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Other titles in the Penguin Classics series:
Prometheus Bound and Other Plays: Prometheus Bound, the Suppliants, Seven Against Thebes, Thepersian (Penguin Classics)by Aeschylus
Synopses & Reviews
‘Your kindness to the human race has earned you this.
A god who would not bow to the gods’ anger – you
Transgressing right, gave privileges to mortal men’
Aeschylus (525–456 BC) brought a new grandeur and epic sweep to the drama of classical Athens, raising it to the status of high art. In Prometheus Bound the defiant Titan Prometheus is brutally punished by Zeus for daring to improve the state of wretchedness and servitude in which mankind is kept. The Suppliants tells the story of the fifty daughters of Danaus who must flee to escape enforced marriages, while Seven Against Thebes shows the inexorable downfall of the last members of the cursed family of Oedipus. And The Persians, the only Greek tragedy to deal with events from recent Athenian history, depicts the aftermath of the defeat of Persia in the battle of Salamis, with a sympathetic portrayal of its disgraced King Xerxes.
Philip Vellacott’s evocative translation is accompanied by an introduction, with individual discussions of the plays, and their sources in history and mythology.
The first of the great Greek tragedians, Aeschylus wrote many plays, of which seven survive. The four in this volume, one based on contemporary events, the others on myth, reflect the morality of contemporary Athens - that is, that reason is the proper principle of civilized life.
About the Author
Aeschylus was born of a noble family near Athens in 525 BC. He took part in the Persian Wars and his epitaph, said to have been written by himself, represents him as fighting at Marathon. At some time in his life he appears to have been prosecuted for divulging the Eleusinian mysteries, but he apparently proved himself innocent. Aeschylus wrote more than seventy plays, of which seven have survived: The Suppliants, The Persians, Seven Against Thebes, Prometheus Bound, Agamemnon, The Choephori, and The Eumenides. (All are translated for Penguin Classics.) He visited Syracuse more than once at the invitation of Hieron I and he died at Gela in Sicily in 456 BC. Aeschylus was recognized as a classic writer soon after his death, and special privileges were decreed for his plays.
Table of Contents
Prometheus Bound and Other Plays Introduction
Seven Against Thebes
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