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Agamemnon summary | Aeschylus

Agamemnon summary | Aeschylus

Writer’s Intro:

Aeschylus (525 BC–456 BC) was an ancient Greek tragedian. He is often described as the father of tragedy. Academics’ knowledge of the genre starts with his plays, and most of what they know about tragedies before him comes from what they can figure out from his plays. To read the summary of Agamemnon is more important to the students of English literature.




 “Agamemnon summary”

First part

The Watchman, who is seated on the roof of the palace of Agamemnon in Argos, Greece, speaks the play’s opening lines. The issue is that Agamemnon isn’t present. Ten years had passed since he left to fight in the Trojan War. The Watchman then mentions how miserable his existence is while spotting a signal fire in the distance, which denotes Troy’s capture. Clytemnestra, Agamemnon’s wife, is alerted when the watchman sounds. Argos quickly becomes a hive of activity, with several offerings being made to the gods.

In the following scene, the chorus, a group of senior citizens, congregates in front of Clytemnestra, Agamemnon’s wife, who has been running affairs while her husband is away. They are curious as to the cause of the commotion. Then they sing a song about the reasons for the Trojan War and how Agamemnon sacrificed Iphigenia, his daughter with Clytemnestra, in order to persuade the goddess Artemis to provide him favorable winds as he traveled there.


Clytemnestra emerges outside the palace after the chorus has finished singing and informs the crowd that the battle is over, as well as how she knows it. She then returns to the palace. To be honest, the news hasn’t quite persuaded the chorus. Then, though, a Herald makes an announcement that Agamemnon will arrive shortly. The Herald gives a compelling tale of the conquest of Troy.



Second part of Agamemnon summary

Then Agamemnon shows up in his chariot, as expected. A Trojan princess named Cassandra that he has imprisoned rides with him in the chariot. To greet her spouse, Clytemnestra appears outside the palace. In order to prevent Agamemnon from touching the earth as he makes his journey from the chariot to the palace, she orders slave women to spread out a purple cloth for him to walk on. Agamemnon is hesitant to do so since purple cloth was quite expensive in those days, and he fears the gods would be angered if a mortal, such as himself, engaged in such a lavish deed. But eventually, Clytemnestra coerces him into submission.

The chorus sings a song about being vaguely terrified but not understanding why Agamemnon crossed the draperies inside the palace. When they’re finished, Clytemnestra exits the palace and calls Cassandra inside. Cassandra refuses to comply and exhibits no indication that she has comprehended Clytemnestra’s instructions. Clytemnestra eventually gives up on attempting to convince her and enters the palace.


The chorus and Cassandra are now on stage. Cassandra, who hasn’t spoken yet, begins sobbing hysterically about how she’s about to be slain as the chorus attempts to convince her to enter the palace. The chorus starts by asking her what she’s trying to say. The past and future are revealed by Cassandra, a prophet. She witnesses a terrible atrocity done by Agamemnon’s father, Atreus, in the past. Thyestes’ children were killed and served to Atreus as food when the latter was furious with his brother for having an affair with his wife. This, according to Cassandra, has placed a curse on the home.



Third part of the summary of Agamemnjon

Then Cassandra shifts her focus to the future and declares that both she and Agamemnon will soon perish. She gives clues that Clytemnestra will be the killer, but the chorus ignores them. Cassandra then enters the palace after declaring her acceptance of death.


The chorus then hears two shouts emanating from the palace. One of which is Agamemnon’s declaration of his murder. The chorus members engage in a perplexing discussion with one another; while some initially advocate for taking action right away, they ultimately opt to hold off until they have all the information.


Soon enough, when the palace door opens and Clytemnestra is seen standing over the dead bodies of Agamemnon and Cassandra, the situation becomes obvious. Agamemnon was murdered, according to Clytemnestra, in order to exact revenge on their daughter Iphigenia. She claims that she was only carrying out the curse that had been imposed on the family by Thyestes, a generation prior, and that she is not to blame for the murders.


Then, speaking of the devil, who else but Thyestes’ son Aegisthus should take the stage? In light of the fact that he conspired to have Agamemnon killed in retaliation for what Atreus (Agamemnon’s father) had done to his siblings, Aegisthus is now Clytemnestra’s lover. The Chorus is furious over everything and is about to attack Aegisthus when Clytemnestra intervenes. As the play comes to a close, the chorus calls for Orestes, Agamemnon’s son, to return from exile and exact revenge on his father. Clytemnestra instructs Aegisthus to ignore them before bringing him inside the palace and announcing that they will serve as joint kings of Argos.




Character List for Agamemnon synopsis

Agamemnon was Clytemnestra’s husband, the King of Argos, and the leader of the Greek soldiers during the defense of Troy. The battle that ensued when a Trojan prince kidnapped Menelaus’ wife Helen lasted ten years, and Agamemnon is Menelaus’ older brother. He sacrificed his daughter, Iphigenia, a strong fighter, to get a good wind to take the Greek fleet to Troy. His queen hatched a plan to have him killed during the ten-year war to exact revenge for the murder of their daughter. He makes a brief appearance on stage and displays haughty behavior. He dies without knowing what will happen to him.


Clytemnestra: The main character of the play, Clytemnestra, is Agamemnon’s wife, who has governed Argos without him. She kills him with brutal determination and shows no remorse afterward because she is certain of her own morality and that murdering the person who killed her daughter is the right thing to do. In many ways, she is a sympathetic figure, yet her humiliation over her lover, Aegisthus, taints the morality of her crime.


Chorus: Older Argos residents who were unable to participate in the Trojan War. During Agamemnon’s absence, they advise Queen Clytemnestra and offer commentary on the play’s events. The speeches set the scene for the drama since they predict the king’s demise. They outline the Trojan War’s events and warn against human arrogance.



Cassandra: Agamemnon brought a Trojan priestess to Argos as his mistress and slave after successfully capturing her. Her name was Helen, Apollo’s mate. Apollo gives her the talent of phophecy. But she refused to get pregnant for him. So, he punished her by causing everyone around her to doubt her prophecies. She recognizes the ancestor’s curse plaguing Agamemnon’s family. She foretells both his and her demise as well as the retribution carried out by Orestes in the following act.


In the summary of Agamemnon, Aegisthus is  Agamemnon’s cousin and Clytemnestra’s lover His and Agamemnon’s fathers competed for the crown. Agamemnon’s father cooked Aegisthus’ brothers for supper. Aegisthus has been in exile, yearning to avenge the horrific deed.


The Watchman: the man assigned to watch for the signal of Troy’s fall from the roof of the palace. He is joyful at his king’s return but also gripped with a sense of apprehension.


The Herald: He brings the chorus news of Agamemnon’s safe return. He is excited to view the house because he is a fervent patriot. So, he thought that he had left forever and provides vivid descriptions of the horrors of the war against Troy.


Revenge is the main theme of the classical play Agamemnon.


This is  the end of Agamemnon summary,  you can read more summary on:

A Tale of the Two Cities





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Saddam Hossain

Founder & Language Instructor

Apart from English language and literature skill, I’m a Digital Marketer & Content Writer at My Writing Pen, BD Business Finder, NY Bizlisting.

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