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Download The Oresteia Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Oresteia Audiobook, by Aeschylus Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (29 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Aeschylus Narrator: A Full Cast Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Audio Theater Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455187126
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The only complete trilogy to survive from ancient Greek theater is presented here in this sound recording of all three plays: Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and The Eumenides.

In the Oresteia, Aeschylus dramatizes the myth of the curse on the royal house of Argos. Action begins when King Agamemnon returns victorious from the Trojan War but is treacherously slain by his wife. It ends with the trial of their son, Orestes, who slew his mother to avenge her treachery—a trial with the goddess Athena as judge, the god Apollo as defense attorney, and avenging demons called The Furies as prosecutors. The results of the trial change the nature of divine and human justice forever.

As was the custom in antiquity, this trilogy was accompanied by a satyr play called Proteus, a broad farce on a related theme, namely, the encounter between Agamemnon’s brother, Menelaus, with the slippery Old Man of the Sea. This play is lost, but Blackstone has included verses from The Odyssey, which inspired it.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The greatest achievement of the human mind.”

    Algernon Charles Swinburne

  • “Although these Greek plays are twenty-five centuries old, this production is, remarkably, the first audio release to include the complete trilogy…It features a fine performance by Robertson Dean.”

    AudioFile

  • The Oresteia is perhaps the most unusual tragedy in the theater of the West and certainly one of the very greatest.”

    David Grene, University of Chicago scholar and noted translator of ancient Greek texts

  • “In their day, these poetic, highly stylized tragedies were chanted rather than acted…Thus they work particularly well in audio format. This production makes the most of modern technology to create haunting choral effects. The individual actors are all well-cast, and their performances are evenly balanced.”

    Kliatt

  • “The Oresteia is not merely a magnificent work, it is one of the supreme achievements of classical culture…the Oresteia is splendid, and as a depiction of the cumulative power of evil it is unsurpassed.”

    Masterpieces of World Literature

  • “In this terrifying masterpiece of his last years, Aeschylus passed through tragedy and out onto the other side: to a Divine Comedy of the stage.”

    Reader’s Encyclopedia of World Drama

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Draven | 2/8/2014

    " Read for a classics lit class, not for everyone, but as a mythology buff, I loved it. Oh the drama!! LOL Nobody does twisted quite like the Greeks! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patrick\ | 2/6/2014

    " How did these ever survive the destruction of literature in the Dark Age? Not quite suitable for Broadway, but fascinating reads if read through first silently, then again aloud, singsongy like. Fun. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jana | 1/30/2014

    " The Oresteia: The very dysfunctional & doomed house of Atreus. "Woe is they." Agememnon, Clytemnestra, Orestes, Electra, Cassandra, et al. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jai | 1/23/2014

    " Good ol' Greek tragedies. The gods always win. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emma | 1/19/2014

    " Another classic that is truly worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jini | 1/12/2014

    " A pretty good revenge tragedy. For one of the earliest out there. Oh, hell. It's really good. Damn that Clytemnestra. She deserved every bit of what she got. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bernard Norcott-mahany | 1/1/2014

    " Some are critical of Hughes' translation as not being accurate enough. I think it is fairly accurate, but more importantly, it makes for a great read and a great performance. Aeschylus' language had real wow factor in his time. Hughes' translation captures some of that wow factor. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Valerie | 11/18/2013

    " I learned how to make references to ancient Greek plays. An invaluable skill for college. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alex | 9/29/2013

    " Love these plays. More work by my homeboy Fagles, whose weird linguistic tics I was getting pretty sick of by this time, and my super homeboy Bernard Knox. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leigh | 9/9/2013

    " Far and away my favorites of the classical Greek plays. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe | 9/7/2013

    " Family dysfunction at its finest. A classic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maureen | 7/22/2013

    " Loved these plays and reading up on the related history! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trish | 5/17/2013

    " Pretty good play. I found the sexual conflicts to be very interesting. Anytime a woman showed strength, there was a man to chop her down. Book shows how men are always favored by the gods. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jo | 3/30/2013

    " The introductions are wonderful. I don't know what I would have done without them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dana | 1/23/2013

    " Ratings for the Oresteia and The Libation Bearers "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ke Huang | 12/24/2012

    " I was surprised how such an ancient play could still be so entertaining. Although there were some parts that I thought were conventional (e.g. the parts between the siblings), I really cared about the outcome of the trial. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane | 1/23/2012

    " Greek tragedy/epic about Agamemnon's return from the Trojan War, his murder by his wife, and its aftermath. Very dark story, but it brings to light many of the central philosophical ideas of ancient Greece. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ke | 6/21/2011

    " I was surprised how such an ancient play could still be so entertaining. Although there were some parts that I thought were conventional (e.g. the parts between the siblings), I really cared about the outcome of the trial. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leigh | 5/20/2011

    " Far and away my favorites of the Greek plays. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Oneflwover | 4/18/2011

    " "Kick not against the pricks, or smart for it!"

    "Man shall learn by suffering.
    When deep slumber falls, remembered sins
    Chafe the sore heart with fresh pain
    and no welcome wisdom meets within."
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Postmandick | 4/16/2011

    " I have mostly read The Eumenides, but what a dilemma these plays are! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna | 3/15/2011

    " This was a pleasant surprise. 3 short plays about death, revenge, and a trial. I skipped the introduction and notes, and only read them after reading each play, and I think that helped me enjoy them more - I didn't have preconceived ideas about what i was reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine | 3/3/2011

    " Once you get through the density of Aeschylus' language, it's really quite lovely. And Agamemnon is a freaking moron, but somehow that makes me like him more. Orestes? A lesser moron, which makes him less likable. But we persevere. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Naomi | 2/14/2011

    " I didn't enjoy him quite as much as Aristophanes or Sophocles, but I still found it enjoyable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tia | 2/7/2011

    " Cassandra, I love you. Clytemnestra, you bad bitch, I love you too. Furies and Athena, you rule.

    The book's females really make it sing. I <3 Lattimore so this translation was obviously gonna be amazing, and I enjoyed the ride indeed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mysistersgirl | 1/24/2011

    " The Orestia is a very entertaining but grewsome and mistake buyt are brilliantly written plays. It is a great insight into Greek tragedies by one of the best. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Qi | 1/21/2011

    " Ted Hughes translation is modern and accessible. The story of Oresteia is the triumph of civic justice over the bloody lineal quid-pro-quo cycle of violence and hatred.

    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lorraine | 1/5/2011

    " one of the greatest pieces of literature ever. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kadie | 12/31/2010

    " Love this collection of plays! So much is going on and leads to great discussion. "

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About the Author
Author Aeschylus

Aeschylus (c. 525–456 BC) was the earliest of the three great tragic playwrights of ancient Greece whose work has survived to the twenty-first century. He fought bravely in the Battle of Salamis, which inspired his first surviving play, The Persians. According to legend, he died in Sicily when an eagle dropped a tortoise on his head.