45 pages 1 hour read


Iphigenia in Aulis

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 410

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Character Analysis


Agamemnon is the king of the city of Mycenae and the most powerful of the Greek leaders assembled at Aulis. He is also the commander of the expedition against Troy. Agamemnon is the brother of Menelaus and the husband of Clytemnestra, who is the sister of Menelaus’ wife Helen.

In the play, Agamemnon must choose between his desire for glory and his love of his family. Though Agamemnon ultimately chooses to pursue glory, the choice is not an easy one for him to make. The play highlights the two sides of Agamemnon’s character. On the one hand, Agamemnon is power hungry and ambitious, longing desperately to lead the Greek army and win glory. This side of Agamemnon’s character is illustrated, for instance, by Menelaus’ almost comical description of the lengths to which Agamemnon was willing to go to secure command of the expedition against Troy:

Have you forgotten when you were eager
And anxious to lead the Greek army to Troy,
Wanting to appear unambitious but in your heart
Eager for command? Do you remember how humble
You were to all the people, grasping the hand,
Keeping open the doors of your house, yes,
Open to all, granting to every man, even the lowly,
The right to address and to hail you by name? (Lines 337-42)