Friday, January 24, 2014

Envisioning Agamemnon

Of all of the scenes we have read so far, the one that I envisioned in the mind differently because of Taplin was from Aeschylus’s Agamemnon. When Agamemnon commits hamartia by walking on the purple carpet, I saw in my mind the expression and physical blocking which would be necessary to the scene. I wondered at whether he would step hesitantly or not and what kind of emotion was on his face as he questioned the action. Does he look above to the Gods as he steps in fear of a thunderbolt, or does he step forward in defiance? All in all I ended up contemplating multiple interpretations and how the performance might alter our perception of Agamemnon from the text. It also was interesting to consider Clytemnestra. Does she watch him step with eagerness? Does she sigh with relief as if it will justify her later actions in the play? All in all I feel that the physical performance is just as important as the text. I also considered whether a modern audience would appreciate the significance of his action and how the obvious wrong might be made more apparent through the performance. Taplin has a point in that these plays are meant to be performed not just read and only when it is act does it become truly living.

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