Unbeknownst to Agamemnon, when he sacrifices his daughter, Iphigenia, to the Goddess Artemis in order to defeat the Trojans, his action sets off a chain reaction of blood vengeance. His wife, Clytaemnestra, waits 10 years to give him "a special homecoming." Aeschylus's The Oresteia dramatizes the bloody family fallout that ends with a jury trial. Then Euripides's Iphigenia in Aulis takes us to the scene of the crime where Agamemnon wrestles with that fateful decision. We will study these plays to understand how Greek society explored difficult social and political issues through Greek tragedy as a form of political discourse. We will discuss how these Greek works have influenced our form of government and justice system. Required texts: The Oresteia by Aeschylus, Translator Robert Fagles, ISBN-13: 978-0140443332 (Penguin); Iphigeneia at Aulis by Euripides, Translators Holly Eckhardt & John Harrison, ISBN-13: 978-1107601161 (Cambridge University Press).
Brenda Bryant (email@example.com) holds a doctorate in literature. She recently retired after 25 years of teaching at Delgado College in New Orleans where she won the Excellence in Teaching Award. As Honors Director and Meritorious Professor, she taught Greek Literature for the last 10 years and has traveled with faculty and students to Greece.