Roots of tragedy revealed: Readers’ theater of Agamemnon is Saturday, Apr. 20

An ancient Greek chorus made up of Mountain Community neighbors rehearsed at the Frazier Park Library last week. They are preparing for a reading of “Agamemnon,” a classic Greek play that won wild acclaim in the city of Athens 2,500 years ago.

A readers’ theater presentation of the play will begin Saturday, April 20, 5-7 p.m. in the Frazier Park Library. It is free. All are invited (15 years and older, due to adult content).

The author, Aeschylus, won first prize for the play in the annual Dionysia competition in 558 B.C. It is the shattering tale of a king who is away at war for 10 years. He has sacrificed his daughter to the gods to help his army win victory. He later takes a Trojan prophetess as mistress. When he returns home, he is murdered by his queen, Clytemnestra.

“Agamemnon” is the first part of “The Oresteia” trilogy, which explores “man’s position in the cosmos in relation to the gods, divine law and divine punishment,” according to scholar Charles Freeman.

Robert Kennedy in April 1968, recalling the assassination of his brother when he learned of the murder of Martin Luther King, quoted Aeschylus: ‘Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom, through the awful grace of God.’
—By Patric Hedlund with added reporting by Katherine King, Ph.D.

This is part of the April 19, 2013 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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