Friday, 29 September 2017

Bring out the Significance of the Episode of the Red Carpet in Aeschylus’ play Agamemnon.

The Red Carpet plays a very significant role in Aeschylus’ play, Agamemnon. Agamemnon was the supreme commander of the Greek which besieged and destroyed troy. He was a great warrior and was enriched in exceptionally good qualities. At the same time he had many weaknesses. His besetting sin was his ‘hubris’ or pride. This evidently is one of the seven deadly sins from the point of view of the ancient Greeks.

Clytemnestra, the lioness who had no womanly passion in her and no trace of weakness, was not ready to absorb the profound shock at the sacrifice of her most beloved daughter, Iphigenia lying down. As we know Agamemnon had to sacrifice Iphigenia under compulsion. The Greek fleet was unable to sail from Aulis because of adverse wind sent by Artemis. Calchas, the seer told Agamemnon that it would be necessary for him to sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia to placate the angry goddess. Iphigenia, an innocent maiden was slaughtered on the altar for the sake of Helen, an unfaithful woman.

Clytemnestra was resolute for revenge on her husband as soon as he returned from Troy. She was all the more provoked at the news of Cassandra, the lovely princess of Troy whom Agamemnon brought as his mistress.

Red Carpet was laid for Agamemnon from his chariot to the palace gate. It was an act of sacrilege to step on red carpet which is tantamount to defying the authority of the divine powers. Anybody walking on Red Carpet was charged with ‘hubris’ or pride. Clytemnestra coaxed her husband to walk on it. Agamemnon was thoroughly conscious of the sacrilege. But in a temporary abnegation and momentary insanity he thought he was as great as Olympian and stepped upon the Red Carpet inviting his impending doom.

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