What was Aeschylus’ View of the Trojan War?

Aeschylus was an ancient Greek playwright who wrote numerous plays, including one known as Agamemnon. Sadly only seven of his plays have survived today. His tragic play Agamemnon is about a king named Agamemnon who goes off to fight in the Trojan war, which was a war between the Trojans and the Greeks. Because Agamemnon revolves around the Trojan war, what was Aeschylus’ personal view of the Trojan war?

The Trojan War is rather a mystery since we do not know if it really took place or not, but regardless tales of the war are seen throughout the genre of ancient Greek literature. The Trojan war began when Helen, who was the wife of King Menelaus, was kidnapped by Paris of Troy. King Menelaus asked his brother Agamemnon to aid him in rescuing Helen. This was the start of a ten year long war in which at the end Troy is defeated. Agamemnon on the journey to Troy had to sacrifice his own daughter to the Greek goddess of Artemis who had stopped the wind which prevented Agamemnon from continuing his journey. 

The Trojan war itself was full of death and tragedy, but in the end the Greeks were victorious. Agamemnon starts the journey home; this journey is without bumps in the road. But he returns home mostly unscathed with a prisionar, a woman named Cassandra who is a prophet and princess of Troy. Upon returning home Cassandra sees a prophecy that she and Agamemnon would be killed by Agamemnon’s wife Clytemnestra(who was very angry over his sacrifice of their daughter). In the end Agamemnon is murdered by his wife.

The play of Agamemnon portrays the Trojan war as just being tragic, full of loss and tragedy. It was a long war which began for a reason that did not exactly justify the amount of lives lost. Also the characters did terrible and tragic things throughout the story which all had to do with the war itself. For example with Agamemnon sacrificing his own daughter to continue on the journey to Troy, which influenced Clytemnestra to kill Agamemnon and Cassandra. Which in turn is why I believe that Aeschylus’ view was that the Trojan war was a waste, tragedy, and unnecessary. This view is seen pretty clearly throughout the play, especially in the most tragic details of it. Though the Greeks were victorious they paid a heavy price before, during, and after the Trojan war, which he showed through Agamemnon. But regardless of his seeming view he still wrote a play about the war.

The Trojan war is a common backdrop in ancient Greek literary pieces, for example in the Iliad, and the play Agamemnon by Aeschylus. Aeschylus portrayed the Trojan war as a tragic and wasteful war which was caused by something that was not justifiable for all the bloodshed caused. Thus why I believe that Aeschylus viewed the Trojan war as a tragic waste, which paid a heavy price on the parties involved.

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