by Eschyle


The Oresteia is a trilogy of Greek tragedies written by Aeschylus concerning the end of the curse on the House of Atreus. When originally performed it was accompanied by Proteus, a satyr play that would have been performed following the trilogy. Proteus has not survived. In all likelihood the term "Oresteia" originally referred to all four plays; today, however, it is generally used to designate the surviving trilogy. The only extant example of an ancient Greek theater trilogy, the Oresteia was originally performed at the Dionysia festival in Athens in 458 BC, where it won first prize. Principal themes of the trilogy include the differences between revenge and justice, as well as the shift from practicing personal vendetta to a system of litigation. The name derives from the character Orestes, who sets out to avenge his father's murder.

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