Agamemnon is the first play in a trilogy, the Oresteia, which is considered Aeschylus' greatest work, and perhaps the greatest Greek tragedy. Of the plays in the trilogy, Agamemnon contains the strongest command of language and characterization. The poetry is magnificent and moving, with skillful portrayal of major and minor characters alike.
The play's mood carries a heavy sense of impending doom. From the Watchman's opening speech through the Chorus' foreboding words and Cassandra's prophesies, the drama prepares the audience for the King's murder. The actual act of violence occurs off-stage, a traditional practice in Greek tragedy. Thematically, the murder of Agamemnon must be understood in the context of three other acts of violence, all of which precede the action of the play.
The first significant violent development in the…