Instant Monologues
Aeschylus Agamemnon Clytemnestra Instant Monologue


AGAMEMNON
by Aeschylus

EXT: THE PALACE OF AGAMEMNON IN ARGOS, NEAR THE ALTAR OF ZEUS

CLYTEMNESTRA

Oh, lies enough and more have I this day

Spoken, which now I shame not to unsay.

How should a woman work, to the utter end,

Hate on a damnèd hater, feigned a friend;

How pile perdition round him, hunter-wise,

Too high for overleaping, save by lies?

To me this hour was dreamed of long ago;

A thing of ancient hate. 'Twas very slow

In coming, but it came. And here I stand

Even where I struck, with all the deed I planned

Done! 'Twas so wrought-what boots it to deny?-

The man could neither guard himself nor fly.

An endless web, as by some fisher strung,

A deadly plenteousness of robe, I flung

All round him, and struck twice; and with two cries

His limbs turned water and broke; and as he lies

I cast my third stroke in, a prayer well-sped

To Zeus of Hell, who guardeth safe his dead!

So there he gasped his life out as he lay;

And, gasping, the blood spouted … Like dark spray

That splashed, it came, a salt and deathly dew;

Sweet, sweet as God's dear rain-drops ever blew

O'er a parched field, the day the buds are born!

 

Which things being so, ye Councilors high-born,

Depart in joy, if joy ye will. For me,

I glory. Oh, if such a thing might be

As o'er the dead thank-offering to outpour,

On this dead it were just, aye, just and more,

Who filled the cup of the House with treacheries

Curse-fraught, and here hath drunk it to the lees!






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