Jan 17. Domain & Agamemnon, Part II



Three Key Ideas from last class
Take a few minutes and write down three key terms, ideas, or images we discussed during class on Thursday, Jan 12.

Activity I: Agamemnon Discussion

  • 1.What is you assessment of Agamemnon’s character? Does he display excessive pride?
  • 2. What’s going on with the crimson tapestries as out text translates it? Why is Agamemnon reluctant to step on the red carpet?
  • 3. What/how does Clytemnestra persuade him to walk on the tapestries?
  • 4. What report does Cassandra give of the past and future Why doesn’t anyone listen to her?
  • 5. How does Clytemnestra justify her murder of Agamemnon (1414ff, and 1445), and what reference does she make to the inactivity of the Chorus when Agamemnon committed his outrage at Aulis? (1414)
  • 6. Why does Aegisthus want revenge on Agamemnon and is he justified?
  • 7. What does the Chorus mean when they say, “Each charge meets counter-charge./None can judge between them. Justice./the plunderer plundred, the killer pays the price” (1587-90)? Why is this a problem? 

Activity II: Close Reading Agamemnon

Choose a passage (10-15 lines) from The Agamemnon and respond to the following:
  • What’s the context of the passage?
  • In a couple of sentences, summarize the passage.
  • What sorts of words get repeated and why?
  • What sorts of comparisons does the passage make?
  • What sorts of figurative language is used?
  • How does the staging of the passage affect its meaning?
Next Class
For Thursday, January 19
  • 1. Quiz will cover all of The Agamemnon & the first half of The Eumenides
  • 2. We’ll install Domain and build out your websites at the end of class


12 Jan. Agamemnon

Activity I: Recap

Three Key Ideas from last class
Take a few minutes and write down three key terms, ideas, or stories we discussed during class on Tuesday. You are also welcome to ask any questions our first class may have left you with.

Background, Greek Theater


Masks in Oresteia



Activity II: Freewrite

Write without stopping for 5-8 minutes in response to the following
Pick a “scene” from our reading of the Agamemnon and describe how you think it was likely staged. How do the limitations/innovations of early Greek tragedy effect the possible meaning of the scene you chose?


Activity III: Discussion

  • 1. What exactly is Artemis so angry about and how does her anger motivate the whole action of the play?
  • 2. Why does Agamemnon kill Iphigenia?
  • 3. Is Clytemnestra a good ruler–why/why not?
  • 4. What does the Herald say about the altars and gods of Troy (527 ff), and how does this hearken back to Clytemnestra’s words at 338ff? What is the effect on the audience?

  • Take a couple of minutes and locate an animal simile or set of metaphors. What purpose does the “animal’ serve in the passage you chose? What purposes does the “animal” serve in the play more broadly?

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    10 Jan. Introduction


    Welcome to ENG 215: Animals on Stage. Most class periods will feature a post like this one that includes a overview of the day’s goals and an activity.

    • 1. Overview of course goals, policies, and assignments–how to find upcoming readings & course site features (ex:discussion questions)
    • 2. Meet & Greet
    • 3. Intro. to The Oresteia & the role of the animal on stage


    Activity I: Animals on Stage

    Freewrite in response to the following prompt without stopping for 3-5 minutes:
    When you think of animal performers what comes to mind? Describe your favorite TV/film or stage animal? What can animals do in TV/film or on stage that people cannot?



    Activity II: Introduction to Aeschylus’s Oresteia

    I’m going to the play the Watchman’s opening speech from Agamemnon, the first of three tragedies by Aeschylus that were staged in 458 BC. But first, respond to the following:
    • 1. Tell me what you all remember about the fall of Troy: how did it start? How did it end? What happened after? What accounts for the story’s longevity?
    • 2. Take a few minutes and read through the Watchman’s speech: what metaphors strike you as significant? How/does he force himself to stay awake? What important information does he relate?
    • 3. When we watch the clip of the Watchman below, pay attention to the staging. What effect does the mask that the actor wears have on his performance? Does seeing Watchman challenge/compliment your reading of the text?
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