The Plot of Aeschylus’s Agamemnon Based on Aristotle’s Poetics

Pages: 2 (550 words) Published: October 23, 2008
Aristotle believes that poetry is imitative and should create an image of the world through the poet’s eyes. The past few weeks, we have discussed the meaning of epic poetry and how it relates to Aristotle’s view of tragedy. He believes there is a strong correlation between the two mechanisms due to the inquisitive art and emotions they both portray. Aristotle’s Poetics states that there are six major components within discovering a tragedy. The six components consist of plot, character, diction/language, thoughts/themes, spectacle, and lyric/song. I chose to relate Aristotle’s view of a tragedy to Aeschylus’s Agamemnon plot component due to the fact that Aristotle believes to be the most important. A well rounded plot requires an insightful beginning, which doesn’t reflect on any previous action; a middle, that follows the beginning with a climax; and an end that follows chronologically from the beginning of the narrative, to the end, to illustrate the true meaning of the story.

As mentioned before, Aristotle states, “A beginning is that which does not have to follow anything else, but after which something else naturally takes place” (1230 Aristotle). In Aeschylus’s story of Agamemnon, the beginning begins with a watchman on duty on the roof of a palace in Argos, waiting for a signal announcing the fall of the Trojan army. When giving the signal, he immediately announces it to the Queen of Argos Clytaemnestra, as known as Agamemnon’s wife, to seek approval to retreat from the war. When the watchman leaves the presence of Clytaemnestra, the Chorus made up of old men, enters and begin to reminisce about the story of The Iliad. They state that the war began a long time ago and lasted for approximately ten years. The Chorus translates how Clytaemnestra's husband Agamemnon, also known as Menelaus' brother, sacrificed their daughter Iphigenia to Artemis (God of Wilderness) to obtain an alliance with the Greeks. When Clytaemnestra hears this tragic story...
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