The Eumenides



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The former king of Argos, husband of Clytemnestra, and father of Orestes, Electra, and Iphigenia. Agamemnon was murdered by Clytemnestra and Aegisthus in Agamemnon, the first play of Aeschylus’s cycle. Orestes then murdered Clytemnestra to avenge his father’s death, at Apollo’s urging. As Orestes’ trial goes on, Agamemnon’s lingering memory also comes to represent male power, privilege, and misogyny in Ancient Greek society. Apollo argues—successfully—that Agamemnon’s life was worth more to Orestes than Clytemnestra’s was, because fathers are more important than mothers.

Agamemnon Quotes in The Eumenides

The The Eumenides quotes below are all either spoken by Agamemnon or refer to Agamemnon. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Revenge vs. Justice Theme Icon
Lines 64-234 Quotes

Marriage of man and wife is Fate itself,
Stronger than oaths, and Justice guards its life.

I say your manhunt of Orestes is unjust.
Some things stir your rage, I see. Others,
Atrocious crimes, lull your will to act.

Related Characters: Apollo (speaker), Orestes, The Furies, The ghost of Clytemnestra, Agamemnon
Page Number: 215-221
Explanation and Analysis:
Lines 567-1043 Quotes

You’d force this man’s acquittal? Behold, Justice!
Can a son spill his mother’s blood on the ground,
Then settle into his father’s halls in Argos?

Related Characters: The Furies (speaker), Orestes, Apollo, The ghost of Clytemnestra, Agamemnon
Related Symbols: Blood
Page Number: 659-662
Explanation and Analysis:

The woman you call the mother of the child
Is not the parent, just a nurse to the seed,
The new-sown seed that grows and swells inside her.
The man is the source of life—the one who mounts.

Related Characters: Apollo (speaker), Orestes, The ghost of Clytemnestra, Agamemnon
Page Number: 666-669
Explanation and Analysis:

I will cast my lot for you.
No mother gave me birth.
I honour the male, in all things but marriage.
Yes, with all my heart I am my Father’s child.
I cannot set more store by the woman’s death—
She killed her husband, guardian of their house.
Even if the vote is equal, Orestes wins.

Related Characters: Athena (speaker), Orestes, The ghost of Clytemnestra, Agamemnon, Zeus
Page Number: 750-756
Explanation and Analysis:
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Agamemnon Character Timeline in The Eumenides

The timeline below shows where the character Agamemnon appears in The Eumenides. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Lines 235-566
Revenge vs. Justice Theme Icon
The Power of the Gods Theme Icon
...then goes on to explain his history, recounting how his mother, Clytemnestra, killed his father, Agamemnon. He boldly states that he did indeed murder his mother in revenge, but adds that... (full context)
Lines 567-1043
Revenge vs. Justice Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Familial Bonds Theme Icon
The Power of the Gods Theme Icon
...but Orestes responds that he has “no regrets.” He also expresses faith in his father, Agamemnon, whom he says “will help me from the grave.” When the Furies indict him for... (full context)