In the Agamemnon, Clytemnestra makes a formal speech to the chorus describing her love and concern for her husband. Describe the elements of deceit in the speech.
In Aeschylus’s Greek myth Oresteia, Clytemnestra makes a speech shortly before her husband, Agamemnon, is murdered. The speech is spoken right upon the return of Agamemnon from the war of troy. The speech she gives is deceitful and foreshadows many events to come in the myth. The speech is also full of double entendres and appearances of loss and death. Clytemnestra tricks the chorus and Agamemnon with her tricky play on words and techniques of deceit. Clytemnestra use of images, metaphors, and ambiguous phrases is only some of the treacherous skills that she brings to the table as we see throughout the myth.
Clytemnestra’s cleaver language is used for a cowardly purpose. She uses many shrewd images, which are misinterpreted by not only the chorus but Agamemnon as well. This speech is interpreted by Agamemnon and the chorus to be a praise and a relief that her husband made it home safely. In the beginning of her speech she says “It is evil and a thing of terror when a wife sits in the house forlorn with no man by, and hears rumors that like a fever die to break again, and men come in with news of fear, and on their heels another messenger, with worse news to cry aloud here in this house,” (Agamemnon, 861-866). When she was that the rumors she hears spread like dieses, she implores an image of death and downfall. Throughout the rest of her speech she brings up rumors of death and even says that “Had Agamemnon taken all the wounds of the tale whereof was carried home to me, he had been cut full of gashes like a fishing net,” (Agamemnon, 866-868). Notice how she may seem to be praising Agamemnon but still points out how he has holes like a net. Clytemnestra also lets us know that the rumors going around the city were so intolerable that she “had to be released against her will, from the...
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