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Chapter Summary

Although narrative appears in all of Aeschylus’ plays, its distribution is uneven. Seven Against Thebes, Suppliants, Choephori, and Eumenides contain comparatively small amounts, while there is something of an abundance in Persians, Agamemnon, and Prometheus Bound. Aeschylean tragic narratives display both a broad range of temporal schemes and perhaps surprisingly sophisticated use of them. These narratives are sometimes simple in their temporal aspect, sometimes complex. And in some cases, apparently simple structures can prove to contain various layers of temporal reference. Even adjectives can contribute to a narrative’s engagement with time, as the chorus’ account of events at Aulis in Agamemnon shows. From Persians to Prometheus Bound, tragic narratives show a tendency to employ rich temporal structures that participate in the broader work of the plays that contain them.

Keywords: Aeschylus; Agamemnon; Persians; Prometheus Bound



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