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The Tangled Ways of ZeusAnd Other Studies In and Around Greek Tragedy$
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Alan H. Sommerstein

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199568314

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199568314.001.0001

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The tangled ways of Zeus

The tangled ways of Zeus

(p.164) 9 The tangled ways of Zeus
The Tangled Ways of Zeus

Alan H. Sommerstein (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the presentation of Zeus in Aeschylus' Agamemnon. He desires that Agamemnon should lead the Greek army to punish the Trojans for Paris's abduction of Helen, yet sends an omen which angers Artemis into forcing Agamemnon to choose between sacrificing his daughter Iphigeneia and abandoning the expedition. It is argued that Zeus is not to be regarded in this play as a wise and foresighted god, but as the ruler and organizer of a ‘rotten, stupid world’. However, modern spectators should remember that Agamemnon is only one-third of the complete drama, and that its end is not the last word.

Keywords:   Aeschylus, Agamemnon, Zeus, omen, Artemis, Iphigeneia

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