The Role of the Greek Chorus in Agamemnom - Short Essay

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David Grice
Theater History 1
9/13/2011
The role of the Greek Chorus in Agamemnom

The role that the Greek chorus played throughout the development of acient Greek theater changed from show to show. Their purposes were to sway audience's emotions to feel the way the characters felt, to fill in the audience of what has happened in the past and give in sight of what will happen in the future, and to play the part of the "people" speaking as one being in society. In Agamemnon the Greek chorus's role is huge, consisting of almost half the lines in the entire play. The Greek chorus fills the audience in on what has happened, the past and displays the action of the entire piece to the audience.

The story of Agamemnom tells the tale of betrayal, murder, war and life there after. The story begins 10 years after Agamemnom and Menaleus left for war with the Trojans. Throughout the entire play the Greek chorus fills the audience in on exactly what has happened in those 10 years. for example, in the first scene the chorus tells of the brothers leaving for battle, "It's now ten years since Menelaus, 50 [40] Priam's great adversary, and lord Agamemnon, two mighty sons of Atreus, joined by Zeus in double honours— twin thrones and royal sceptres— left this country with that fleet, a thousand Argive ships, to back their warrior cause with force, hearts screaming in their battle fury, two eagles overwhelmed by grief, 60 crying for their young—wings beating [50] like oars, they wheel aloft, high above their home, distressed because they've lost their work— their fledglings in the nest are gone!....But I hope whatever follows will be good, according to the wishes of our queen, who governs here, our closest guard, keeping watch all by herself, protecting Peloponnesian lands." (Agamemnom 1)

The story continues to show the coming home of Agamemnom to his queen Clymenstra. The Greek chorus shows a form of disdain and almost fear of her, due to what they "know" will happen....
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