Robert's Reviews > The Oresteia

The Oresteia by Aeschylus
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Sep 17, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: read-again
Read from September 17 to October 01, 2011

Review for The Oresteia by Fagles and for An Oresteia by Carson:

I just finished the Robert Fagles translation again... read it first in 2002 at William and Mary. Strangely fitting that I should come to this text again in my preparations for my final thesis at Teacher's College.

Again I am impressed by the power and structure of the writing, which annoints the concept of the legal process with a mythic narrative that pulsates with blood and violence.

What I had forgotten was the brilliance of Robert Fagles introductory essay, "The Serpent and the Eagle". Amazing exploration of the text and the concepts that he believes Aeschylus strives to put forth to his readers... from 5th century BC to today.

Then I read the Ann Carson reworking of the trilogy... called "An Oresteia"... for some strange reason GoodReads thinks they are the same book. Hardly. The Carson text blends the first part by Aeschyuls, with the second part by Sophocles, and then Eurepidies for the conclusion. This shows how radically each writer approached this story and what they chose to develop as a reflection of their own interests and moment in history. A bold and fresh re-telling of this foundational myth of Western Civilization... definitely worth reading.
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