Agamemnon / Coefore / Eumenides

Work of | Eschilo
Direction | Davide Livermore



The tragedy opens the “Oresteia” trilogy. In the palace of Argos, a system of fires warns that Troy has fallen. The return of Agamemnon is anxiously awaited, preceded by a herald who narrates the toils of war and the exhausting return.
Clytemnestra has been long preparing the murder of her husband, who had sacrificed her eldest daughter. Agamemnon enters the scene with his concubine Cassandra, who prophesies the imminent regicide without being believed. She is slaughtered together with the king by Clytemnestra, who seizes power alongside her lover Aegisthus.


Orestes, son of Agamemnon, returns after ten years to Argos and his palace, whose throne is usurped by the murderers of his father, that is, his mother Clytemnestra and her lover Egisto. On the tomb of the slain king he meets handmaids who pour libations for the dead, the Coefore, with their sister Electra. Invoked with them the protection of the slain king, Orestes first kills Egisto and then his mother. The furious bitches of Clytemnestra, the Erinyes, relentlessly pursue him from Argos to Delphi, where the last act takes place. Apollo exits the temple, defending Orestes, in search of purification, against the Erinyes, excited by the ghost of the murdered queen. Orestes flees again, to Athens, where the goddess Athena entrusts the judgment on him to a new institution, a court whose jurors will have to decide whether to acquit or condemn Orestes. Thanks to Athena’s vow, which is worth double, Orestes is acquitted and the Erinyes adapt to the new course, becoming Eumenides (the benevolent ones).