What s done, I know, is done yet I will sacrificeIn hope that time may bring about some better fate. the mother of Xerxes3 1 2Bust of Aeschylus From the Capitoline Museums, RomeAeschylus c 525 524 c 456 455 BC is the earliest of the four great Greek playwrights, parts of whose oeuvre have survived to the present day The others are, of course, Sophocles c 497 6 winter 406 5 BC and Euripides c 480 c 406 BC these three tragedians and the comic playwright Aristophanes c 446 c 386 BC.Seven of Aeschylus plays have survived, with about 75 other plays known only through fragments or references to their titles The Persians is now thought to be the earliest of the seven The play was produced in 472 BC Other than comedies, it is the only Greek play of the Classical era whose subject matter is taken from actual history, rather than from legend.The subject of the play is the battle of Salamis, which occurred in 480 BC.Wilhelm von Kaulbach Die Seeschlacht bei Salamis 1868As the painting makes clear, Salamis was a naval engagement, one in which the Greeks vastly outnumbered defeated the invading Persian forces led by King Xerxes.The play does not, however, take place near Salamis, nor at the time of the battle rather, it is set in the Persian royal court at Susa, a few months after the battle At the beginning of the play the court has not heard from Xerxes army for some time, and rumors and dread are rife Then a messenger arrives, who tells the horrible news of what has transpired King Xerxes himself is a survivor, and arrives later in the play his mother, Atossa, and the ghost of Darius, king prior to Xerxes, make up the only three named characters The messenger and the chorus complete the cast.In telling of the Persian calamity, Aeschylus who is believed to have seen the battle, perhaps even fought in it obviously plays to the home crowd One can almost hear the audience hooting, hollering, applauding as the deaths of various Persian generals are announced But, though this tragedya triumph from the Greek point of view seems of little interest to the modern reader as drama, I found myself curiously affected by it First, even as perhaps fictionalized history, it did appeal to the historian in me And the last part of the play, in which the glost of Darius laments the foolishness of Xerxes in falling into the trap set for him by the Greeks, certainly has traditional elements of the tragic, even though being presented from a point of view quite different from that of the audience.The play is short, easily read in an hour or so The translation by Philip Vellacott appealed to me, as indicated by the great number of underlinings I made Recommended. , , , , , , ,,,, . Yet the insidious guile of god what mortal man can escape it Who with agile foot can lightly overleap and escape its toils This is a mournful gaze of the vanquished Fortuna s Wheel has spun and the Imperium has been struck The famed army of the title have been routed at Salamis There s very effective use of the chorus, the tempo of such leads us to the precipice. 3.5 starsThe Persiansis a poetic play about the Greeks defeating the Persians It was narrated from the Persians point of view, but had all of the Greek strength and valor whispered to you I can picture this play creating a patriotic feeling for all who listened The Persians cannot defeat the Greeks No one can defeat the Greeks It made me smile at the end. A celebration of a Greek victory13 March 2012 This is actually quite an unusual Greek play in that it does not deal with a mythological event Granted Aristophanes deals with historical events, but he wrote comedy as opposed to tragedy and I have explained elsewhere what is meant by Greek Tragedy Excluding Aristophanes, The Persians is the only historical play that we have, and it is possible that it is the only historical play that was ever written during the classical period of Ancient Greece The play is about the Persian defeat at Salamis and is set entirely within the palace in Susa Once again as we always see the unities of time and place are obeyed While many seem to point to Aristotle as being the one who developed the unities, we must remember that Aristotle lived at least two generations after the great dramatists Aristotle was the pupil of Plato who in turn was the pupil of Socrates, who was alive when Euripides and Sophocles were producing their plays This play is pretty much a pat on the back for the Athenians for winning what was considered to be the unwinnable war It is also the second of the two sources that we have regarding the Battle of Salamis, however we need to remember that this was written from the Athenian viewpoint and in turn was written by Aeschylus viewpoint, so it will automatically be biased in favour of the Athenians However, it is a very useful source as numerous generals on the Persian side were named, and the play also outlines the Achameid Dynasty the line of kings from whom Darius and Xerxes were descended I won t go into too much detail regarding the battle of Salamis as this is discussed extensively in other places by me as well as others However the Battle of Salamis which was a naval battle is considered to be one of those points upon which of history swings I am not entirely convinced by this argument, namely because I also believe in divine influence as we can see from the Battle of Jerusalem when Sennacerib s army was completely destroy by something during the night but then as we read through this play we can also see numerous references to the gods However Aeschylus is theologically wrong when dealing with Persian religion He seems to think that they had a polytheistic religion when in reality, by Xerxes time, Persia had become Duotheistic, where two gods, equal and opposite, are forever slugging it out with each other this is Xorastrianism in a really small nutshell One thing we must remember though is that Xerxes survived This is actually quite unusual for a king who is defeated in battle Senacerib was killed by his sons upon his return to Ninevah, namely because his defeat was evidence that he no longer had the support of the gods However, there are two possible answers to why he was no deposed The first, and theunlikely, is that Xorastrianism did not allow for this and that defeat is not necessarily the disapproval of the gods, but rather just bad luck However, this, as far as I am concerned, is not a hugely satisfying answer The second answer to this question, I suspect, comes from the Bible, namely from the Book of Esther Now the events in Esther occur during the reign of Xerxes though there is debate as to whether it is Xerxes or not, however, for the purpose of my argument, I will take it as it stands and deals with the festival of Purim Here the Jews were marked for death, and it was only the intervention of Esther that enable them to be saved Now, we ask the question of why were they marked for death, and what swayed Xerxes to listen to Haman boo, hiss It is clear from the book that Haman boo, hiss hated Mordechai Yay and the Jews, but I doubt he could have gone to Xerxes and said I hate these people, please wipe them out by the way, the yays and the boo hisses apparently come from the Jewish tradition when this book is read Okay, the Bible indicates that the events in Esther occurred in the twelfth year of the reign of Xerxes, which put it around 474 BC, where as the Persian Wars occurred in 480 to 479 BC, which is about 5 years afterwards So when I think about it, it is unlikely the the attempted genocide of the Jews could have been related to the Persian Wars The reason I suggested this is because it is common for a minority group to be blamed for an empire s failure, as we saw in Nazi Germany So, I guess my thoughts about this pomgrom would be incorrect However, let us further considerevidence from the Bible The feast at which Xerxes first wife, Vashti, is set in the third year of his reign, which is before the Persian wars However, it also appears that Esther was married to him probably a few months after, and was queen while Xerxes was away in Greece This suggests that Amestris the Greek name of Xerxes wife is in fact Esther Now, I checked Wikipedia and they indicate that she was actually Vashti, but it then goes on to expound the Akkadian root of both words and this seems to indicate that Amestris is Esther as opposed to Vashti I believe that that is the case, based on the biblical record if it is correct that Ahasuerus and Xerxes are in fact the same person So, I guess my point is that the reason that Xerxes was not deposed was because he was persuaded by Haman to blame the Jews for his defeat at Salamis, however through the intervention of Esther, this blame was then shifted back onto Haman, who was then subsequently executed Anyway, this is all speculation, however I do enjoy speculating about ancient historical events, which is why I wrote this in the first place. Representada pela primeira vez em 472 a C., Persas a pe a grega mais antiga que chegou completa ao nosso tempo O tema a Batalha de Salamina, a m e de todas as guerrasA ac o decorre em Susa, P rsia, iniciando se com a glorifica o e esperan a de vit ria do ex rcito atacante e terminando com os lamentos do sobrevivente Xerxes, cujos trajes reais esfarrapados simbolizam a derrota numa guerra onde pereceram quase todos os persas pelas armas dos gregos Wilhelm von Kaulbach, Battle of Salamis ,,, . The First Surviving Play In The History Of Western Drama The Persians Represents A Courageous Act On The Part Of Its Author The Subject Of Aeschylus Play Was, In Part, The Conquering Of The Persians By The Greeks, But He Presented That Event To His Greek Audience Not From Their Point Of View, But From That Of The Defeated Persians Accordingly, The Greeks Were Faced With A Very Human Portrait Of A People That They Had Only Recently Enslaved The Effect Was To Make The Enemy Knowable, To Show The Humanity Of A People Which War As It Has Since Time Immemorial Had Generalized And Dehumanized The Lesson Of Aeschylus Play Speaks Just As Clearly Today As It Did For The Ancient Greeks The Enemy Is Always Us, Human Beings With Shared Even If Slightly Dissimilar Aspirations And Dreams As Director Peter Sellars Points Out In His Introduction, By Humanizing The Enemy, Aeschylus Begins To Suggest That We Have Much To Learn About Ourselves Through The Eyes Of Others, And That What We Think We Know About Others Should Be Questioned And Expanded In This Modern Version Of Aeschylus Play Robert Auletta Shifts The Action Of The Play From Persia To A Modern Day Iraq, And, Like Aeschylus, Asks Americans To Question And Challenge Their Views Of Our Recently Defeated Enemies XERXES Wail, wail the miserable doom, and to the palace hie CHORUS Alas, alas, and woe again XERXES Shriek, smite the breast, as I CHORUS An evil gift, a sad exchange, of tears poured out in vain XERXES Shrill out your simultaneous wail CHORUS Alas the woe and pain XERXES O, bitter is this adverse fate CHORUS I voice the moan with thee XERXES Smite, smite thy bosom, groan aloud for my calamity CHORUS I mourn and am dissolved in tears XERXES Cry, beat thy breast amain CHORUS O king, my heart is in thy woe XERXES Shriek, wail, and shriek again CHORUS O agony XERXES A blackening blow CHORUS A grievous stripe shall fall XERXES Yea, beat anew thy breast, ring out the doleful Mysian call CHORUS An agony, an agony XERXES Pluck out thy whitening beard CHORUS By handfuls, ay, by handfuls, with dismal tear drops smeared XERXES Sob out thine aching sorrow CHORUS I will thine best obey XERXES With thine hands rend thy mantle s fold CHORUS Alas, woe worth the day XERXES With thine own fingers tear thy locks, bewail the army s weird CHORUS By handfuls, yea, by handfuls, with tears of dole besmeared XERXES Now let thine eyes find overflow CHORUS I wend in wail and pain XERXES Cry out for me an answering moan CHORUS Alas, alas again Thats basically my daily internal monologue Esta foi uma leitura que n o superou as minhas expectativas iniciais, pois esperava um pouco mais desta trag dia de squilo.Achei o texto bastante repetitivo, com um enredo mon tono e pouco diversificado A ac o quase inexistente, tratando se maioritariamente, de uma descri o pormenorizada da derrota do ex rcito Persa pela m o do ex rcito Grego Sendo o relato feito pela voz dos Persas, um relato muito pungente, cheio de emo o, que n o deixa o leitor indiferente Assistimos dolorosa amplia o da desgra a dos Persas, que remete para uma subtil glorifica o da superioridade militar grega No entanto, para al m deste aspecto central, muito bem conseguido e que se repete ao longo de toda a trag dia, este texto pouco mais me falou Enquanto leitora senti a falta de algumas das caracter sticas da trag dia grega, e interroguei me sobre esta estrutura um pouco diferente das que li anteriormente Uma pesquisa sobre esta obra, revelou me que Os Persas seriam a segunda trag dia de uma tetralogia grupo de tr s trag dias, seguidas de uma pe a sat rica, tudo do mesmo autor , mas que foi a nica chegar at aos nossos dias Sabendo isto, julgo que apenas lendo a obra no seu devido contexto se poderia avaliar correctamente sobre a mesma Infelizmente, tal j n o poss vel, e apesar de n o ter gostado particularmente desta pe a, reconhe o o seu valor, e fico feliz por a mesma ter sobrevivido at aos nossos dias N o posso no entanto, aconselhar a sua leitura.Para o post completo visite