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The Oresteia by Aeschylus

The Oresteia

Part of the Modern Plays Series

RRP £10.99


The Oresteia by Aeschylus

He who learns must suffer. Before setting out for the Trojan War, King Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter Iphigenia. Many years later, when Agamemnon returns to his palace, his adulterous Queen Clytemnestra takes her revenge by brutally murdering him and installing her lover on the throne. How will the gods judge Orestes, their estranged son, who must avenge his father's death by murdering his mother? The curse of the House of Atreus, passing from generation to generation, is one of the great myths of Western literature. In the hands of Aeschylus, the story enacts the final victory of reason and justice over superstition and barbarity. The original trilogy, comprising Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers and Eumenides, is distilled into one thrilling three-act play in this magnificent new translation by award-winning playwright Rory Mullarkey.


Rory Mullarkey's adaptation of these three Aeschylus plays . . . is undertaken with a spirit it would be hard to trump. . . . Mullarkey has adapted Aeschylus in a way that never fudges, conceals or distances. * Observer * Witty, brash and steeped in blood . . . this is a big and boisterous account packed with sly wit and the sort of brash lines that wouldn't be out of place in a gangster film. * Evening Standard * brilliantly evokes the sheer strangeness and horror of the play. Rory Mullarkey's translation follows the Aeschylean original faithfully and his lyrics make some attempts to evoke the percussive muscularity of the choruses. . . . I haven't seen anything quite as sickening or as stately as this version of these plays. * Spectator * The verse rhythms are fluid and flexible, allowing for passages of lyric song, and the language is pithy and vivid . . . shows how justice - the word that resounds through Mullarkey's text like a drumbeat - easily transmutes into blood-soaked revenge. * Guardian * Rory Mullarkey's new translation can't be accused of lacking scholastic commitment, or ear-enticing poetic carry-on. . . . the phrasing is pungent * Daily Telegraph * Mullarkey's vibrant translation slithers from the poetic to the colloquial * Financial Times * Rory Mullarkey's poetical, darkly funny but never murky adaptation proves stimulating and surprising . . . makes you laugh one moment and shudder the next. * The Times *

About the Author

Aeschylus (525-456 BC) was the father of Greek tragic drama, usually considered the first great writer in the Western theatrical tradition. Rory Mullarkey won the 2014 George Devine Award for his play The Wolf from the Door and was the recipient of the Pinter Commission in 2014 - an award given annually by Lady Antonia Fraser, Harold Pinter's widow, to support a new commission at the Royal Court. He was the Royal Court's writer-on-attachment in 2010 and has been closely associated with the theatre's international work, translating Russian-language plays from Latvia, Russia and Ukraine, including Aleksey Scherbak's Remembrance Day as part of the 2011 International Season and for a number of staged readings. His first full-length play, Cannibals, opened at the Royal Exchange Manchester in 2013, where he became the youngest playwright to have his work performed on their main stage. In 2014, Rory Mullarkey won the Harold Pinter Playwriting Prize, the George Devine Award (jointly with Alice Birch) and the James Tait Black Prize for Drama for his play Cannibals, published by Methuen Drama.

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Book Info

Publication date

29th August 2015



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Methuen Drama an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


120 pages


Plays, playscripts
Classical texts



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