Why isn't this even on the "Start with the Greeks" charts? And never discussed here.
After Homer's works it's probably the best of the greek meme (haven't read Sophocles yet though).
Lots of good criticism of the Oresteia. Big in theories of Athenian self-consciousness about the transition to the rationalised state etc.
If anything Euripides is kind of the neglected one. At least I see way way less about him than the others.
oh my goodness gracious this sensible chuckle i am having is quite mirthful.
Oresteia gets posted fairly frequently. Once you've read classical and Homeric Greek lit, it's time to make the jump to Hellenistic lit. Callimachus first and then Apollonius rhodius. Two of the greatest poets in the Greek language and they hardly get talked about here.
It's an interesting myth, and one should definitely read it while going into the Greeks as it's the only extant trilogy in classical 5th century tragedy, but it's pretty stale tragedy. Orestes is portrayed as objectively just in his father's vengeance -- and I don't recall the citizens of the city even being outraged in Aeschlyus' version of the myth -- but is driven out and reduced to exile and near-insanity by the Furies who are autistically caught up in the rules of the old law system. None of it is Orestes' fault; the tragedian aspect comes as a classical case of God deities being dicks when the situation doesn't call for being one and him being reduced by it.
IMO, Oedipus Rex and Medea are the best tragedies out there.
The Oresteia is the one of the great treats of world literature. Nothing else in Greek tragedy will compare. Go from that to The Persians and you're left scratching your balls saying 'that's fucking it?' Time is a cruel mistress and robbed us of many complete works.
>best Aeschylus is the one he didn't even write
I don't know because I haven't read them. I'm saying that most Greek tragedy feels incomplete because they are isolated parts of otherwise lost trilogies. Imagine if two millenia from now, people could only read Act II of Hamlet.
Aeschylus is a singular genius and the narrative of the defeat is immense. Darius' lamentation is quite beautiful too. But dramatically it is absolutely nothing. Xerxes comes home and they cry a bit. I'd love to know the contents of the surrounding plays.
>Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripedes
Add Aristophanes and you have 1 part of my A-level course many years ago, good starting list. Though I would always add that its worth reading the history around the thinkers/writers as well.
This may be debatable, but the Oresteai is also a completed trilogy. We unfortunately don't have the rest of the Prometheus trilogy which makes it a bit harder to judge without the other two, not that it isn't great on its own.
>but the Oresteai is also a completed trilogy.
Don't forget Proteus