An Oresteia

An Oresteia A Bold Iconoclastic New Look at One of the Great Works of Greek Tragedy In this innovative rendition of The Oresteia the poet translator and essayist Anne Carson combines three different visions A

  • Title: An Oresteia
  • Author: Aeschylus Euripides Sophocles Anne Carson
  • ISBN: 9780865479029
  • Page: 249
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A Bold, Iconoclastic New Look at One of the Great Works of Greek Tragedy In this innovative rendition of The Oresteia, the poet, translator, and essayist Anne Carson combines three different visions Aischylos Agamemnon, Sophokles Elektra, and Euripides Orestes giving birth to a wholly new experience of the classic Greek triumvirate of vengeance After the murder of herA Bold, Iconoclastic New Look at One of the Great Works of Greek Tragedy In this innovative rendition of The Oresteia, the poet, translator, and essayist Anne Carson combines three different visions Aischylos Agamemnon, Sophokles Elektra, and Euripides Orestes giving birth to a wholly new experience of the classic Greek triumvirate of vengeance After the murder of her daughter Iphegenia by her husband Agamemnon, Klytaimestra exacts a mother s revenge, murdering Agamemnon and his mistress, Kassandra Displeased with Klytaimestra s actions, Apollo calls on her son, Orestes, to avenge his father s death with the help of his sister Elektra In the end, Orestes, driven mad by the Furies for his bloody betrayal of family, and Elektra are condemned to death by the people of Argos, and must justify their actions signaling a call to change in society, a shift from the capricious governing of the gods to the rule of manmade law.Carson s accomplished rendering combines elements of contemporary vernacular with the traditional structures and rhetoric of Greek tragedy, opening up the plays to a modern audience In addition to its accessibility, the wit and dazzling morbidity of her prose sheds new light on the saga for scholars Anne Carson s Oresteia is a watershed translation, a death dance of vengeance and passion not to be missed.

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    About “Aeschylus Euripides Sophocles Anne Carson

    • Aeschylus Euripides Sophocles Anne Carson

      Aeschylus 525 BC 456 BC squilo in Portuguese, Esquilo in Spanish was an ancient Greek playwright He is often recognized as the father or the founder of tragedy, and is the earliest of the three Greek tragedians whose plays survive extant, the others being Sophocles and Euripides According to Aristotle, he expanded the number of characters in plays to allow for conflict among them previously, characters interacted only with the chorus Unfortunately, only seven of an estimated 70 plays by Aeschylus have survived into modern times one of these plays, Prometheus Bound, is sometimes thought not to be the work of Aeschylus.At least one of Aeschylus works was influenced by the Persian invasion of Greece, which took place during his lifetime His play The Persians remains a good primary source of information about this period in Greek history The war was so important to Greeks and to Aeschylus himself that, upon his death around 456 BC, his epitaph included a reference to his participation in the Greek victory at Marathon but not to his success as a playwright.There are no reliable sources for the life of Aeschylus He was said to have been born in c 525 in Eleusis, a small town about 27 kilometers northwest of Athens, which is nestled in the fertile valleys of western Attica, though the date is most likely based on counting back forty years from his first victory in the Great Dionysia His family was both wealthy and well established his father Euphorion was a member of the Eupatridae, the ancient nobility of Attica As a youth, he worked at a vineyard until, according to the 2nd century AD geographer Pausanias, the god Dionysus visited him in his sleep and commanded him to turn his attention to the nascent art of tragedy As soon as he woke from the dream, the young Aeschylus began writing a tragedy, and his first performance took place in 499 BC, when he was only 26 years old After fifteen years, his skill was great enough to win a prize for his plays at Athens annual city Dionysia playwriting competition But in the interim, his dramatic career was interrupted by war The armies of the Persian Empire, which had already conquered the Greek city states of Ionia, entered mainland Greece in the hopes of conquering it as well.In 490 BC, Aeschylus and his brother Cynegeirus fought to defend Athens against Darius s invading Persian army at the Battle of Marathon The Athenians, though outnumbered, encircled and slaughtered the Persian army This pivotal defeat ended the first Persian invasion of Greece proper and was celebrated across the city states of Greece Though Athens was victorious, Cynegeirus died in the battle Aeschylus continued to write plays during the lull between the first and second Persian invasions of Greece, and won his first victory at the city Dionysia in 484 BC In 480 he was called into military service again, this time against Xerxes invading forces at the Battle of Salamis This naval battle holds a prominent place in The Persians, his oldest surviving play, which was performed in 472 BC and won first prize at the Dionysia.Aeschylus was one of many Greeks who had been initiated into the Eleusinian Mysteries, a cult to Demeter based in his hometown of Eleusis As the name implies, members of the cult were supposed to have gained some sort of mystical, secret knowledge Firm details of the Mysteries specific rites are sparse, as members were sworn under the penalty of death not to reveal anything about the Mysteries to non initiates Nevertheless, according to Aristotle it was alleged that Aeschylus had placed clues about the secret rites in his seventh tragedy, Prometheus Bound According to some sources, an angry mob tried to kill Aeschylus on the spot, but he fled the scene When he stood trial for his offense, Aeschylus pleaded ignorance and was only spared because of his brave service in the Persian Wars.Aeschylus traveled to Sicily once or twice in the 470s BC, having

    227 thoughts on “An Oresteia

    • It's been about ten years since I last read the more traditional translations of these plays so I'm not really in a position to compare and contrast. I also don't know what the original Greek is like, or what the original language was like in relation to the quality of everyday speech at the time. I mean were the original plays written in a highly polished 'intellectual' style, did they sound like how people on the street talked? When Helen is called a weapon of mass destruction in Carson's tran [...]

    • I intended to write about each of these plays individually, but the power of the famous stories and the language as rendered by Anne Carson's stunning translation job, meant that I devoured the whole volume in three sittings and never got the chance to sit down at my computer before the book was over. I've gushed about Carson's own work and her beautiful Sappho translation, and this alternate Oresteia lives up to all my high expectations of her offerings. But first, a little background: the orig [...]

    • The first thing Carson does is deny credit: “Not my idea to do this.” Despite this deflection she clearly warmed to the idea and these three plays by three different playwrights brilliantly tackle the progression of the Oresteia into deeper tragedy. In the first play Agememnon returns from the Trojan War and is murdered by his wife for the crime of sacrificing their daughter en route to Troy. In the second play Orestes and Elektra murder Klytaimestra for murdering their father. In the third [...]

    • "For there lives in this housea certain form of anger, a dread devising everrecurring everremembering angerthat longs to exact vengeance for a child."anne carson is utterly phenomenal. these are the best translations of any classical work i have ever read in my life, and now i need to read everything she has ever translated and written. also, because the above quote is rather heavy, here's a lighter moment: "MENELAOS: I suffer terrible things.ORESTES: Well, you screwed up. MENELAOS: You've got m [...]

    • 5 stars for Agamemnon, 4.5 for Elektra, and 2 for Orestes (sorry, Euripides!). I really enjoy this translator's style though, and would read more of her translations.

    • Ah, it kills me to do this: An Oresteia is not that great.What it wants to be is great. It wants to weave the three great Greek tragedians (Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides) into a collaboration about the House of Atreus that will allow its readers to get a feel for all three, as well as a coherent story. And by a terrific poet and translator, to boot! Sweet!And it gets off to a promising start, too, with a terrific rendition of Agamemnon. I've read two other translations - Fagles and Hughes - [...]

    • I was tempted by the fifth star. These three translations are wild. They stretch uncomfortably between courtly speech of ancient greek dynasties and the idioms we hear on the street in New York City. Therefore it isn't easy to just experience these plays as rendered by Carson. We are constantly aware of them as spectacle, even as they exist before us as text. They are uneven, raw, and sometimes hilarious. And these things make for a reading experience full of surprise. I would careen from a mome [...]

    • I'm serving 2 interests here: one in classical Greece, the other in Anne Carson. This isn't The Oresteian Trilogy of Aeschylus but new translations of 3 Greek tragedies by Aeschylus, Euripides, and Sophocles. She's taken 3 plays concerning justice and vengeance and timed around the return of Agamemnon and Menelaus from Troy and combined them into a continuity. The primary attraction here is Carson's poetry. I find everything she writes terribly interesting. Here she's limited a bit because the e [...]

    • For a while I thought this translation of the great Greek plays was brilliant, innovative and accessible. But then the language became inconsistent for me (admittedly very much a non-scholar of this classic material) so that the diction would sweep from high Shakespearean to practically street talk without a guiding reason or method. I stopped on pg 194.

    • Kassandra: [scream] [scream] evil life evil luck evil I am just this sound look thecup of my pain is already pouredout whydid you bring mehere wasit for thiswas it for thiswas it forChorus: You're mad--godstruck godsweptgodnonsensicaland you keep making that sound, it's notmusical.Like the nightingale who wails her lostchild, you're inexhaustibly wild.Sorrow this, sorrow that,sorrow this, sorrow that.Kassandra: But yes think oh think of the clearnightingale--gods put round her a winga life with [...]

    • You may also find this review on my blog, The Literary Bystander!This book fills me with nothing but guilt.I mean, one of my creative writing teacher said it was one of her favourite books of all time - the kind of book that she'd chose if she could only save three pieces of work lest she was on a deserted island or something.And I thought it was just okay.It is probably just me and my general ignorance/apprehension and fear when it comes to read classic/literary fiction or just great works of l [...]

    • Not the traditional Oresteia by Aeschylus, this translation includes Aeschylus’s Agememnon, Sophocles’s Electra, and Euripides’s Orestes. Much like Carson’s translation of Bakkhai, her Oresteia is a wonderful modern adaptation of these classic Greek plays. I can’t speak to the authenticity of the works – there are definitely a few sections that feel like modern reimaginings, but (for me anyway) it works. If I had read these adaptations in high school rather than the mandated dry-as-d [...]

    • ExcellentTruly an excellent translation from a legend in her field. I adored Agamemnon and like Elektra quite a bit. Did not care for Orestes, though that is no fault of Ms. Carson's translation.

    • "Why are you in love with things so unbearable?"elektra > agememnon > orestesanne carson continues to astound me.

    • Four stars because of the utter “what?”ness of the final play. (Individual breakdown: 5 for Agamemnon, 4.5 for Elektra, 2.5-3 for Orestes).

    • ORESTESI enjoyed Anne Carson’s translation. It was easy to read and understand. The lines were short, instead of some translations which say a line with too many words. Although I had already read Agamemnon and Elektra in other books, I really like the idea of publishing the Greek tragedies that pertain to one another in one book. She could have included the Iphigenia plays here as well and it would have made for a wonderful succession of storyline. Someone should do this with the Oedipus play [...]

    • Okay, so here is the obstacle I keep running into as I'm trying to formulate my thoughts about this translation: I HAVEN'T READ A TRADITIONAL TRANSLATION YET. Yet, though. Okay? Yet. What I'm *thinking* is that AC has really foregrounded the tragic heroine contingent of this drama, giving lots of lines to Kassandra in the first book and tons to Elektra in the second, (while Orestes MEA CULPAS all over the chorus in the third, but whatevs, my observation is still trenchant.) The problem is, like, [...]

    • Anne Carson has done an amazingly marvelous job with her fascinating translation of her version of 'The Oresteia.' Her 'Oresteia' is a compilation of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. Dr. Carson has utilized Aeschylus' Agamemnon, Sophocles' Elektra, and Euripides' Orestes. I have to say that it is a simply brilliant combination. This is contemporary poetry at its absolute finest!Her interpretation is modern, lyrical, and quite powerful. Carson's Agamemnon is bleak, dark, and sinister; and one [...]

    • I hated the movie "Troy". For all the reasons one should hate a movie: awful directing (I know they're good actors, so I blame their lameness on the director, and also:), terrible terrible script, overpowering-to-the-point-of-hyperbole score, unreasonably long running time, and Brad Pitt's ridiculous paycheck. Seriously, I know his abs were magical, but if they could have paid him a few million dollars less, they might have been able to afford a better screenplay, conductor, director, etc. Yes, [...]

    • Yet another read for the Read Harder Challenge that could fulfill several different tasks. However I'm going to slot this one under "a book that was originally published in another language." Couple reasons for this. 1. According to my friends who have studied it, ancient Greek is a very difficult language. So mad respect to everyone who can read and translate it. 2. Anne Carson has a fascinating preface for every play wherein she explains her translating decisions.This will be a short review, b [...]

    • Anyone who has read Ted Hughes' translation of Aeschylus's The Oresteia, a tragic trilogy of plays--Agamemnon, Choephori, and The Eumenides--about the "fall" (so to speak) of the house of Atreus, will likely admire Anne Carson's vigorous translation of three different versions of the same family tragedy ― Aiskhylos' Agamemnon, Sophokles' Elektra and Euripides' Orestes. Both Hughes and Carson use contemporary and vivid language to reinvigorate the plays while respecting the traditional structur [...]

    • Here are three plays by the most colloquial and pithy of present Classicists. Rather than three plays be Aeschylus, Carson translates the "Agamemnon" by Aeschylus, "Elektra" by Sophocles, and "Orestes" by Euripides.The "Agamemnon" is the perhaps the best play ever. Carson's is not, but it is good. It gets lost in its language. 4/5.The zenith of this collection is her translation of "Elektra," which is laden with pathos and sadness in the first act, but which play's climax is as triumphant as any [...]

    • The blurbs for this say Anne Carson combined three plays by three different playwrights to come up with a wholly new experience of the Greek triumvirate of vengeance. Usually, if you're going to read all three, you read all three by the same author. Not here! And so I was expecting something. ficcier. A remix, maybe, of all of them? Not something as out-there as Autobiography of Red, but also not three fairly straight-up translations. I enjoyed it a lot! It just wasn't what I was expecting. Cars [...]

    • i can't really speak to the quality or style of translation but carson's blend of arch humor and slashing truth seems well suited to classic tragedy. i thought that "orestes" itself, the third of three plays by different authors combined in a kind of composite saga, contained both the strongest and weakest passages. particularly toward the end the exchanges between pylades and orestes devolve into a banter full of modern idiom that i don't think has much of a shelf life. maybe that's the point, [...]

    • I haven't read these since high school, but I thought that I'd check them out again with this new translation. You know I have to read this: it has my namesake in it.The translator makes the plays very accessible and works hard to keep the general tone and style of the three authors. At times, however, it seems a little too accessible. I was a little shocked to see the phrase "weapons of mass destruction" in one of the plays. At times, the wording seems a little too hip for such an austere piece [...]

    • THANKS TO WHOEVER ON TWITTER REMINDED ME TO READ ANNE CARSONBecause Anne Carson is an excellent poet and also an excellent translator.The Oresteia is full of a lot of really excellent murder-ladies with thundering, powerful, brilliant speeches, which- why didn't we read any of these in school? Elektra was like reading a girl Hamlet who is also pissed off that Hamlet won't come home from Denmark.There's also a speech about not letting villains have monologues which is. beautiful. They don't let h [...]

    • Anne Carson far outdoes her competition in translating the ancient Greeks. She astounds us with her modern voice digging deeply into ancient myths and bringing them back to life in a way that conveys both the trajedy and the humour of the works. These translations far surpass any others that I have read. The language flows poetically and naturally at once. The characters have none of the stiltedness which I recall from earlier translations. She brings new life to 2500 year old works. I stand ama [...]

    • awesome. the first two plays are excellent, and then the euripedes just gets bonkers, which is kind of amazing to watch. now if carson could just spend the next 25 years or so translating the greeks, i could get myself to read them all. and be very happy about it. (yes, i realize that perhaps it is not the most strictly word-for-word correct translation of these plays, but you know what? now i've read them and enjoyed them and understand what the hell just happened. the story was conveyed expert [...]

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