The Agamemnon: Family Feud for the Ages

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The House of Atreus is one of the finest examples of uncontrollable fate in all of ancient literature. The lineage of Atreus is steeped in the spilling of family blood starting with Tantalus and continuing with Agamemnon. However it is Atreus who is responsible for the curse on the family, since he was the one who tricked Thyestes into eating his children. It was this one event that caused the continuation of family bloodshed and forced family members of the House of Atreus to fulfill their obligatory fate upon one another.

The story of the House of Atreus begins with Tantalus, the half immortal son of Zeus. He holds a banquet for the gods and decides to cut up and serve his son Pelops for the gods to feast upon, and Tantalus feels that this sacrifice will be taken in high regard by the gods and Pelops will be restored. He is correct since his son is restored but the gods condemn Tantalus to an eternity of damnation due to his sin of hubris. Later on in his life Pelops has two sons, Thyestes and Atreus, and it is these two that enact the curse upon the family and condemn all future family members to an inevitable fate. Thyestes was the one who was meant to rule the kingdom of Mycenae, but his brother Atreus took control instead and in an act of revenge Thyestes sleeps with Atreus' wife. Pretending to grant mercy, Atreus invites Thyestes out of exile to a great feast to set aside their differences. At this feast Atreus fools Thyestes into eating his two children, and because of this act Thyestes curses Atreus and his entire family for eternity. It is this one act that seals the fate of Agamemnon and even his wife Clytemnestra to a terrible death.

The story of the Agamemnon focuses around the king of Mycenae Agamemnon as he is set to lead his men in the Trojan War. Before they set sail for Troy Agamemnon's soldiers kill a pregnant rabbit and do not offer proper thanks to the Goddess Artemis. Artemis then withholds the winds so the ships can not set sail and...
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