chapter  IV
21 Pages

The Dramatic Art of Aeschylus

We can safely start from the assumption that these three dramatists were intelligent men: their audiences were agreed that Aeschylus and Sophocles were the best tragic poets that Athens had, and in the other arts Athenian standards of craftsmanship were very high. Therefore when one modem critic tells us of two scenes in the Agamemnon that they are manifestly a bore, and another that the dramaturgy of the Eumenides is 'naive' (and presumably not worth considering seriously, since he does not consider it at all), l it is perhaps worth while to entertain the hypothesis that they may have missed something somewhere, perhaps through looking for the wrong thing - especially when neither ofthem has taken account of such things as the elaborately constructed verbal imagery in the play, which may not have got there by accident.