i o n g e n e r a l l y h e l d i n 458. Sophocles p o r -t r a y s Odysseus s y m p a t h e t i c a l l y i n the Ajax; i t i s not u n t i l the P h i l o c t e t e s , produced much l a t e r , t h a t Odysseus i s shown as a c a l l o u s and s e l f - s e r v i n g l i a r . The audience of 458 may then very w e l l have agreed with Agamemnon's judgement of Odysseus' c h a r a c -t e r ; a t l e a s t , we cannot say t h a t they d i d not. ( I n t e r e s t e d r e a d e r s s h o u l d see S t a n f o r d 1963: 8-24 and 81-117, who t r e a t s t h i s s u b j e c t i n g r e a t e r d e t a i l . ) 2 3 I am g r e a t l y indebted to t h i s a r t i c l e f o r much of my a n a l y s i s of t h i s scene. 2 4 I am not a b s o l u t e l y sure what e f f e c t these l i n e s would have on a f i r s t - t i m e audience. To anyone who knows the s t o r y , of course they sound l i k e wishes; but they may have sounded l i k e p e r f e c t l y o r d i n a r y wartime rumours to an audience accustomed to war. 2 5 G o l d h i l l (1984: 56) has some i n t e r e s t i n g comments on t h i s p o i n t . He r e c o g n i z e s that i t i s u s u a l l y Klytemnestra who makes t h i s s o r t of statement and t h i n k s i t i s because she, un-l i k e the r e s t , does not assume that words must be t r u e , because she i s accustomed to a r b i t r a r y d e f i n i t i o n s of them. I t h i n k he may take t h i s argument too f a r , but i t i s an i n t e r e s t i n g app-roach. 2 6Some c r i t i c s ( e s p e c i a l l y Betensky 1978: 16) have seen here an e x p r e s s i o n of f r u s t r a t e d maternity. The k i l l i n g of her daughter has " d r i e d up" the f e r t i l i t y of which t h i s daughter was the o n l y proof Klytemnestra accepted. (There are other c h i l d r e n , but they don't seem to matter to Klytemnestra; Orestes i s o n l y spoken of to e x p l a i n h i s absence and E l e c t r a i s not even men-t i o n e d i n t h i s p lay.) 2 7 I am i n d e b t e d to Betensky (1978: 16-19) f o r her d i s -c u s s i o n of t h i s passage, although I do not see a l l of the f e r t i l -i t y imagery she does here. 114 2 8Whallon (1980: 66-72) has argued that the t a p e s t r i e s may not n e c e s s a r i l y be blood coloured, or even reminiscent of blood. F i r s t , the d e c o r a t i o n s , whether woven or embroidered, would be e i t h e r geometric or p a r t l y geometric i n shape; i n e i t h e r case they would be too regular to c a l l to mind the i r r e g u l a r shape of b l o o d s t a i n s . Second, the term "ir°f0o/°£°t » w a s u s e d to d e s c r i b e a wide range of c o l o u r s , from v i o l e t - b l a c k t o v e r m i l i o n ; i t need not r e f e r to b l o o d - c o l o u r . T h i r d , a,no/«fy>f<>* " may have been used by Homer t o mean not " p u r p l e " , from the noun " -nop^y** " ( s h e l l -f i s h ) , but " t h r o b b i n g " , from the v e r b " » ( t o t h r o b ) . L a t e r a u t h o r s , he suggests, used the a d j e c t i v e not because i t d e s c r i b e d the c o l o u r of blood, which i t d i d not, but because i t was the word Homer used to d e s c r i b e b l o o d , and had become the t r a d i t i o n a l e p i t h e t . However, the audience w i l l not have been so c l o s e to the stage as to be able to d i s t i n g u i s h p e r f e c t l y between a r e g u l a r and an i r r e g u l a r b l o t c h of c o l o u r : nor should one a s -sume t h a t a b s o l u t e n a t u r a l i s t i c r e a l i s m i n such a matter would have been thought necessary by e i t h e r the p l a y w r i g h t or the a u d i -ence. Perhaps a r e a l b l o o d s t a i n would be i r r e g u l a r i n shape; a symbolic r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of one need not be. Any b l o o d - c o l o u r e d spot c o u l d c a l l to mind a b l o o d s t a i n . As f o r the c o l o u r , Goheen (1955: 115-117) has shown that while nro^i^ofot r e f e r r e d to many d i f f e r e n t c o l o u r s , the most h i g h l y - v a l u e d one seems to have been the c o l o u r of d r i e d b l o o d . Furthermore, f o l l o w i n g the r e c i p e g i v e n f o r T y r i a n purple (the most expensive dye) produced e x a c t l y t h a t c o l o u r , TO? juntos may have been the t r a d i t i o n a l Homeric d e s c r i p t i o n of blood, but seems thus to have been a f a i r l y a c c u -r a t e d e s c r i p t i o n of i t s c o l o u r as w e l l . The high economic v a l u e of these t a p e s t r i e s i s emphasized by both Klytemnestra and Aga-memnon, and i t makes sense to think that t h e i r ( a l s o emphasized) c o l o u r i s an aspect of that economic value - that the dye used was the most e x p e n s i v e one a v a i l a b l e , t h a t i s , the c o l o u r o f d r i e d blood. I b e l i e v e , t h e r e f o r e , that the d e c o r a t i o n an c o l o u r of the t a p e s t r i e s can be assumed to have reminded the audience very s t r o n g l y of b l o o d s t a i n s . 2 9What e x a c t l y were these re-™*/*-*™ " ( 909)? They were p r o b a b l y garments of some s o r t ( i f / ^ t t , 921), and bore e i t h e r embroidered or woven de c o r a t i o n s (nro^^k^O t 926). Whallon (1980: 64-66) argues p e r s u a s i v e l y that they were probably e i t h e r ffrrrXo<. or fapi* , both of which were blanket-shaped and c o u l d be spread o u t , were o f t e n d e s c r i b e d as embroidered, and ( p a r t i c u l a r l y 4*/i>tU ) were a p p r o p r i a t e a t t i r e f o r h i g h - r a n k i n g n o b l e s . I am l e s s c o n v i n c e d by h i s argument t h a t K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s use of the p l u r a l to d e s c r i b e them (eg. ti/*^^ r 960) i s an e x a g g e r a t i o n , and o n l y one Wiriot or tffrof i s i n f a c t spread out. The t e x t i t s e l f does not make c l e a r what the spread-out c l o t h s were: they a r e d e s c r i b e d v a r i o u s l y as c o v e r l e t s (909), garments (921), and footwipes (926). I think Whallon i s r i g h t i n d e s c r i b i n g them as garments, which the audience w i l l remember when the murder-robe i s d e s c r i b e d by Klytemnestra (1382-83) or d i s p l a y e d by Orestes i n the next p l a y . However, to preserve the ambiguity of the o r i g i -n a l t e x t , and because no one word i n E n g l i s h conveys a l l of these 115 meanings, I s h a l l r e f e r to them as " t a p e s t r i e s " . T h i s word at l e a s t has the n e c e s s a r y c o n n o t a t i o n s of d e c o r a t i o n and g r e a t expense. 3 0 I am not event. The i d e a ground to c l a i m i t no h i n t of i t i n thought. 3 1She i s r i g h t a l s o i n p o i n t i n g out t h a t s a y i n g "your speech was l o n g " was not n e c e s s a r i l y the i n s u l t to an a n c i e n t Greek that i t would be to us now. We think of a long speech as a d u l l one; there i s no reason to b e l i e v e that the Greeks d i d the same. ( C o n s i d e r i n g t h e i r admiration f o r o r a t o r y , i n f a c t , t h e r e i s every reason to b e l i e v e they d i d not.) 3 2 T h i s p o s i t i o n i s found elsewhere i n A e s c h y l u s and i s always shown as a p p r o p r i a t e f o r women and b a r b a r i a n s , u s u a l l y i n the worship of gods. (Couch, 1930: 316-318). 3 3"Not t h i n k i n g e v i l l y i s the g r e a t e s t g i f t of the gods", from a man whose mind was s e i z e d by r e c k l e s s d a r i n g and impiety at A u l i s ; "only c a l l b l e s s e d those who end t h e i r l i v e s i n p r o s -p e r i t y " , from a man i n h i s p o s i t i o n ; and f i n a l l y , " i f I should a c t (or "should have acted") t h i s way i n a l l t h i n g s , I would be f u l l of c o n f i d e n c e " , from a man who has not a c t e d thus i n the past and who i s about to make the same mistake again. 3 4 T h e s e l i n e s a r e an e x c e l l e n t example o f the use o f s t i c h o m y t h i a to f u r t h e r the a c t i o n . Throughout, Agamemnon i s c o n s i s t e n t l y c u t o f f b e f o r e he can muster a s t r o n g argument a g a i n s t Klytemnestra's p o s i t i o n . (See Gould, 1978: 55). 3 5 I have here accepted the emendations of t h i s l i n e sug-gested by W e i l l (Kpa^s ), Bothe ( -^ciV ) and Wecklein ( d e l . W ) r a t h e r t h a n the d i f f i c u l t m a n u s c r i p t r e a d i n g ("nteoZ -vpS-ros z^ijroc 'HJ.fti y !<<w>) " ) • Fraenkel (1950: n. ad l o c . ) a c c e p t s these emendations i n h i s t e x t , and Denniston, Page (1957: n. ad l o c . ) speak f a v o u r a b l y of them, but r e t a i n the manuscript t e x t and o b e l i z e " Kp£y0i . . . y ". Even o m i t t i n g the p o r t i o n o b e l i z e d by Denniston, Page, the general sense "be persuaded ... w i l l i n g l y by me" remains, and the presence of some form of the word " " a t l e a s t i n d i c a t e s t h a t power, or the l o s s of i t , i s a t i s s u e . Presumably, Klytemnestra would wish to reassure Agamemnon at t h i s p o i n t that there was no l o s s of power (or face) i n v o l v e d i n g i v i n g i n to her w i l l i n g l y ; i t i s d i f f i c u l t to t h i n k of ano-ther reason f o r her to mention vpirtoi. T n e suggested emendations do produce such a reassurance. However, even without the emend-a t i o n s , the sense of a request f o r w i l l i n g obedience i n response to Agamemnon's l a s t q u e s t i o n ("does i t r e a l l y mean so much t o you?", 942) i s preserved. T h i s request i s i t s e l f s u f f i c i e n t to c e r t a i n that t h i s was the Greek view of the t h a t the king must p h y s i c a l l y set f o o t on the sounds more medieval to me; furthermore, I see the t e x t here. However, i t ' s an i n t e r e s t i n g 116 s u p p o r t t h e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h e s c e n e w h i c h I have p r e s e n t e d h e r e . 3 6 I t h i n k t h a t B e t e n s k y (1978: 15) o v e r e m p h a s i z e s t h e s e l i n e s when she s a y s t h a t K l y t e m n e s t r a e a g e r l y d e s i r e d h e r h u s b a n d t o come home s a f e l y so t h a t she c o u l d k i l l him h e r s e l f . P e r h a p s some o f t h e e a g e r n e s s she shows i s s i n c e r e and e x i s t s f o r t h e r e a s o n B e t e n s k y s u g g e s t s ; p e r h a p s i t i s w h o l l y s i m u l a t e d ; t h e r e i s no way o f knowing. I t i s my f e e l i n g t h a t K l y t e m n e s t r a w o u l d n o t have l i f t e d a f i n g e r t o s a v e her husband's l i f e and t h a n any p l e a s u r e s h e e x p r e s s e s i n h i s s a f e a r r i v a l i s w h o l l y h y p o c r i t -i c a l ; b u t t h a t i s p e r h a p s g o i n g t o o f a r i n t h e o p p o s i t e d i r e c -t i o n . T h i s i s n o t one o f t h e q u e s t i o n s t o w h i c h A e s c h y l u s s u p -p l i e d an answer. 3 7 I am i n d e b t e d t o B e t e n s k y (1978: 19) f o r h e r a n a l y s i s o f n e g a t i v e f e r t i l i t y i m a g e r y i n t h i s p a s s a g e . 3 8 W i n n i n g t o n - I n g r a m ' s e x p l a n a t i o n - t h a t t h e d a u g h t e r o f P r i a m does n o t f e e l she need g i v e way t o t h e w i f e o f a h a l f - c i v i -l i z e d G r e e k p r i n c e (1948: 134) - i s an i n t e r e s t i n g e x p l a n a t i o n . He o v e r - e m p h a s i z e s i t , b u t some shade o f t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s t r u e : K a s s a n d r a has a g r e a t d e a l o f p r i d e , as K l y t e m n e s t r a r e -c o g n i z e s and - whether b e c a u s e o f her a n c e s t r y , o r f o r some o t h e r r e a s o n - she does not t o l e r a t e b e i n g t r e a t e d as a s l a v e , e x c e p t by A p o l l o . 3 9 G o l d h i l l ' s d i s c u s s i o n o f t h i s s c e n e (1984: 81-88) d e a l s w i t h t h e exchange o f l a n g u a g e t h r o u g h o u t v e r y t h o r o u g h l y . 4 0 I a s k e d a f r i e n d who grew up on a b e e f f a r m a b o u t t h i s (by way o f v e r i f i c a t i o n ) and i t was t h e f i r s t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n he t h o u g h t o f when t h e l i n e was q u o t e d t o him. 4 1 A s c i t e d i n A n d e r s o n (1929:'136-138). 4 2 S e e Dodds ( I 9 6 0 : 30) f o r a much more d e t a i l e d a n a l y s i s o f t h e l e a r n i n g K l y t e m n e s t r a d o e s , h e r e and l a t e r , a b o u t t h e t r u e n a t u r e o f t h e w o r l d she i n h a b i t s . 4 3 I n t e r e s t e d r e a d e r s s h o u l d see Co n a c h e r (1974: 324-329) and Dodds (1960: 29-31) f o r u s e f u l a n a l y s e s o f t h i s s c e n e . I am i n d e b t e d a l s o t o G o l d h i l l (1984: 89-98) i n my d i s c u s s i o n o f t h e kommos, though more f o r t h e method o f a t t a c k t h a n t h e c o n c l u s i o n s r e a c h e d . 4 4 I do n o t a g r e e w i t h W i n n i n g t o n - I n g r a m (1948: 135) t h a t K l y t e m n e s t r a i s j e a l o u s not o f t h e o t h e r women's s e x u a l r e l a t i o n -s h i p w i t h Agamemnon, b u t r a t h e r o f t h e i r s h a r i n g h i s m i l i t a r y l i f e - C h r y s e i s a t T r o y , K a s s a n d r a on t h e s h i p - w h i l e s h e , w i t h a temperament more a c t i v e and m i l i t a r y even t h a n Agamemnon's, was f o r g o t t e n a t home. K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s a g g r e s s i v e n a t u r e makes t h i s 117 an a t t r a c t i v e h y p o t h e s i s , but I see no s i g n of t h i s reason f o r j e a l o u s y i n the t e x t . 4 5 I think t h i s must stand as an answer to Winnington-Ing-ram's t h e s i s (1948: passim), at l e a s t as f a r as the Agamemnon i s concerned. L i k e Z e i t l i n ' s a r t i c l e , Winnington-Ingram's e x p l a i n s some elements of the Eumenides w e l l ; but they are both wrong i n r e a d i n g i n t o t h i s p l a y (or the next) any p o l i t i c a l ambition i n Klytemnestra - at l e a s t , I can f i n d none. 118 APPENDIX A THE ORESTEIA TRADITION AND AESCHYLUS' INNOVATIONS A e s c h y l u s ' v e r s i o n o f t h e d e a t h o f Agamemnon, i n manner and m o t i v e , was s t r i k i n g l y d i f f e r e n t f r o m t h e v e r s i o n o f t h e myth w h i c h p r e v a i l e d i n h i s e r a o r i n t h e p r e c e d i n g t r a d i t i o n . When a p l a y w r i g h t goes a g a i n s t h i s a u d i e n c e ' s e x p e c t a t i o n s o f a s t o r y i n s u c h i m p o r t a n t ways, one c a n assume t h a t i t was i n t e n d e d t o be n o t i c e d and t h a t t h e changes a r e i m p o r t a n t t o t h e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h e p l a y . T h i s A p p e n d i x w i l l show t h a t A e s c h y l u s d i d make i m p o r t a n t c h a n g e s i n h i s v e r s i o n o f t h e myth, by d i s c u s s i n g what e v i d e n c e e x i s t s f o r o t h e r v e r s i o n s . T h i s argument c a n n o t be c o n c l u s i v e , a s a g r e a t d e a l o f i n f o r m a t i o n has been l o s t a n d much o f t h e argument i s c o n s e q u e n t l y f r o m s i l e n c e . However, a s s u m p t i o n s have been made a b o u t p r e c u r s o r s t o t h e O r e s t e i a w h i c h a r e not j u s t i -f i e d by t h e a v a i l a b l e e v i d e n c e and which e i t h e r i n v e n t u n v e r i f i -a b l e t h e o r i e s or i g n o r e some o f t h e l i t t l e t h a t i s known. I w i l l t r y t o a v o i d b o t h o f t h e s e e r r o r s . The s t o r y o f t h e f a t a l homecoming o f t h e c o n q u e r o r o f T r o y h a d e x i s t e d a t l e a s t s i n c e t h e t i m e o f Homer and i n t h e m i n o r d e t a i l s t h e r e were many v a r i a t i o n s . The p l a c e v a r i e d f r o m one a u t h o r t o t h e n e x t - Homer p u t i t i n A e g i s t h u s ' h o u s e o u t s i d e M y c e n a e (Od. 3.304, 4 . 5 1 7 - 5 1 8 ) , S t e s i c h o r u s a n d S i m o n i d e s i n S p a r t a 1 , P i n d a r a t Amyclae ( P y t h . XI.32) and A e s c h y l u s a t A r g o s . Some o f t h e s e changes o f c i t y were u n d o u b t e d l y made by t h e p o e t 119 f o r p o l i t i c a l r e a s o n s ( s e e C o s t a , 1962; 23-28), but t h e y d i d n o t o t h e r w i s e a f f e c t t h e s t o r y . The a v e n g i n g s o n , who had a memor-a b l e r o l e , i s O r e s t e s i n a l l s o u r c e s , but t h e names o f t h e d a u g h -t e r s v a r i e d . I n Homer, t h e r e a r e t h r e e d a u g h t e r s , I p h i a n a s s a , L a o d i k e and C h r y s o t h e m i s ( I I . 9.145) 2. In a r e c e n t l y p u b l i s h e d H e s i o d i c f r a g m e n t 3 t h e r e a r e two d a u g h t e r s , E l e c t r a and Iphimede (5 a , 1 . 4-5). Iphimede can be i d e n t i f i e d w i t h I p h i g e n i a , b e c a u s e i n t h e f r a g m e n t Iphimede i s s a c r i f i c e d t o A r t e m i s , as I p h i g e n i a i s i n t h e p l a y ; L a o d i k e and E l e c t r a a r e e q u a t e d by a s e v e n t h -c e n t u r y w e s t e r n p o e t , X a n t h o s , who e x p l a i n s t h a t t h i s d a u g h t e r was named L a o d i k e , but a c q u i r e d t h e nickname E l e c t r a ("Unchosen") b e c a u s e s h e c o u l d n o t m a r r y . 4 I n A e s c h y l u s t h e c h i l d r e n a r e I p h i g e n i a , E l e c t r a and O r e s t e s ; C h r y s o t h e m i s r e a p p e a r s i n S o p h o c -l e s . T h e s e c hanges a r e f o r t h e most p a r t u n i m p o r t a n t 5 ; b u t e v e n t h e m o t i v e and i d e n t i t y o f t h e m u r d e r e r v a r i e d i n d i f f e r e n t v e r -s i o n s and were g r e a t l y a l t e r e d i n A e s c h y l u s ' hands. From t h e e a r l i e s t t i m e s t h e r e c o r d o f a r t shows e v i d e n c e o f two d i f f e r e n t v e r s i o n s o f t h e s t o r y . In t h e e a r l i e s t s u r v i v -i n g d e p i c t i o n o f t h e d e a t h o f Agamemnon, a t e r r a c o t t a p i n a x f o u n d a t G o r t y n , C r e t e , K l y t e m n e s t r a i s t h e k i l l e r . ( D a v i e s , 1969: 229-230.) I n t h i s r e l i e f , d a t e d t o t h e s e c o n d q u a r t e r o f t h e s e v e n t h c e n t u r y , Agamemnon i s shown e n t h r o n e d and h o l d i n g h i s s p e a r d i a -g o n a l l y b e f o r e him, i n t h e s t y l e o f a w a r r i o r - k i n g . K l y t e m n e s -t r a , on t h e r i g h t , w e a r i n g a l o n g C r e t a n gown, i s a b o u t t o s t a b him w i t h a d a g g e r she h o l d s i n h e r r i g h t h a n d . A e g i s t h u s a p -p r o a c h e s f r o m b e h i n d Agamemnon and has g r a s p e d Agamemnon's s p e a r 120 t i p w i t h h i s l e f t hand o v e r Agamemnon's s h o u l d e r , w h i l e w i t h h i s r i g h t he h o l d s , o r d r o p s , some s o r t o f f a b r i c (a n e t ? ) o v e r A g a -memnon's head. On a s t e a t i t e d i s k s e a l f r o m c e n t r a l C r e t e , d a t e d t o t h e same p e r i o d o r a l i t t l e e a r l i e r , K l y t e m n e s t r a i s a g a i n shown s t a b b i n g a s e a t e d Agamemnon; A e g i s t h u s does n o t a p p e a r a t a l l . ( D a v i e s 1969: 224-228). F i n a l l y , on two e a r l y s i x t h c e n -t u r y b r o n z e r e l i e f s from s h i e l d s t r a p s , one f o u n d a t O l y m p i a and one a t A i g i n a , A e g i s t h u s i s shown p i n n i n g Agamemnon w h i l e K l y -t e m n e s t r a s t a b s him i n t h e back. (Vermeule 1966: 1 3 ) . The f a c t t h a t t h e e a r l i e s t r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s a r e C r e t a n i n o r i g i n and s t y l e m i g h t l e a d one t o s u s p e c t t h a t t h e r e e x i s t e d an e a r l y C r e t a n v e r s i o n o f t h e myth i n which t h e Queen was t h e p r o t a g o n i s t 6 . In t h e o t h e r t r a d i t i o n , s e e n more i n A t t i c v a s e - p a i n t i n g , A e g i s t h u s i s t h e k i l l e r . In f a c t t h e r e i s o n l y one s u r v i v i n g p a i n t i n g o f t h e d e a t h o f Agamemnon b e f o r e t h e f i f t h c e n t u r y , t h e p r o t o - A t t i c v a s e o f t h e Ram J u g P a i n t e r , d a t e d t o t h e s e c o n d q u a r t e r o f t h e s e v e n t h c e n t u r y . ( D a v i e s 1969: 252-256 ) . 7 I n t h i s p a i n t i n g one man, sword i n hand, s t a n d s b e h i n d a n o t h e r man and w i t h h i s f r e e hand p u l l s a n e t o v e r t h e head o f t h e man b e -f o r e him. A woman s t a n d s i n f r o n t o f t h e p a i r , f a c i n g away f r o m them an d t e a r i n g h e r c h e e k s i n d e s p a i r . The armed man i s com-monly i d e n t i f i e d as A e g i s t h u s and h i s v i c t i m as Agamemnon. A s i d e f r o m t h i s p a i n t i n g , no o t h e r d e p i c t i o n s o f t h e d e a t h o f Agamemnon a r e f o u n d u n t i l t h e f i f t h c e n t u r y ; t h e s c e n e f r o m t h e O r e s t e i a most o f t e n p a i n t e d was t h e d e a t h o f A e g i s t h u s . T h i s s c e n e s u d d e n l y became v e r y p o p u l a r a f t e r 500 B.C. ( V e r m e u l e 1966: 121 1 4 ) . T h i s w o u l d i n d i c a t e t h a t A e g i s t h u s was s e e n a s a p r i m e a g e n t o f Agamemnon's d e a t h and t h u s t h e p r i n c i p a l o b j e c t o f O r e s -t e s ' r e v e n g e . 8 The e a r l i e s t s u r v i v i n g p a i n t i n g o f t h e d e a t h o f Agamemnon i n A t t i c a r t i s t h e B o s t o n K r a t e r by t h e D o k i m a s i a p a i n t e r , w h i c h was p a i n t e d v e r y c l o s e t o t h e t i m e o f A e s c h y l u s ' p l a y . 9 Agamem-non i s shown d r a p e d i n a g a u z y m a t e r i a l (a n e t ? ) and o t h e r w i s e naked; A e g i s t h u s has j u s t s t a b b e d him w i t h a sword. The n e t and Agamemnon's n a k e d n e s s (as i f he had j u s t s t e p p e d f r o m t h e b a t h ) m i g h t have been i n f l u e n c e d by A e s c h y l u s ' p l a y , i f i t was p a i n t e d a f t e r t h e p r o d u c t i o n ; b u t w h e n e v e r t h e v a s e was p a i n t e d , t h e t r a d i t i o n t h a t A e g i s t h u s was t h e m u r d e r e r must have b e e n t o o p r e v a l e n t f o r t h e p a i n t e r t o i g n o r e . In f a c t , e v e n a f t e r A e s c h y l u s , t h e m u r d e r e r o f Agamemnon i s shown as A e g i s t h u s i n A t t i c v a s e - p a i n t i n g u n t i l t h e end o f t h e f i f t h c e n t u r y . ( V e r m e u l e , 1966: 1 4 ) . So w h i l e two v e r s i o n s o f t h e s t o r y were a v a i l a b l e f o r A e s c h y l u s t o draw upon, t h e v e r s i o n most common i n h i s own t i m e - i f t h e s u r v i v i n g a r t i s a n y t h i n g t o j u d g e by - made A e g i s t h u s t h e k i l l e r and t h u s t h e p r i m a r y v i c t i m o f O r e s t e s ' r e v e n g e . The l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n v a r i e s as w e l l . The l o n g e s t s u r -v i v i n g a c c o u n t o f t h e O r e s t e i a b e f o r e A e s c h y l u s i s f o u n d i n Homer. Homer seems t o have known two v e r s i o n s o f t h e myth an d u s e d e a c h one a c c o r d i n g t o t h e needs o f h i s own s t o r y . The f i r s t f o u r b ooks o f t h e Odyssey a r e c o n c e r n e d w i t h T e l e m a c h u s ' g r o w t h 122 t o manhood and a c c e p t a n c e o f h i s a d u l t r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , i . e . t h e d e f e n c e o f h i s h o u s e h o l d . Most o f t h e r e f e r e n c e s t o t h e O r e s t e i a myth i n t h e s e f o u r books a r e i n t e n d e d (sometimes e x p l i c i t l y ) t o s p u r h i m t o w a r d s t h a t e n d 1 1 ; a l l b u t one a r e s a i d d i r e c t l y t o T e l e m a c h u s 1 2 ; and a l l , w i t h o u t e x c e p t i o n , name A e g i s t h u s as t h e p l o t t e r and k i l l e r 1 3 , w i t h K l y t e m n e s t r a , i f she i s m e n t i o n e d a t a l l , p l a y i n g a c l e a r l y s e c o n d a r y r o l e . 1 4 Agamemnon, who s p e a k s o f h i s d e a t h e v e r y t i m e we meet him, t e l l s a n o t h e r v e r s i o n o f t h e s t o r y . When e x p l a i n i n g h i s p r e s e n c e i n t h e U n d e r w o r l d t o O d y s s e u s (Od. 1 1 . 4 0 9 - 4 5 3 ) , he a t f i r s t a g r e e s s u b s t a n t i a l l y w i t h t h e O l d Man o f t h e Sea's a c c o u n t o f h i s d e a t h , a d d i n g o n l y h i s b a n e f u l w i f e ' s a s s i s t a n c e (11.409-410) t o A e g i s t h u s ' p l o t t i n g a n d e x e c u t i n g o f t h e d e e d . T w e l v e l i n e s l a t e r he s a y s t h a t K l y t e m n e s t r a k i l l e d K a s s a n d r a " o v e r me" (11.422-423), which g i v e s K l y t e m n e s t r a a more a c t i v e and v i o l e n t r o l e i n p r o c e e d i n g s t h a n we had h e a r d o f b e f o r e , and adds t h a t she abandoned him as he l a y d y i n g , w i t h o u t even c l o s i n g h i s mouth and e y e s (11.425-426), which p l a c e s K l y t e m n e s t r a i n t h e i m m e d i a t e v i c i n i t y r i g h t a f t e r Agamemnon was s t a b b e d - a g a i n new i n f o r m a -t i o n . A l i t t l e l a t e r , he s a y s t h a t i t i s K l y t e m n e s t r a who p l o t t e d t h e d e e d and d e v i s e d her husband's d e a t h (11.429-430); i t i s h e r " r u i n o u s t h o u g h t s " which shame a l l women; and by t h e end o f h i s a c c o u n t (11.452-453), A e g i s t h u s has been f o r g o t t e n and Agamemnon s a y s t h a t h i s w i f e k i l l e d him. K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s r o l e t h u s moves i n t h e s p a c e o f 43 l i n e s f r o m p a s s i v e a c c o m p l i c e , t h r o u g h a c t i v e p l o t t e r , t o a c t u a l m u r d e r e r . In book 24 Agamemnon a g a i n r e f e r s 123 t o h i s d e a t h , f i r s t as a t t h e hands o f A e g i s t h u s and h i s w i f e (24.97) and l a t e r as b e i n g p l o t t e d and e x e c u t e d by h i s w i f e a l o n e ( 2 4 . 1 9 9 - 2 0 0 ) . The d i s c r e p a n c y between t h e a c c o u n t s o f Agamemnon's d e a t h g i v e n i n v a r i o u s p l a c e s i n t h e Odyssey c an e a s i l y be e x p l a i n e d i n s e v e r a l w a y s . 1 5 B u t w h a t e v e r e x p l a n a t i o n one a c c e p t s , i t i s c l e a r t h a t Homer had two s t o r i e s i n mind, b o t h o f w h i c h he f e l t f r e e t o use a t need. K l y t e m n e s t r a 1 s m o t i v e f o r b e t r a y i n g h e r husband, i n s o f a r a s Homer g i v e s h e r one a t a l l , i s A e g i s t h u s ' s e d u c t i o n o f h e r (Od. 3.262-264); t h e s a c r i f i c e o f I p h i g e n i a i s n o t m e n t i o n e d . Between Homer and A e s c h y l u s o n l y f r a g m e n t a r y r e f e r e n c e s t o t h e myth o f t h e O r e s t e i a s u r v i v e . T h e r e a r e t h r e e H e s i o d i c r e -f e r e n c e s . P a u s a n i a s t e l l s us t h a t a c c o r d i n g t o H e s i o d ' s C a t a l o g u e o f Women, I p h i g e n i a was n o t k i l l e d , b u t became H e c a t e "by t h e w i l l o f A r t e m i s " 1 6 . A c c o r d i n g t o a s c h o l i a s t , H e s i o d s a i d t h a t A p h r o d i t e was j e a l o u s o f t h e d a u g h t e r s o f T y n d a r e u s and so c a u s e d them a l l t o be u n f a i t h f u l t o t h e i r h u s b a n d s . 1 7 F i n a l l y , i n a r e c e n t l y p u b l i s h e d H e s i o d i c f r a g m e n t c o n c e r n i n g t h e d a u g h t e r s o f L e d a , we a r e t o l d t h a t t h e G r e e k s s a c r i f i c e d " I p h i m e d e " , t h e d a u g h t e r o f K l y t e m n e s t r a a n d Agamemnon, t o A r t e m i s , b u t t h a t A r t e m i s s a v e d (or h e a l e d ) her and made her i m m o r t a l ; and t h a t she i s now c a l l e d "wayside A r t e m i s " 1 8 . In t h i s f r a g m e n t O r e s t e s grew up and " r e p a i d h i s (male) f a t h e r k i l l e r and k i l l e d h i s m o t h e r " 1 9 . 124 To t h i s p o e t , t h e n , A e g i s t h u s was t h e m u r d e r e r , b u t K l y t e m n e s t r a was n o t i n n o c e n t . The s e v e n t h - c e n t u r y a u t h o r o f t h e C y p r i a t e l l s t h e s t o r y o f t h e a t t e m p t e d s a c r i f i c e o f I p h i g e n i a , s a y i n g t h a t A r t e m i s r e s c u e d h e r , r e p l a c i n g her w i t h a s t a g , t r a n s p o r t e d h e r t o T a u r i s a n d made h e r i m m o r t a l . 2 0 A g i a s o f T r o e z e n s a y s t h a t Agamemnon was k i l l e d by A e g i s t h u s and K l y t e m n e s t r a . 2 1 . X a n t h o s , a s e v e n t h -c e n t u r y w e s t e r n p o e t , i s r e p u t e d t o have i n f l u e n c e d S t e s i c h o r u s ' work w i t h h i s t r e a t m e n t o f t h e O r e s t e i a myth, b ut n o t h i n g o f h i s work s u r v i v e s . (Vermeule 1966: 1 1 ) . S t e s i c h o r u s , i n t h e s i x t h c e n t u r y , w r o t e an O r e s t e i a w h i c h i s n e a r l y e n t i r e l y l o s t . The a b s e n c e o f most o f h i s work h a s i n s p i r e d v a r i o u s c r i t i c s t o a t t r i b u t e t o i t themes and a c t i o n s s e e n e l s e w h e r e , f o r w h i c h t h e y w o u l d l i k e t o f i n d a s o u r c e . W i l a m o w i t z , f o r example, t h o u g h t t h a t S t e s i c h o r u s i n t r o d u c e d t h e d e a t h o f I p h i g e n i a as a m o t i v e f o r K l y t e m n e s t r a . 2 2 W h i l e were a r e t o l d t h a t S t e s i c h o r u s c l o s e l y f o l l o w e d H e s i o d i n s a y i n g t h a t I p h i g e n i a became H e c a t e 2 3 , a s D u r i n g (1943: 107) p o i n t s o u t , t h e r e i s no m e n t i o n o f s a c r i f i c e , o r o f a r e a c t i o n by K l y t e m n e s -t r a , i n t h i s f r a g m e n t . In f a c t , i n a n o t h e r o f t h e few s u r v i v i n g f r a g m e n t s o f S t e s i c h o r u s ' work, S t e s i c h o r u s i s r e p o r t e d t o have s a i d t h a t A p h r o d i t e , a n g r y t h a t T y n d a r e u s f o r g o t h e r a t a s a c r i -f i c e t o a l l t h e g o d s , made a l l o f h i s d a u g h t e r s f a i t h l e s s ( " t w i c e - w e d and t h r i c e - w e d and h u s b a n d - l e a v i n g " ) . 2 4 T h i s w o u l d i n d i c a t e t h a t S t e s i c h o r u s gave K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s m o t i v e as l o v e f o r A e g i s t h u s , i f he c o n s i d e r e d her m o t i v e a t a l l . 125 S e v e r a l s c h o l a r s ( D u r i n g 1943: 106, V e r m e u l e 1966: 12, D a v i e s 1969: 249) a g r e e t h a t S t e s i c h o r u s ' poem p r o b a b l y s t i m u l a -t e d p r o d u c t i o n o f t h e d e a t h - o f - A e g i s t h u s v a s e p a i n t i n g s , l i k e t h e B o s t o n K r a t e r , w h i c h s u d d e n l y became p o p u l a r a r o u n d 500 B.C.; b u t t h e c o n c l u s i o n s t h e y b a s e on t h i s d i f f e r g r e a t l y . D u r i n g b e -l i e v e s t h a t S t e s i c h o r u s p r o b a b l y made K l y t e m n e s t r a t h e m u r d e r e r , u s i n g an axe; D a v i e s t h i n k s t h a t S t e s i c h o r u s had A e g i s t h u s s t a b Agamemnon w i t h a sword and K l y t e m n e s t r a f i n i s h him o f f w i t h t h e axe; and V e r m e u l e , t h e most moderate, s a y s o n l y t h a t S t e s i c h o r u s p r o b a b l y i n t r o d u c e d t h e axe and K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s s k i l l w i t h i t . 2 5 A l l t h r e e a g r e e t h a t S t e s i c h o r u s 1 O r e s t e i a p r o b a b l y e m p h a s i z e d t h e d e a t h o f A e g i s t h u s r a t h e r t h a n Agamemnon ( t h e t i t l e a l o n e s t r o n g l y i m p l i e s t h i s ) and t h a t S t e s i c h o r u s i s u n l i k e l y t o have d w e l t on t h e o r i g i n a l m u r d e r . I t h i n k t h i s l a s t , a nd p e r h a p s K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s m o t i v a t i o n by A p h r o d i t e r a t h e r t h a n I p h i g e n i a , a r e r e a l l y t h e o n l y c o n c l u s i o n s t h a t c a n s a f e l y be drawn f r o m what few f r a g m e n t s o f S t e s i c h o r u s s u r v i v e . The l a s t p o e t c e r t a i n t o have t r e a t e d any p a r t o f t h e myth b e f o r e A e s c h y l u s i s S i m o n i d e s . A f r a g m e n t o f a commentary on h i s poem ( o r p a r t o f i t ) has r e c e n t l y been p u b l i s h e d . 2 6 The poem u n d e r d i s c u s s i o n i n t h i s p a p y r u s i s p r o b a b l y by S i m o n i d e s 2 7 and s p e a k s o f t h e mourning a t Mycenae o v e r t h e s a c r i f i c e o f a human f e m a l e (unnamed). The g r i e f o f t h e mother c a n n o t be overcome and t h e k i l l i n g i s i n honour o f a god. The o n l y known myth c o n s i s -t e n t w i t h t h e s e d e t a i l s i s t h a t o f t h e s a c r i f i c e o f I p h i g e n i a . I f t h a t i s t h e s u b j e c t o f t h e poem, i t c o n t a i n s t h e f i r s t s u r v i v -126 i n g r e f e r e n c e t o K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s g r i e f a t h e r d a u g h t e r ' s d e a t h . However, t h e r e i s no i n d i c a t i o n t h a t K l y t e m n e s t r a t a k e s t h e s t e p f r o m g r i e f t o v engeance i n t h i s poem. P i n d a r ' s e l e v e n t h P y t h i a n ode was w r i t t e n t o commemorate t h e v i c t o r y a t D e l p h i o f a Theban r u n n e r , T h r a s y d a i o s . ( H e r i n g -t o n , 1984: 1 4 3 ) . In i t , P i n d a r r e f e r s t o K l y t e m n e s t r a as t h e s o l e m u r d e r e r o f Agamemnon and s p e c u l a t e s on h e r m o t i v e - was i t t h e k i l l i n g o f I p h i g e n i a , o r h a b i t u a l i n f i d e l i t y w i t h A e g i s t h u s , w h i c h prompted h e r a c t ? ( P y t h . X I , 23-28). T h e r e were two P y t h -i a n v i c t o r i e s by so-named Theban r u n n e r s , i n 474 and 454. I t has g e n e r a l l y been assumed t h a t P y t h i a n XI was w r i t t e n t o commemorate t h e T h r a s y d a i o s o f 474, and t h a t P i n d a r ' s m a g n i f i c a t i o n o f K l y -t e m n e s t r a ' s r o l e and h i s s p e c u l a t i o n on h e r m o t i v e s i n f l u e n c e d A e s c h y l u s . However, as F a r n e l l 2 8 , D u r i n g ( 1 9 4 3 : 108-114) and H e r i n g t o n (1984: 140-146) a r g u e , from d i f f e r e n t a n g l e s 2 9 , i t i s f a r more l i k e l y t h a t P i n d a r ' s ode was w r i t t e n t o commemorate t h e s e c o n d T h r a s y d a i o s and was i n s p i r e d by A e s c h y l u s ' p l a y . I t would o f c o u r s e be unwise t o s t a t e c a t e g o r i c a l l y t h a t a p o e t "must h a v e b e e n " i n s p i r e d by one t h i n g , or " c a n n o t h a v e b e e n " i n s p i r e d by a n o t h e r . But P i n d a r i n P y t h i a n XI does g i v e t h e i m p r e s s i o n t h a t he i s r e f e r r i n g b r i e f l y t o a myth w h i c h was a l r e a d y f u l l y d e v e l o p e d e l s e w h e r e , i n t h e f o r m i n w h i c h he p r e -s e n t s i t . He can assume t h a t h i s a u d i e n c e t h o u g h t o f K l y t e m n e s -t r a as t h e m u r d e r e r and o f t h e s a c r i f i c e o f I p h i g e n i a as a p o s s -i b l e m o t i v e ; he did- n o t need t o e x p l a i n o r e l a b o r a t e on t h e s e p o i n t s h i m s e l f . T h e r e i s o n l y one a u t h o r who i s c e r t a i n l y known 127 t o have p r e s e n t e d t h e myth i n p r e c i s e l y t h e f o r m i n w h i c h P i n d a r u s e s i t , and t h a t i s A e s c h y l u s . A e s c h y l u s a l o n e o f t h e a n c i e n t a u t h o r s p r e s e n t s K l y t e m n e s t r a a s t h e s o l e k i l l e r ; t h e d e a t h o f I p h i g e n i a i s t h e p r i n c i p a l m o t i v e f o r her c r i m e i n t h e f i r s t p l a y a n d l o v e f o r A e g i s t h u s i s g i v e n as her m o t i v e i n t h e s e c o n d . 3 0 I f we need assume a d e f i n i t e i n s p i r a t i o n f o r P i n d a r ' s q u e s t i o n i n P y t h i a n X I , A e s c h y l u s ' t r i l o g y o b v i o u s l y s u p p l i e s one and n o t h i n g e l s e s u r v i v i n g d o e s . Thus I am i n c l i n e d t o a g r e e w i t h D u r i n g and H e r i n g t o n t h a t P y t h i a n XI s h o u l d be d a t e d t o 454 r a t h e r t h a n 474. In t h e r e c o r d o f a r t t h e r e a r e two t r a d i t i o n s b e f o r e A e s -c h y l u s ' t i m e and he seems, on t h e e v i d e n c e a v a i l a b l e , t o h a v e d e f i e d t h e one p r e v a i l i n g i n h i s own e r a and r e g i o n i n m a k i n g K l y t e m n e s t r a t h e m u r d e r e r . In t h e l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n t h e r e a g a i n seem t o have been two t r a d i t i o n s , but a f t e r Homer t h e one g i v i n g K l y t e m n e s t r a t h e r o l e o f s o l e k i l l e r seems t o have f a l l e n e n -t i r e l y o u t o f f a s h i o n - even i n Homer she i s r a r e l y , and n e v e r u n q u e s t i o n a b l y , g i v e n t h a t r o l e - a n d she i s r e g a r d e d a s , a t most, a c o - c o n s p i r a t o r i n A e g i s t h u s ' c r i m e . T h e r e a r e r e f e r e n c e s t o t h e s a c r i f i c e o f I p h i g e n i a b e f o r e A e s c h y l u s , but b e f o r e Simon-i d e s t h e y seem t o have d w e l t c h i e f l y ( o r e n t i r e l y ) on h e r t r a n s -f i g u r a t i o n t o t h e i m m o r t a l H e c a t e ; and nowhere, i n c l u d i n g Simon-i d e s , i s t h e r e any e v i d e n c e t h a t t h e s a c r i f i c e o f I p h i g e n i a was c o n s i d e r e d a m o t i v e f o r K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s p a r t (however s m a l l ) i n t h e murder. On t h e c o n t r a r y , Homer, the H e s i o d i c p o e t and S t e s -i c h o r u s a l l e x p l a i n K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s d i s l o y a l t y t o h e r h u s b and as 128 due t o l o v e : H e s i o d and S t e s i c h o r u s a s c r i b e i t t o A p h r o d i t e and Homer t o t h e p e r s u a s i o n o f A e g i s t h u s . A e s c h y l u s t h u s seems t o have a l t e r e d t h e s t o r y h i s a u d i -e n c e e x p e c t e d i n two major ways, f i r s t i n making K l y t e m n e s t r a t h e o n l y m u r d e r e r and s e c o n d i n making t h e d e a t h o f I p h i g e n i a h e r p r i m a r y m o t i v a t i o n i n t h e f i r s t p l a y o f t h e t r i l o g y . B o t h o f t h e s e c h a n g e s have t h e e f f e c t o f a l m o s t c o m p l e t e l y s u p p r e s s i n g t h e r o l e o f A e g i s t h u s ; and t h e s t o r y i s e n t i r e l y c h a n g e d i n em-p h a s i s f r o m t h e l o v e - t r i a n g l e murder ( o r p o l i t i c a l a s s a s s i n a t i o n ) f o u n d i n Homer. Th e s e changes form t h e b a s i s f o r t h e Agamemnon and f o r t h e p o r t r a y a l o f K l y t e m n e s t r a i n t h a t p l a y . The a u d i e n c e c a n n o t h e l p but wonder i f K l y t e m n e s t r a was j u s t i f i e d i n h e r a c -t i o n s ; h e r g u i l t was n e v e r i n q u e s t i o n , b e f o r e A e s c h y l u s . T h i s v i o l e n t and p e r h a p s r i g h t e o u s K l y t e m n e s t r a t h u s p o s e s h e r a u d i -e nce d i f f i c u l t q u e s t i o n s o f g u i l t , i n n o c e n c e , and t h e w o r k i n g s o f j u s t i c e , w h i c h a r e t h e theme o f t h e whole t r i l o g y and w h i c h a r e n o t r e s o l v e d u n t i l t h e l a s t p l a y . The c h a n ges i n t r o d u c e d i n t o K l y t e m n e s t r a * s r o l e t h u s draw t h e a u d i e n c e ' s a t t e n t i o n t o t h e c e n t r a l theme t o be worked o u t i n t h e t r i l o g y . 129 N O T E S T O A P P E N D I X A !D.L. Page, P o e t a e M e l i c i G r a e c i ( O x f o r d : 1962); p. 287, f r . 44. 2 I p h i a n a s s a i s u s u a l l y i d e n t i f i e d w i t h A e s c h y l u s ' I p h i -g e n i a . I f t h i s i s c o r r e c t , Homer must not have known t h e s t o r y o f h e r s a c r i f i c e , o r have i g n o r e d i t a t t h i s p o i n t i n t h e poem; f o r Agamemnon a t T r o y s p e a k s o f her as a l i v e . 3 O x y r h y n c h u s P a p y r i 28 ( 1 9 6 2 ) , ed. E. L o b e l ; 2481, f r . 5a, c o l . 1 (pages 8-11). 4 C i t e d i n V e r m e u l e (1966: 1 2 ) . 5However, t h e change o f venue o f t h e murder i t s e l f , f r o m A e g i s t h u s ' house t o Agamemnon's own, i s not i n s i g n i f i c a n t . T h i s move c o n s i d e r a b l y i n c r e a s e s t h e e l e m e n t o f d o m e s t i c t r e a c h e r y , w h i l e d e c r e a s i n g t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e p o l i t i c a l o r d y n a s t i c m o t i v e s i n v o l v e d . A e s c h y l u s ' t r e a t m e n t , w h i c h c o n c e n t r a t e s a l -most e x c l u s i v e l y on t h e d o m e s t i c a s p e c t o f t h e c r i m e , demonst-r a t e s t h i s . 6 D a v i e s (1969: 236-238) d i s c u s s e s t h i s more f u l l y . 7 V e r m e u l e ( 1 9 6 6 : 13) b e l i e v e s t h a t t h i s i s a d e a t h o f A e g i s t h u s and t h a t t h e weeping woman s t a n d i n g i n f r o n t o f t h e two m a l e s i s K l y t e m n e s t r a . But t h a t does not e x p l a i n t h e n e t w h i c h t h e m u r d e r e r i s c l e a r l y p u l l i n g o v e r t h e v i c t i m ' s head and w h i c h e l s e w h e r e i s a s s o c i a t e d e x c l u s i v e l y w i t h t h e d e a t h o f Agamemnon. The w e e p i n g woman, whose e x p r e s s i o n and p o s e a r e c e r t a i n l y t o o s t r i k i n g t o be l i k e l y t o d e n o t e a s i m p l e s e r v i n g - w o m a n , c o u l d s u r e l y be K a s s a n d r a . 8 T h e r e i s a b r o n z e C r e t a n m i t r a o f t h e 7 t h c e n t , w h i c h shows O r e s t e s k i l l i n g an e n t h r o n e d K l y t e m n e s t r a ( D a v i e s 1969: 2 3 7 ) . I n t h e C r e t a n v e r s i o n o f t h e myth, K l y t e m n e s t r a seems t o have been s e e n as t h e k i l l e r and O r e s t e s ' v e n g e a n c e i s a c c o r d -i n g l y d i r e c t e d towards h e r . 9 V e r m e u l e (1966: 19) a r g u e s t h a t i t was p a i n t e d a f t e r 458 a n d i n s p i r e d by t h e p l a y i t s e l f ; D a v i e s (1969: 258) s e t s i t i n t h e 470's, where s t y l i s t i c a l l y i t b e l o n g s . 1 0 V e r m e u l e a r g u e s t h a t t h e p a i n t e r u s e d a male r a t h e r t h a n a f e m a l e m u r d e r e r b e c a u s e he was b o r r o w i n g f r o m t h e i c o n o g r a p h y o f t h e d e a t h o f A e g i s t h u s , as t h e d e a t h o f Agamemnon had no t r a -d i t i o n a l i c o n o g r a p h y o f i t s own. I f i n d t h i s u n c o n v i n c i n g . E v e n a s s u m i n g - a s V e r m e u l e has c o n v i n c e d me one s h o u l d - t h a t t h e p o s i t i o n i n g o f t h e f i g u r e s i n t h e d e a t h o f Agamemnon was b o r r o w e d f r o m t h e t r a d i t i o n a l p o s e s o f t h e d e a t h o f A e g i s t h u s , a p a i n t e r 130 who c o u l d change the t r a d i t i o n a l v i c t i m from a seated, c l o t h e d l y r e - p l a y e r to a standing, naked man i n a net c o u l d s u r e l y a l s o a l t e r the k i l l e r from a male to a female. 1 1 F o r i n s t a n c e , Athena (Od. 1.298-300) mentions the renown Orestes won i n k i l l i n g Aegisthus, h i s f a t h e r ' s murderer; and Nes-t o r (Od. 3.199-200) a d v i s e s Telemachus to be brave as O r e s t e s was, who took vengeance on h i s f a t h e r ' s k i l l e r . 1 2The exception i s the gods on Olympus (Od. 1.29-43). One might expect the gods to know "what r e a l l y happened" and t h e r e -f o r e t h i n k that Aegisthus was " r e a l l y " , i n Homer's eyes, s o l e l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r Agamemnon's death. But the gods i n Homer ar e p a r t of the s t o r y , l i k e e v e r y t h i n g e l s e , and tend to say what s u i t s the needs of the s t o r y at that p o i n t . There i s no reason to expect them to r e f l e c t the o p i n i o n of the poet. 1 3The gods say so (Od. 1.36); Athena says t h i s (1.299-300 and 3.235); N e s t o r does~T3.194 and 3.255-310, e s p e c i a l l y a t 3.305); Menelaus says t h i s (4.91-92); and the Old Man of the Sea, as Menelaus quotes him (4.514-537, e s p e c i a l l y at 4.537). 1 4Athena (Od. 3.235) says that Agamemnon was k i l l e d by the d e c e i t of Aegistfnus and h i s w i f e ; Nestor (3.255-310) says t h a t K l y t e m n e s t r a , b e i n g f o r m e r l y n^ptsc . . . " ( e i t h e r "with honest h e a r t " or s i m p l y " i n t e l l i g e n t " ( 3 . 2 6 6 ) , was seduced by A e g i s t h u s ; Menelaus (4.91-92) says that "another" (male - ) k i l l e d Agamemnon "by s u r p r i s e u n l o o k e d - f o r and by h i s b a n e f u l w i f e ' s t r e a c h e r y " . In none of these i s Klytemnestra more than an a c c e s s o r y t o Aegisthus' p l o t . 1 5 F o r i n s t a n c e , a p s y c h o l o g i c a l e x p l a n a t i o n c o u l d say t h a t w h i l e the v e r s i o n g i v e n i n the Telemachy, w i t h A e g i s t h u s as k i l l e r and Klytemnestra as p a s s i v e accomplice, i s " c o r r e c t " , and Agamemnon knows t h i s , he i s so shocked at the f a c t that h i s w i f e had any hand i n i t at a l l t h a t he cannot h e l p d w e l l i n g on her r o l e and consequently e v e n t u a l l y exaggerating i t i n h i s own mind. The more common l i t e r a r y e x p l a n a t i o n (found, f o r i n s t a n c e , i n D'Armes 1946: 211-212) p o i n t s out t h a t K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s r o l e i s emphasized whenever a c o n t r a s t to Penelope's conduct i s d e s i r e d and t e l l s us more about Penelope than about Klytemnestra - j u s t as A e g i s t h u s ' r o l e i s emphasized- whenever i t i s needed as a spur to Telemachus. 1 6 P a u s a n i a s i . 4 3 . 1 , i.116 Sp. (quoted i n Page, Poetae  M e l i c i G r a e c i p. 115, n . l ) . 1 7 s c h o l . on Eur. Orestes 249. 1 BP. Oxy. 28 (1962), 2481 f r . 5a c o l . 1, ed. E. L o b e l , 1.8-11 a"ncl 15-18. I t may be t h i s passage to which P a u s a n i a s r e f e r r e d . 131 1 9 I b i d . , 2 1 - 2 5 . 2 0 S t a s i n u s ( ? ) , C y p r i a , i n H e s i o d , H o m e r i c Hymns and Ho- mer i c a (Heinemann, L o n d o n ) , 2~92-29<n 2 1 N o s t o i , as summarized by P r o c l u s , C h r e s t o m a t h y . 2 2 A s c i t e d by D u r i n g ( 1 9 4 3 : 1 0 7 ) . 2 3 P h i l o d e m . , de p i e t . , p. 24 Gomperz ( q u o t e d i n Page, op.  c i t . , p. 1 1 5 , f r . 215T7 2 4 S c h o l . on E u r . O r e s t e s 2 4 9 . 2 5 A l l a g r e e t h a t S t e s i c h o r u s must have i n t r o d u c e d t h e axe w h i c h K l y t e m n e s t r a h o l d s i n most p a i n t i n g s , as t h e y c a n f i n d no o t h e r s o u r c e f o r i t . I would l i k e t o s p e c u l a t e t h a t t h e axe - a l a b r i s , f o u n d f r e q u e n t l y i n C r e t a n a r t - was a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e a p p a r e n t l y C r e t a n s o u r c e o f t h e f e m a l e - p r o t a g o n i s t v e r s i o n o f t h e myth and t h u s a c c o u n t f o r i t s a p p e a r a n c e i n t h e p a i n t i n g s , b u t I have n o t as y e t f o u n d s u p p o r t i n g e v i d e n c e f o r t h i s n o t i o n . One s h o u l d add t h a t V e r m e u l e ( 1 9 6 6 : 6 ) s t a t e s t h a t A g ^ 1 1 2 7 and 1 2 6 2 r e f e r t o an axe, b u t I d o n ' t t h i n k t h a t t h i s i s j u s t i f i e d by t h e t e x t . 2 6 P . Oxy. 25 ( 1 9 5 9 ) 2 4 3 4 F r . l a ( 5 ) . 2 7 A s L o b e l r e c o n s t r u c t s l i n e 2 . 224 2 8 L . R. F a r n e l l , The Works o f P i n d a r (London: 1 9 3 2 ) , 223-^ y F a r n e l l b e l i e v e s t h a t P i n d a r must have composed u n d e r t h e s t r o n g i m p r e s s i o n l e f t on him by A e s c h y l u s ' Agamemnon. Du r -i n g 's argument i s p r i n c i p a l l y b a s e d on p a r a l l e l s i n words u s e d t o d e s c r i b e t h e a c t a n d i t s m o t i v e s a n d i n t h e g e n e r a l l i n e o f t h o u g h t . T he s t r o n g e s t p a r t o f H e r i n g t o n ' s a r g u m e n t i s t h a t P y t h i a n XI 22-25, t h e a l t e r n a t i v e q u e s t i o n s as t o t h e m o t i v e o f t h e a c t , a r e u n i q u e i n P i n d a r and i n f a c t i n a l l o f n o n - d r a m a t i c Greek p o e t r y - e s p e c i a l l y i n t h a t t h e y a r e l e f t u n answered. He s u g g e s t s t h a t t h e Agamemnon, w h i c h o f f e r s b o t h m o t i v e s i n t h e o r d e r f o u n d i n P i n d a r ' s poem and d o e s not d e c i d e between them, w o u l d i n s p i r e p r e c i s e l y t h a t u n a n s w e r e d q u e s t i o n i n P i n d a r ' s mind. 3 0 I n H e r i n g t o n ' s o p i n i o n ( 1 9 4 8 : 1 4 2 ) , b o t h m o t i v e s a r e g i v e n , i n t h a t o r d e r , i n t h e Agamemnon i t s e l f ; t h e d e a t h o f I p h i -g e n i a i s s t r e s s e d u n t i l K a s s a n d r a ' s v i s i o n and l o v e f o r A e g i s -t h u s t h e r e a f t e r . 132 APPENDIX B KLYTEMNESTRA'S ENTRANCES AND EXITS In a n a l y s i n g a c h a r a c t e r ' s r o l e i n a p l a y i t i s u s e f u l t o know when he was on t h e s t a g e , and what l i n e s he s p o k e . I n t h e l a s t f i f t y y e a r s , however, t h e r e has been some c o n t r o v e r s y i n b o t h a r e a s , c o n c e r n i n g K l y t e m n e s t r a . K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s e n t r a n c e s and e x i t s a r e n o t c l e a r l y s i g n a l -l e d i n t h i s p l a y . T a p l i n (1972: 8 9 ) 1 t h i n k s t h a t t h e c e n t r a l Skene door had been i n v e n t e d o n l y a few y e a r s p r i o r t o t h e p r o -d u c t i o n o f t h e O r e s t e i a , and t h a t A e s c h y l u s d i d n o t f e e l i t a s n e c e s s a r y t o announce e n t r a n c e s and e x i t s t h r o u g h t h e new c e n t r a l d o o r as he d i d movement from t h e w i n g s . In f a c t , t h e a b r u p t n e s s o f a sudden, u n t e l e g r a p h e d e n t r a n c e t h r o u g h t h e c e n t r a l d o o r and d i r e c t l y i n t o ( o r o u t o f ) t h e a c t i o n c o u l d be u s e d t o good e f f e c t by an i n n o v a t i v e p l a y w r i g h t ; and was so us e d i n t h e p o r t r a y a l o f K l y t e m n e s t r a . The l a c k o f i n d i c a t i o n o f her a p p e a r a n c e s o r e x i t s has l e d , however, t o a good d e a l o f c o n f u s i o n and d i s a g r e e m e n t among l a t e r c r i t i c s . A t t h e f a r t h e s t extreme a r e D e n n i s t o n , Page (1957: 76) who say t h a t i t i s " p o s s i b l e , and p e r h a p s p r e f e r a b l e " t o b e l i e v e t h a t K l y t e m n e s t r a e n t e r s a t l i n e 40 ( o r a t l a t e s t 83) and d o e s n o t e x i t a g a i n u n t i l 1068, a f t e r h e r s c e n e w i t h K a s s -a n d r a . 2 T h e y a dd t h a t " t h e t e n s i o n and power o f t h e s c e n e s , 503-37 a n d 615-80, a r e g r e a t l y e n h a n c e d by h e r p r e s e n c e , and p a r t i c u l a r l y by h e r s i l e n c e , t h r o u g h o u t . " 133 I c a n n o t a g r e e w i t h t h i s view. F i r s t , i n a l l o f t h e t i m e she i s assumed t o be s p e e c h l e s s l y on s t a g e , t h e c h o r u s and o t h e r a c t o r s do n o t n o t i c e her o r i n t e r a c t w i t h her i n any way ( e x c e p t a t 8 3 - 1 0 3 , o f w h i c h more s h o r t l y ) . As T a p l i n ( 1 9 7 2 : 5 8 f f . ) p o i n t s o u t , i f a c h a r a c t e r ' s s i l e n t p r e s e n c e i s i n t e n d e d t o be n o t i c e d , t h e c h o r u s and a c t o r s w i l l r e f e r t o him, wonder, why he has n o t s p o k e n , and o t h e r w i s e draw a t t e n t i o n t o h i s e x i s t e n c e . I f h i s p r e s e n c e i s n o t s i g n i f i c a n t ( a s , f o r i n s t a n c e , Danaus' i s n o t d u r i n g t h e f i r s t c h o r a l song o f t h e S u p p l i a n t s ) , t h e o t h e r c h a r -a c t e r s w i l l i g n o r e i t . By t h i s s t a n d a r d , i f K l y t e m n e s t r a i s t o be a s s u m e d t o be on s t a g e f o r most o f t h e p l a y , h e r p r e s e n c e c a n n o t be t h o u g h t s i g n i f i c a n t . I t seems t o h a v e no d r a m a t i c f u n c t i o n ; i t i s u n n o t i c e d , i t has no e f f e c t on any o t h e r c h a r a c -t e r ' s a c t i o n s o r s p e e c h e s , and i t does not even a p p e a r t o a f f e c t K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s . D e n n i s t o n , Page's s i n i s t e r f i g u r e l u r k i n g i n t h e b a c k g r o u n d a d d i n g an a u r a o f impending doom t o p r o c e e d i n g s (Denn-i s t o n , Page 1957: 76) does not e x i s t ; even i f K l y t e m n e s t r a were on s t a g e , t h e r e i s no r e a s o n t o b e l i e v e t h a t she would be p e r -c e i v e d as s i n i s t e r by an a u d i e n c e whose a t t e n t i o n i s n e v e r drawn t o h e r . As T a p l i n (1972: 90, 97) s a y s , a f i g u r e c a n be m u t e l y s i g n i f i c a n t i n t h e f o r e g r o u n d , l i k e N i o b e , o r m u t e l y i n s i g n i f i -c a n t i n t h e b a c k g r o u n d , l i k e Danaus; b u t "what i s meant t o be s i g n i f i c a n t i s t h e r e i s t h e words i n t h e f o r e g r o u n d " . B u t i f h e r p r e s e n c e i s n o t s i g n i f i c a n t , why i s s h e on s t a g e a t a l l ? E l e c t r a i n t h e Choephoroe, or Danaus i n t h e Supp- l i a n t s , must e n t e r w i t h t h e c h o r u s , and have t h u s a good t e c h -134 n i c a l r e a s o n t o be on s t a g e , i n t h e b a c k g r o u n d , when t h e y a r e n o t p a r t o f t h e a c t i o n ; b u t K l y t e m n e s t r a has not even t e c h n i c a l r e a -s o n s t o be p r e s e n t . F i n a l l y , t h e r e a r e s p e e c h e s ( f o r i n s t a n c e , t h e H e r a l d ' s a t 503-537 or a g a i n a t 551-582, o r Agamemnon's, i n p a r t i c u l a r , a t 810-854) i n which i t i s h a r d t o u n d e r s t a n d why she i s n o t a d d r e s s e d , i f she i s p r e s e n t ; and o t h e r s ( f o r example t h e C h o r u s ' song a t 975-1033) i n which her p r e s e n c e m i g h t be e x p e c t e d t o s u p p r e s s t h e e x p r e s s i o n o f t h e s e n t i m e n t s f o u n d t h e r e . A l t o -g e t h e r , i t i s f a r e a s i e r t o assume t h a t a c h a r a c t e r who has no r e a s o n t o be on s t a g e , and whose p r e s e n c e t h e r e would f r e q u e n t l y be i n c o n v e n i e n t , i s n o t on s t a g e e x c e p t when h e r p r e s e n c e i s o b v i o u s l y a c t i v e l y r e q u i r e d ( a s , f o r i n s t a n c e , when she i s s p e a k -i n g ) . I t seems b e s t a t t h i s p o i n t t o go t h r o u g h t h e p l a y and d i s c u s s K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s e n t r a n c e s and e x i t s e a c h i n t u r n . ( T h e s e a r e t h e movements assumed i n t h e p a p e r . ) K l y t e m n e s t r a f i r s t e n t e r s a t l i n e 258. T h e r e i s no r e a -son f o r h e r t o e n t e r w i t h t h e c h o r u s a t l i n e 40, or t o be p r e s e n t t h r o u g h o u t t h e p a r o d o s ; and she i s n o t . D e b a t e has been h o t on t h i s p o i n t , c e n t e r i n g a r o u n d K l y -t e m n e s t r a ' s p r e s e n c e ( o r a b s e n c e ) d u r i n g l i n e s 83-103, w h i c h t h e c h o r u s a d d r e s s d i r e c t l y t o h e r , a s k i n g f o r i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t t h e s a c r i f i c e s t h e y have s e e n b e i n g p e r f o r m e d a r o u n d t h e c i t y . T h ose who b e l i e v e t h a t she i s on s t a g e a t 83-103 f a l l i n t o two g r o u p s . F i r s t , t h e r e a r e t h o s e , l i k e D e n n i s t o n , Page (1957: 76) a n d G i l b e r t M u r r a y (1920: x i i - x i i i ) , who b e l i e v e t h a t s h e 135 e n t e r s w i t h t h e c h o r u s a t l i n e 40, o r , a t l e a s t , some t i m e b e -tween 40 and 83, i n t i m e t o be a d d r e s s e d ; and t h a t she t h e n r e -m a i n s s i l e n t l y on s t a g e u n t i l 258, when t h e c h o r u s g r e e t h e r and r e p e a t t h e i r q u e s t i o n s , w h i c h , t h i s t i m e , she a n s w e r s . The s e -c o n d g r o u p , i n c l u d i n g Hermann 3, Rose (1958: 11-12) and more r e -c e n t l y P o o l (1983: 71-116) and G o l d h i l l (1984: 17-18 and n . 2 0 ) , s e e i n g no r e a s o n t o keep h e r on s t a g e t h r o u g h o u t t h e c h o r a l s o n g , b e l i e v e s h e e n t e r s sometime b e f o r e 83 and e x i t s a t 103 o r 104 w i t h o u t h a v i n g s p o k e n , t o r e - e n t e r a t 258. T a p l i n (1977: 282-284) a r g u e s c o n v i n c i n g l y t h a t K l y t e m n e s -t r a ' s s i l e n t and i g n o r e d p r e s e n c e d u r i n g t h e c h o r a l song (104-258) i s i n d e f e n s i b l e f o r s e v e r a l r e a s o n s : i t has no p u r p o s e , i t w o u l d d i s t r a c t a t t e n t i o n f r o m t h e c h o r u s ' i m p o r t a n t l y r i c s , i t i s common p r o c e d u r e i n t r a g e d y t o c l e a r t h e a c t o r s o f f s t a g e ( i f any a r e on) b e f o r e a s t r o p h i c song, and, as s u p p o r t i n g e v i d e n c e , an i g n o r e d s i l e n c e o f t h a t l e n g t h i s u n p a r a l l e l e d e l s e w h e r e i n Greek t r a g e d y . T h e r e r e m a i n s , t h e n , t h e s e c o n d t h e o r y , t h a t she e n t e r s a t a r o u n d 83 t o l e a v e s i l e n t l y a t 103. D i s c u s s i o n o f t h i s t h e o r y c a n be s u m m a r i z e d a s f o l l o w s . I f K l y t e m n e s t r a i s n o t on s t a g e a t 83-103, why t h e n d o e s t h e c h o r u s a d d r e s s h e r i n t h e manner t h e y do? I f she i s on s t a g e , what i s she d o i n g t h e r e ? Why d o e s n ' t she answer t h e q u e s t i o n s o f t h e c h o r u s ? And why d o n ' t t h e y comment on h e r s i l e n c e (as t h e y do on K a s s a n d r a ' s l a t e r i n t h e p l a y ? ) 136 T h o s e who b e l i e v e t h a t K l y t e m n e s t r a was not on s t a g e ( e g . T a p l i n 1977: 278 f f . ) u s u a l l y e x p l a i n t h e c h o r u s 1 a d d r e s s as a c h o r a l a p o s t r o p h e t o an a b s e n t c h a r a c t e r . O t h e r e x a m p l e s o f t h e s e e x i s t i n G r e e k t r a g e d y , t h e c l o s e s t p a r a l l e l b e i n g E u r i -p i d e s H i p p . 141 f f . , i n w h i c h t h e c h o r u s , a n x i o u s o v e r P h a e d r a ' s h e a l t h , come t o t h e g a t e s o f t h e p a l a c e and a s k h e r d i r e c t l y "what i s t r o u b l i n g you?" However, o t h e r c r i t i c s do n o t f i n d t h e two a d d r e s s e s much a l i k e . D e n n i s t o n , Page (1957: 7 6 ) , f o r i n -s t a n c e , f i n d no s i m i l a r i t y i n q u e s t i o n s about a s i t u a t i o n i n s i d e t h e p a l a c e w h i c h t h e c h o r u s c a n n o t s e e , and q u e s t i o n s a b o u t a s i t u a t i o n o u t s i d e w h i c h t h e y c a n see but do not know t h e r e a s o n s f o r . But i n b o t h c a s e s t h e c h o r u s wants i n f o r m a t i o n a b o u t some-t h i n g , and comes t o t h e p a l a c e t o ask t h e o n l y p e r s o n who c a n g i v e i t t o them; so t h e r e i s no r e a l d i f f e r e n c e on t h a t s c o r e . P o o l (1983: 86-87, 95) p o i n t s o u t t h a t i n a t y p i c a l c h o r a l a p o s t r o p h e , t h e c h o r u s ask q u e s t i o n s about t h e s t a t e o f t h e a b -s e n t c h a r a c t e r whom t h e y a d d r e s s , n o t a b o u t o t h e r p e o p l e o r t h i n g s . In t h e H i p p o l y t u s , f o r i n s t a n c e , t h e c h o r u s ask t h e Queen what's wrong w i t h h e r ; but i n t h e Agamemnon, t h e y ask K l y t e m n e s -t r a a b o u t e v e n t s a t T r o y . P o o l adds t h a t i n a t y p i c a l a p o s t r o -phe, t h e c h a r a c t e r q u e s t i o n e d i s a t t h e c e n t r e o f t h e i n t e r e s t and a t t e n t i o n , o r a n x i e t y , o f t h e c h o r u s ; i n f a c t , t h a t t h e p u r -p o s e o f t h e a d d r e s s i s t o c r e a t e a bond o f a f f e c t i o n w i t h , o r i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n o f e m o t i o n t o w a r d s , t h e a b s e n t c h a r a c t e r ( P o o l , 1983: 9 5 ) . I n Ag_. 83-103, however, t h e r e i s no s u c h c o n c e r n w i t h K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s w e l f a r e o r a c t i v i t i e s , and t h e c h o r u s , f a r f r o m 137 f e e l i n g any e m o t i o n a l bond w i t h h e r , d i s m i s s h e r e n t i r e l y f r o m t h e i r minds a f t e r 103. He c o n c l u d e s t h a t on t h e s e g r o u n d s , t h i s a d d r e s s , i f i t i s an a p o s t r o p h e t o an a b s e n t p e r s o n , i s u n l i k e any o t h e r i n Greek t r a g e d y . W h i l e i t i s t r u e t h a t t h e s t a t e o f t h e c h a r a c t e r a d d r e s s e d i s n o t t h e p r i n c i p a l c o n c e r n o f t h e c h o r u s , as i t i s i n o t h e r a p o s t r o p h e s , P o o l has not shown c o n c l u s i v e l y t h a t s u c h p e r s o n a l c o n c e r n i s a n e c e s s a r y c o n d i t i o n f o r an a p o s t r o p h e , o r t h e o n l y r e a s o n t h a t one w o u l d e v e r be made. T h i s argument, t h e r e f o r e , w h i l e i n t e r e s t i n g , d o e s n o t seem t o be o f o v e r w h e l m i n g i m p o r -t a n c e . However, P o o l does show q u i t e c l e a r l y t h a t t h i s a p o s t r o p h e i s u n i q u e on o t h e r g r o u n d s as w e l l . F i r s t , t h e s e q u e n c e o f t i t -l e s and v o c a t i v e s , a f o r m a l H o m e r i c mode o f a d d r e s s , i s n e v e r u s e d e l s e w h e r e e x c e p t t o a c h a r a c t e r on s t a g e . 4 ( P o o l , 1983: 91-92; R o s e , 1958: I I , 11.) S e c o n d , t h e q u e s t i o n s i n 85-87 a r e d i r e c t r e q u e s t s f o r i n f o r m a t i o n , u n l i k e t h e r h e t o r i c a l q u e s t i o n s , q u e s t i o n s a r i s i n g f r o m s i m p l e c u r i o s i t y , or s u r m i s e s w h i c h do n o t ask a q u e s t i o n so much as s u g g e s t an answer, w h i c h one f i n d s i n o t h e r a p o s t r o p h e s , i n c l u d i n g H i p p . 141 f f . ( P o o l , 1983: 8 3 - 8 5 ) . T h i r d , Ag. 97-103 a r e e s s e n t i a l l y a d i r e c t r e q u e s t f o r an answer (99-103) p l u s a p o l i t e f o r m u l a g i v i n g p e r m i s s i o n n o t t o t e l l more t h a n s h e w i s h e s ( 9 7 - 9 8 ) . N e i t h e r o f t h e s e make much s e n s e i f K l y t e m n e s t r a i s not t h e r e t o h e a r them, and n e i t h e r o c c u r i n any f o r m i n any u n d i s p u t e d a p o s t r o p h e t o an a b s e n t c h a r a c t e r . ( P o o l , 1983: 90, 9 3 - 9 4 ) . A l t o g e t h e r , i n f o r m and c o n t e n t , t h i s a p o -s t r o p h e i s u n l i k e any o t h e r i n Greek t r a g e d y , i f i t i s a d d r e s s e d 138 to an absent c h a r a c t e r , but i s (as Pool a l s o shows) i n no way anomalous i f Klytemnestra i s present. V e t t a (1976: 17) suggests that the reason the chorus ad-d r e s s Klytemnestra i n a manner which s t r o n g l y suggests that she i s p r e s e n t i s because, i n the e x c i t e m e n t of the moment, they " v i s u a l i z e " her so s t r o n g l y that she seems to them to be p r e s e n t . T h i s i s not e n t i r e l y c o n v i n c i n g , i n t h a t the o n l y t h i n g t h a t suggests the "excitement" and " v i s u a l i z a t i o n " of the chorus at t h i s p o i n t i s , i n f a c t , the address to Klytemnestra, and i t seems unwise to use a c o n c l u s i o n drawn from the te x t as a premise f o r e x p l i c a t i o n of that t e x t . V e t t a a l s o p o i n t s out that the ques-t i o n s they ask, e s p e c i a l l y l i n e s 86-96, p e r f o r m the s t a n d a r d d r a m a t i c f u n c t i o n of i n f o r m i n g the audience about events - i n t h i s case, s a c r i f i c e s - o f f s t a g e . T h i s f u n c t i o n of the address has u s u a l l y been overlooked. Those who b e l i e v e that Klytemnestra i s on stage at 83-103 e x p l a i n her p r e s e n c e v a r i o u s l y . G i l b e r t Murray (1920: x i i -x i i i ) b e l i e v e s she i s at the s a c r i f i c i a l a l t a r i n an "agony of s i l e n t prayer", p r e p a r i n g h e r s e l f f o r her intended crime. Win-nington-Ingram (1948: 130) b e l i e v e s she i s p r e s i d i n g over the s a c r i f i c e s , as does Rose (1958: I I , 11). I t i s important to G o l d h i l l (1984: 17) and p a r t i c u l a r l y to Z e i t l i n (1965; 467) 5 that K l y t e m n e s t r a be a s s o c i a t e d with the s a c r i f i c e s . However, while the chorus d e s c r i b e i n d e t a i l s a c r i f i c e s going on i n the c i t y , they don't mention or r e f e r to one being performed before them; and i n f a c t the text gives us no reason to b e l i e v e that there i s 139 one o c c u r r i n g on s t a g e as t h e y s p e a k . V e t t a has shown ( 1 9 7 6 : 109-112) t h a t f o r s e v e r a l r e a s o n s , i t i s h i g h l y u n l i k e l y t h a t s a c r i f i c e s were b e i n g p e r f o r m e d on s t a g e a t t h i s p o i n t i n t h e p l a y . Whatever K l y t e m n e s t r a i s d o i n g on s t a g e , t h e n , i t c a n n o t be p r e s i d i n g o v e r a s a c r i f i c e . P o o l , a c c e p t i n g t h i s , s u g g e s t s t h a t she m e r e l y s t a n d s a t t h e d o o r f o r t w e n t y l i n e s and t h e n r e - e n t e r s t h e p a l a c e (1983: 1 0 3-104). T h i s e n i g m a t i c a c t i o n , he b e l i e v e s , i s i n k e e p i n g w i t h K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s u n i q u e and e n i g m a t i c c h a r a c t e r , and w i t h t h e way s h e i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n t h e t r i l o g y . I t would a l s o , he f e e l s , s t r e n g t h e n and emphasize K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s c o n n e c t i o n w i t h t h e h o u s e e a r l y i n t h e p l a y , r e i n f o r c e t h e f e a r and u n e a s i n e s s o f w h i c h t h e watchman s p e a k s w h i c h s u r r o u n d s t h e h o u s e h o l d , l e n d v i s u a l p o i n t and d r a m a t i c e f f e c t t o C a l c h a s ' p r o p h e c y a t 154-155, and f i n a l l y , i t would make K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s f i r s t e n t r a n c e i n e a c h o f t h e t h r e e p l a y s an u n e x p e c t e d one. ( P o o l , 1983: 106-110). T h e s e a r g u m e n t s a r e n o t c o n v i n c i n g . K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s c o n -n e c t i o n w i t h t h e house i s marked enough l a t e r i n t h e p l a y t h a t an o t h e r w i s e m o t i v e l e s s a p p e a r a n c e a t t h i s p o i n t i s not n e c e s s a r y t o r e i n f o r c e i t . The a u d i e n c e , which has been g i v e n no h i n t t h a t i t s h o u l d do s o , w o u l d be u n l i k e l y t o c o n n e c t K l y t e m n e s t r a 1 s e n -t r a n c e h e r e w i t h t h e o b s c u r e l y e x p r e s s e d f e a r s o f t h e watchman. I f t h e y remembered h e r e n t r a n c e , i t c o u l d i n d e e d l e n d d r a m a t i c e f f e c t t o C a l c h a s ' p r o p h e c y a t 154-155, but C a l c h a s 1 words do n o t l a c k p o i n t e v e n w i t h o u t h e r a p p e a r a n c e ; a n d r e i n f o r c e m e n t o f s o m e t h i n g s a i d t h i r t y l i n e s l a t e r seems i n s u f f i c i e n t r e a s o n t o 140 b r i n g K l y t e m n e s t r a on s t a g e now. T h i s a p p e a r a n c e i s n o t , i n f a c t , i n k e e p i n g w i t h a c h a r a c t e r w h i c h , whatever e l s e i t may be, i s n ot n o t e d f o r s i l e n c e : K l y t e m n e s t r a has t h e l o n g e s t s p e e c h i n t h e p l a y ( e v e n her husband remarks on i t ) and by f a r t h e g r e a t e s t number o f n o n - c h o r a l l i n e s o f any c h a r a c t e r . F i n a l l y , w h i l e t h i s w o u l d make h e r f i r s t e n t r a n c e i n a l l t h r e e p l a y s u n e x p e c t e d , i n t h e o t h e r two p l a y s her e n t r a n c e has a p u r p o s e beyond mere s u r -p r i s e : i n t h e Choephoroe t o speak w i t h O r e s t e s , and i n t h e Eumen- i d e s t o r o u s e t h e F u r i e s a g a i n s t him. I t does not i n c r e a s e t h e "menace and m y s t e r y " s u r r o u n d i n g her c h a r a c t e r ( P o o l 1983: 1 1 1 ) , f o r t h e s i m p l e r e a s o n t h a t t h e c h o r u s show no f e a r o f h e r a t t h i s p o i n t w h i c h would d i r e c t t h e a u d i e n c e ' s minds t o w a r d s s u s p i c i o n . Were s h e t o s t a n d i n t h e doorway f o r twenty l i n e s o n l y t o e x i t s i l e n t l y , t h e a u d i e n c e ' s r e a c t i o n c o u l d i n f a c t o n l y be c o n f u -s i o n . F i n a l l y , a s s u m i n g t h a t she i s on s t a g e , why d o e s n ' t she answer t h e q u e s t i o n s o f t h e c h o r u s , and why does t h e c h o r u s n o t comment on h e r s i l e n c e ? Murray (1920: x i i - x i i i ) seems t o t h i n k i t i s b e c a u s e her p r a y e r s have p u t her i n s o m e t h i n g v e r y c l o s e t o a t r a n c e - s t a t e , a k i n t o K a s s a n d r a ' s , d e a f t o a l l a r o u n d h e r . E a r p (1950: 54) and o t h e r s b e l i e v e i t i s e v i d e n c e o f her h a u g h t y n a t u r e ; P o o l (1986: 113) a l s o t h i n k s her l a c k o f answer c a n be e x p l a i n e d by h e r i m p e r i o u s c h a r a c t e r and contempt f o r t h e c h o r u s , a n d t h a t i t d e m o n s t r a t e s h e r c o n t r o l o v e r t h e s i t u a t i o n . T h r o u g h o u t t h e r e s t o f t h e p l a y , however, she i s a l w a y s more t h a n w i l l i n g t o e x p l a i n and j u s t i f y h e r a c t i o n s t o t h e c h o r u s ; h e r 141 i m p e r i o u s n e s s , i f i t e x i s t s , d o e s n o t e v e n m a n i f e s t i t s e l f i n b r e v i t y , l e t a l o n e s i l e n c e . Her u n d e n i a b l e c o n t r o l o f t h e c h o r u s e l s e w h e r e s t e m s f r o m h e r a b i l i t y t o m a n i p u l a t e words, n o t f r o m h e r l a c k o f them. And a g a i n , mere s i l e n c e w i l l n o t i n d i c a t e h a u g h t i n e s s o r c o n t e m p t t o an a u d i e n c e whose t h o u g h t s have n o t b e e n d i r e c t e d t h a t way by o t h e r t h i n g s - f o r e x a m p l e , by t h e c h o r a l r e a c t i o n t o i t . A n d t h e c h o r u s do n o t r e a c t t o h e r s i l e n c e i n any way. Two t e c h n i c a l r e a s o n s have been s u g g e s t e d f o r h e r s i l e n c e , a n d t h e c h o r u s ' l a c k o f comment. F i r s t , P o o l (1983: 105) s u g -g e s t s t h a t i t w o u l d n o t be t r a d i t i o n a l f o r t h e t r a n s i t i o n f r o m a n a p a e s t s t o l y r i c i n t h e c h o r u s ' o p e n i n g s c e n e t o be b r o k e n by a c h a r a c t e r ' s s p e e c h , a n d t h a t a c h o r a l comment on h e r s i l e n c e w o u l d a l s o have been most u n t r a d i t i o n a l . I t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t a s p e e c h o f a s e c o n d c h a r a c t e r a t t h i s p o i n t m i g h t have seemed d i s r u p t i v e t o a G r e e k a u d i e n c e ; b u t t h e c o n t e n t o f t h e c h o r u s ' song i t s e l f i s s u r e l y i n t h e hands o f t h e p o e t . A e s c h y l u s , more-o v e r , s h o u l d not be t h o u g h t o f as bound hand and f o o t by a t r a d i -t i o n w h i c h he i n l a r g e m easure d e v e l o p e d , and i n w h i c h he was renowned f o r i n n o v a t i o n . I f he had d e s i r e d a c h o r a l comment on K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s s i l e n c e , he c o u l d c e r t a i n l y have i n t r o d u c e d one. Second, M i c h e l i n i (1974: 531 and n.18) s u g g e s t s t h a t c h a r -a c t e r s a r e n o t a l w a y s e x p e c t e d t o t a k e n o t i c e , i n t h e s p o k e n ( i a m b i c ) s e c t i o n s , o f what was s a i d i n t h e a n a p a e s t s . Her o t h e r e x a m p l e s o f t h i s , however, (Ag. 781 f f . and 829; Supp. 973-979 and 993) do n o t show t h i s p r i n c i p l e c l e a r l y . A l t o g e t h e r , t h e 142 l a c k o f r e s p o n s e , and t h e c h o r u s ' l a c k o f comment, must be c o n s i -d e r e d u n e x p l a i n e d . 6 F i n a l l y , one s h o u l d not f o r g e t t h e p o i n t r a i s e d by F r a e n -k e l ( 1 9 5 0 : n. a d l o c . ) t h a t i f K l y t e m n e s t r a e n t e r s a n d e x i t s w i t h o u t s p e a k i n g a t 83-103, i t i s t h e o n l y s u c h a p p e a r a n c e by a m a j o r c h a r a c t e r i n a l l o f Greek t r a g e d y . I t s u n i q u e n e s s d o e s n o t p r o v e t h a t i t d i d n o t h a ppen (as G o l d h i l l 1984: 16 n.20 p o i n t s o u t ) , b u t i t d o e s g i v e one r e a s o n t o t h i n k t h a t i t w o u l d n o t h a p p e n h e r e w i t h o u t a p u r p o s e . The c h o r a l a p o s t r o p h e has b een shown by P o o l t o be u n i q u e a l s o , i f i t i s a d d r e s s e d t o K l y t e m n e s -t r a i n h e r a b s e n c e . I n t h e end, one can o n l y t r y t o c h o o s e w h i c h o f two u n i q u e e v e n t s i s t h e more l i k e l y . I f 83-103 i s a d d r e s s e d t o K l y t e m n e s t r a i n h e r a b s e n c e , i t p e r f o r m s t h e f u n c t i o n o f i n f o r m i n g t h e a u d i e n c e a b o u t e v e n t s o f f s t a g e . Why s h e i s a d d r e s s e d s o s p e c i f i c a l l y , and i n s u c h l a n g u a g e , i s u n c l e a r . V e t t a ' s " v i s u a l i z a t i o n " seems a l i t t l e f a r - f e t c h e d , b ut c o u l d have an e l e m e n t o f t r u t h . Ewans (1982: 7-8) e x p l a i n s i t as a r e q u e s t by t h e C o u n c i l o f E l d e r s f o r a c o u n -c i l m e e t i n g , w h i c h , a t 258 f f . , K l y t e m n e s t r a g r a n t s them; t h e r e q u e s t i s made a t t h e p a l a c e g a t e s , knowing t h a t K l y t e m n e s t r a , i n s i d e , w i l l h e a r them and e v e n t u a l l y come o u t . T h i s a l s o i s n o t e n t i r e l y c o n v i n c i n g . E i t h e r h y p o t h e s i s , however, does t a k e i n t o a c c o u n t what i n f o r m a t i o n t h e r e i s . I f K l y t e m n e s t r a i s on s t a g e , t h e w o r d i n g o f t h e a d d r e s s i s e x p l a i n e d . However, she has no r e a s o n t o be t h e r e . She i s n o t 143 s a c r i f i c i n g , and s t a n d i n g about i n a doorway w i l l n o t c o n v e y an a i r o f menace, imper i o u s n e s s , or a n y t h i n g e l s e t o an a u d i e n c e w h i c h c o u l d o n l y be b e w i l d e r e d and d i s t r a c t e d by h e r p u r p o s e l e s s a p p e a r a n c e . P e r h a p s a r e p l y t o t h e c h o r u s ' q u e s t i o n s w o u l d d i s -r u p t t h e s t a n d a r d f o r m a t o f t h e o p e n i n g c h o r a l s c e n e s , b u t t h e l a c k o f one i s s t i l l v e r y s t r a n g e . The l a c k o f c h o r a l r e a c t i o n t o h e r s i l e n c e i s c o m p l e t e l y i n e x p l i c a b l e . Of t h e two p o s s i b i l i t i e s , t h e n , w h i l e a c e r t a i n answer i s i m p o s s i b l e , a n a d d r e s s t o h e r i n h e r a b s e n c e seems more e a s i l y e x p l a i n e d , and t h u s r a t h e r more l i k e l y , t h a n h e r s i l e n t p r e s e n c e a t 83-103. K l y t e m n e s t r a e n t e r s , t h e n , a t 258, and i s g r e e t e d by t h e c h o r u s . She r e s p o n d s t o t h e i r q u e s t i o n s w i t h h e r two famous s p e e c h e s a t 281-316 and 320-350, e n d i n g a t 347-350 w i t h a f o r m u l a v e r y t y p i c a l o f e x i t - l i n e s ; t h e c h o r u s r e s p o n d s w i t h l i n e s v e r y t y p i c a l o f t h o s e s p o k e n t o e x i t i n g c h a r a c t e r s . ( T a p l i n , 1977: 289-290). So i t seems s a f e t o say t h a t she e x i t s somewhere b e -tween 350 and 354, and r e t u r n s a t 586, when she s p e a k s t o t h e h e r a l d . T h e r e i s no r e a s o n f o r h e r t o be on s t a g e d u r i n g t h e a c t - d i v i d i n g song o f t h e c h o r u s , and she i s n o t . The r e a l argument i n t h i s segment o f t h e p l a y c e n t e r s on l i n e s 489-500, w h i c h th e m a n u s c r i p t s F and Tr a t t r i b u t e t o K l y -t e m n e s t r a . I f she s p e a k s t h e s e l i n e s , t h e n she i s p r o b a b l y on s t a g e d u r i n g t h e song, and must s u r e l y s t a y on a f t e r 500 t o h e a r t h e h e r a l d . 144 The two s t r o n g e s t r e a s o n s t o b e l i e v e t h a t K l y t e m n e s t r a s p o k e l i n e s 489-500 a r e t h e m a n u s c r i p t a t t r i b u t i o n , and t h e a r g u -ment t h a t h e r s p e e c h a t 586 f f . shows t h a t s h e knows what t h e h e r a l d s a i d , and t h e r e f o r e must have h e a r d h i s s p e e c h . ( D e n n i s -t o n , P a g e 1957: 1 1 6 - 1 1 7 . ) 7 Of t h e s e , t h e m a n u s c r i p t a t t r i b u -t i o n s s h o u l d not be w e i g h t e d t o o h e a v i l y , as t h e same m a n u s c r i p t s w h i c h g i v e t h e s e l i n e s t o K l y t e m n e s t r a g i v e t h e b e a c o n - s p e e c h t o a m e s s e n g e r . Those who do not b e l i e v e t h a t K l y t e m n e s t r a was on s t a g e d u r i n g t h e h e r a l d ' s s p e e c h ( f o r i n s t a n c e T a p l i n , 1977: 300, and S c u l l y , unpub.: 7) h a ve f e l t t h a t t h e s e c o n d a r g u m e n t r e -q u i r e d an answer. They t e n d t o e x p l a i n K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s knowledge o f what t h e h e r a l d s a i d by r e f e r r i n g t o her " c l a i r v o y a n c e " and "power", as she i s p o r t r a y e d by A e s c h y l u s . 8 T h i s i s n o t n e c e s s -a r y , h owever, as t h e r e i s i n f a c t n o t h i n g i n h e r s p e e c h a t 586 f f . t h a t s h e c o u l d n o t r e a s o n a b l y have s a i d . She a r r a n g e d t h e b e a c o n s , and knew t h a t she c o u l d t r u s t them; she t h e r e f o r e a l -r e a d y knew t h a t T r o y had f a l l e n , and d i d not need t h e h e r a l d t o t e l l h e r . I f t h e c h o r u s d i d n o t t r u s t t h e b e a c o n s , i t i s no c o n c e r n o f h e r s . S i n c e she r e c e i v e d t h e b e a c o n - s i g n a l , she w o u l d e x p e c t Agamemnon t o a r r i v e home s o o n e r o r l a t e r ; when a h e r a l d a r r i v e s , i t makes p e r f e c t s e n s e f o r her t o assume t h a t i t i s t h e one s h e e x p e c t s . She knows t h a t he's a h e r a l d b e c a u s e o f h i s s t a f f , and she knows t h a t Agamemnon has a r r i v e d s a f e l y b o t h b e -c a u s e t h e h e r a l d h a s g o t t h e r e and b e c a u s e he w e a r s an o l i v e w r e a t h ( 494 ) , t h e s i g n o f a b e a r e r o f g o o d news. ( S c u l l y , u n p u b . : 9 ) . No o m n i s c i e n c e i s n e c e s s a r y h e r e , o n l y o r d i n a r y 145 d e d u c t i v e a b i l i t i e s on t h e p a r t o f anyone who t r u s t e d t h e b e a -c o n s . I t i s n o t n e c e s s a r y , t h e n , t o b e l i e v e t h a t K l y t e m n e s t r a i s on s t a g e t o h e a r t h e h e r a l d ' s s p e e c h . F i n a l l y , l i n e s 489-500 ( o r 489-502) s u i t t h e c h o r u s b e t t e r t h a n t h e y do K l y t e m n e s t r a . T h e i r t o n e i s d o u b t f u l , as i f s p o k e n by one who i s n o t s u r e what news t h e h e r a l d b r i n g s , and f o l l o w s v e r y w e l l on t h e t o n e and c o n c e r n s o f t h e c h o r u s 1 song i m m e d i a t e -l y p r e v i o u s . K l y t e m n e s t r a does not s h a r e t h e c o n c e r n s t h e c h o r u s s i n g o f i n t h e i r a c t - d i v i d i n g song, and i t makes no s e n s e f o r h e r t o r e f l e c t them; and she i s s u r e o f t h e h e r a l d ' s news. I t seems s a f e t o s a y , t h e n , t h a t she does not speak t h o s e l i n e s and i s n o t on s t a g e t o h e a r them s p o k e n . She e n t e r s a t l i n e 586. She e x i t s a g a i n a t l i n e 6 1 4 9 a n d e n t e r s a t 855, a f t e r Agamemnon's homecoming s p e e c h . No f u r t h e r n o t i c e i s t a k e n o f h e r p r e s e n c e a f t e r 613, and i t would be odd i f , h a v i n g s a i d t h a t s h e need not h e a r a n y t h i n g from t h e h e r a l d when she i s a b o u t t o g e t t h e whole s t o r y from her husband (598-599), she were t h e n t o s t a y on s t a g e t o l i s t e n t o t h e h e r a l d . T h e r e i s a g a i n no r e a s o n f o r h e r t o s t a y on s t a g e d u r i n g t h e c h o r a l ode a f t e r t h e h e r a l d ' s e x i t ( 6 8 1 - 7 8 1 ) , and she does n o t . T h e r e a r e two good r e a s o n s t o b e l i e v e t h a t K l y t e m n e s t r a c a n n o t have been on s t a g e d u r i n g Agamemnon's s p e e c h . F i r s t , i n a s p e e c h w h i c h a d d r e s s e s t h e l a n d , t h e g o d s , and t h e o l d men a t some l e n g t h , he does n o t m e n t i o n h i s w i f e . T h e r e a r e s e v e r a l ways o f e x p l a i n i n g t h i s - t h a t he i s so t a k e n up w i t h h i s p o l i t i -146 c a l r o l e , a s a k i n g r e t u r n i n g t o h i s l a n d , t h a t he has e n t i r e l y f o r g o t t e n h i s d o m e s t i c r o l e as a husband and f a t h e r r e t u r n i n g t o a home 1 0; t h a t K l y t e m n e s t r a i s i n v i s i b l e i n t h e b a c k g r o u n d (why? a n d why would she s t a y t h e r e , on s e e i n g Agamemnon's e n t r a n c e ? ) ; o r t h a t he i s d e l i b e r a t e l y s l i g h t i n g h i s w i f e ( a g a i n , why?) None o f t h e s e q u i t e e x p l a i n why he does not a d d r e s s h e r ; s u r e l y i t i s e a s i e r t o b e l i e v e t h a t she s i m p l y i s not t h e r e . S e cond, i n h i s l a s t f o u r l i n e s ( 8 5 1 - 854), Agamemnon c l e a r -l y s i g n i f i e s t h a t he i s i n t e n d i n g t o go i m m e d i a t e l y i n t o t h e p a l a c e . I n s t e a d , K l y t e m n e s t r a b e g i n s t o speak, and he doe s n o t go i n . What b e t t e r r e a s o n f o r t h i s t h a n t h a t she has s u d d e n l y a p p e a r e d i n t h e doorway and b l o c k e d h i s p a t h ? 1 1 H i s comment a t 916 m i g h t be i n t e r p r e t e d p a r t l y as annoyance a t b e i n g f r u s t r a t e d i n h i s o r i g i n a l i n t e n t , a s w e l l a s a t b e i n g f o r c e d t o w a i t t h r o u g h a l o n g and e m b a r r a s s i n g s p e e c h . 1 2 K l y t e m n e s t r a e x i t s s h o r t l y a f t e r Agamemnon, a t 974. Her f i n a l c o u p l e t i s p r o b a b l y not i n t e n d e d t o be h e a r d by Agamemnon ( 9 7 3 - 9 7 4 ) , a n d s o i s m o s t l i k e l y d e l i v e r e d a f t e r h i s e x i t . ( T a p l i n 1977; 308-309; F r a e n k e l 1950: n. ad l o c . ) T h i s c o u p l e t i s , a g a i n , v e r y good as an e x i t - l i n e , and as t h e r e i s no r e a s o n t o k e e p K l y t e m n e s t r a on s t a g e t h r o u g h t h e c h o r a l s o n g (975-1 0 3 3 ) 1 3 , we may assume i t was u s e d as one. T h e r e m a i n d e r o f K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s m o v e m e n t s a r e f a i r l y c l e a r l y m a r k e d . She e n t e r s a t 1035, l o s e s i n h e r a t t e m p t t o 147 c o n t r o l K a s s a n d r a , and e x i t s a t 1068. E n t e r i n g a g a i n a t 1372, she r e m a i n s on s t a g e u n t i l t h e end o f t h e p l a y . One more p o i n t needs t o be made on t h e s u b j e c t o f s t a g e d i r e c t i o n s . A e g i s t h u s a d m i t s t h a t he was n o t i n t h e house ("&<J-p*ioi wO", 16 0 8 ) . He and h i s bo d y g u a r d must t h e r e f o r e have come on f r o m a s i d e e n t r a n c e . ( T a p l i n 1977: 3 2 9 ) . K l y t e m n e s t r a has u s e d o n l y t h e c e n t r a l d o o r i n t o t h e house t h r o u g h o u t t h e p l a y , and has c o n t r o l l e d i t s use by a l m o s t e v e r y o n e e l s e . The h e r a l d i s n ot p e r m i t t e d t o e n t e r ; Agamemnon e n t e r s o n l y on h e r d i s a s t -r o u s t e r m s ; and A e g i s t h u s , from o u t s i d e t h e p a l a c e , i s p e r m i t t e d t o e n t e r w i t h h e r a t t h e p l a y ' s end. O n l y K a s s a n d r a f r u s t r a t e s K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s a t t e m p t t o c o m p l e t e l y c o n t r o l e n t r a n c e t o t h e o i k o s a n d e n t e r s u n d e r c o m p u l s i o n n o t o f K l y t e m n e s t r a , b u t o f A p o l l o . T h i s f a i l u r e f o r e s h a d o w s K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s e v e n t u a l doom, by command o f t h e same god; b u t i n t h e f i r s t p l a y , we s h o u l d remember t h a t v i s u a l l y , K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s c o n t r o l o f , and a u t h o r i t y o v e r , t h e p a l a c e w i l l have been o b v i o u s , and her s e l f - p r o c l a i m e d r o l e a s "dog o f t h e house" p e r f e c t l y c l e a r t h r o u g h o u t t h e p l a y . 148 N O T E S T O A P P E N D I X B lEe c i t e s W i l a m o w i t z * a r t i c l e i n Hermes 21 (1886) 597 f f . , w h i c h a r g u e s t h e same p o i n t . 2 L a t t i m o r e ' s t r a n s l a t i o n a l s o assumes t h i s c o n t i n u a l p r e -s e n c e . ( R i c h m o n d L a t t i m o r e , O r e s t e i a , t r a n s l a t i o n . ( C h i c a g o : 1 9 5 3 ) . 3 A s c i t e d by T a p l i n (1977: 2 8 4 ) . I am i n d e b t e d t o t h i s work f o r much o f t h e argument o f t h i s a p p e n d i x . 4 V e t t a (1976: 11) shows t h a t t h i s i s not a common f o r m o f a d d r e s s t o a c h a r a c t e r e n t e r i n g f o r t h e f i r s t t i m e and ( 1 9 7 6 : 117-118) t h a t t h e a d d r e s s a t 258-260 i s more common under t h o s e c i r c u m s t a n c e s . However, t h e c o m b i n a t i o n o f v o c a t i v e s , common o r n o t , s t i l l s u g g e s t s t h a t K l y t e m n e s t r a i s p r e s e n t . 5 Z e i t l i n ' s d i s c u s s i o n o f s a c r i f i c i a l i m a g e r y i n t h e O r e s - t e i a i s e x t r e m e l y e n l i g h t e n i n g , and I do n o t w i s h t o weaken h e r a r g u m e n t . However, K l y t e m n e s t r a 1 s a b s e n c e a t 83-103 d o e s n o t weaken i t ; as she has o r d e r e d t h e s a c r i f i c e s , h e r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r t h e r i t e s ( w h i c h t h e c h o r u s emphasize) r e m a i n s t h e same whe-t h e r o r n o t s h e i s p r e s e n t . Her r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e s a c r i -f i c e s i s t h u s u n c h a n g e d , a l t h o u g h v i s u a l l y t h e i m p a c t i s l e s s -e n e d . 6 N e i t h e r 97-98 nor 263 ought t o be t h o u g h t o f as comments on K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s s i l e n c e ; b o t h can be e x p l a i n e d more e a s i l y as m e r e l y p o l i t e f o r m u l a e appended t o r e s p e c t f u l r e q u e s t s f o r i n f o r -m a t i o n . 7 T h e r e a r e o t h e r arguments, m e n t i o n e d by S c u l l y (unpub. 2-3 ) , b u t t h e y a r e t r i v i a l ( a s he d e m o n s t r a t e s ) and e a s i l y d i s -m i s s e d . 8 e g . T a p l i n (1977: 300) - "she d i d not need t o be p r e s e n t t o h a v e t h i s s u p e r i o r i t y , w h i c h i s t y p i c a l o f h e r r o l e " , o r S c u l l y (unpub.: 7) - "(She) does not need t o be p r e s e n t a t 489 t o know t h a t Agamemnon has a r r i v e d a t A r g o s . E a r l i e r A e s c h y l u s has made he r d e s c r i b e t h e s c e n e i n t h e r u i n e d c i t y o f T r o y . " 9 T h e MSS F a n d T r g i v e 612-613 t o t h e h e r a l d , b u t a s F r a e n k e l (1950: n. ad l o c . ) d e m o n s t r a t e s , t h i s s h o u l d be d i s r e -g a r d e d , i f n o t b e c a u s e i t would be e x t r e m e l y u n u s u a l f o r a s e c o n d a c t o r t o b r e a k i n w i t h an answer b e f o r e t h e c h o r u s s p e a k , t h e n b e c a u s e t h e r e seems no r e a s o n f o r t h e h e r a l d t o s a y them; b u t t h e y a r e good e x i t - l i n e s f o r K l y t e m n e s t r a . 1 0 O f c o u r s e , Agamemnon's g r e a t weakness and t h e s o u r c e o f h i s d o w n f a l l i n t h e p l a y i s p r e c i s e l y t h a t he does o u t r a g e h i s d o m e s t i c t i e s f o r t h e s a k e o f h i s p o l i t i c a l r o l e . One c a n n o t 149 d o u b t t h a t i n t h i s homecoming s c e n e A e s c h y l u s shows us a man who i s , a t t h a t moment a t l e a s t , e n t i r e l y p r e o c c u p i e d w i t h h i s p o s i -t i o n a s k i n g . Were h i s s p e e c h not s u f f i c i e n t t o t e l l us t h i s , K l y t e m n e s t r a ' s s p e e c h a d d r e s s i n g him e x c l u s i v e l y as h u s b a n d and h e a d o f t h e h o u s e h o l d e m p h a s i z e s t h e " r e g a l " t o n e o f h i s own word s . But even a k i n g would m e n t i o n h i s r e g e n t - w h i c h we know K l y t e m n e s t r a t o be f r o m l i n e s 258-260 - on homecoming, i f t h e r e g e n t were p r e s e n t . Agamemnon does n o t . n T a p l i n (1977: 307) p o i n t s t h i s o u t . I t i s f o r e s h a d o w e d a t 587, when she b l o c k s t h e h e r a l d ' s e n t r a n c e . (The h e r a l d l i k e -w i s e h a s n o t a d d r e s s e d h e r . ) See a l s o Ewans ( 1 9 8 2 : 7 - 8 ) , who d e v e l o p s t h e theme o f o b s t r u c t e d , o r p e r v e r t e d , homecoming. 1 2 S e e M i c h e l i n i (1974: 527-530) f o r an i n t e r e s t i n g i n t e r -p r e t a t i o n . She s u g g e s t s t h a t h i s comment i s i n t e n d e d p a r t l y t o mark t h e t r a n s i t i o n between a f o r m a l r h e s i s and t h e r e t u r n t o t h e " a c t i o n " o f t h e p l a y , and c i t e s o t h e r examples o f t h i s u s a g e . 1 3 A n d some t o t a k e h e r o f f - w o u l d t h e c h o r u s h a v e e x -p r e s s e d t h e i r f o r e b o d i n g s so c l e a r l y i f t h e a g e n t t h e y f e a r e d were s t i l l on s t a g e ? 150 BIBLIOGRAPHY TEXTS AND COMMENTARIES D e n n i s t o n , J o h n Dewar and Denys Page, e d s . ( 1 9 5 7 ) . A e s - c h y l u s ; Agamemnon. 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