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A comparison between The Choephori (1959's The Oresteia Trilogy Edition) and The Libation Bearer (1979's The Oresteia Edition)

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1959's The Choephori

1979's The Libation Bearer

The Oresteia
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Click the left title or the right title to read the passage that is compared
Aeschylus is the father of tragedy. The Oresteia Trilogy is his last masterpiece. As a result, there are editions of The Oresteia. Although the format of the story are the same, but the expression of each editors are different. The Libation Bearer (The Choephori) has the most obvious difference between the other two plays in The Oresteia. I will be comparing a certain part of 1959's The Choephori and 1979's The Libation Bearer. I will also rate which book is better.

The Libation Bearer (L) VS The Choephori (C)

Round 1 Orestes' Charateristic and Intention

Orestes' characteristic and intention are best describe in line 886-894 (The Libation Bearer) and line 899-906 (The Choephori). Orestes is asking Pylades that should he kill his mother or not? We can see a big difference between both versions. In the (C) version, the undetermined Orestes ask Pylades that should he kill Clytamenestra or not. Orestes shows fear when he is about to kill Clytamenstra. He even plans to forgive Clytamenestra's crime. He fears the consequence of murdering his mother. However, in the (L) version, Orestes is still uncertain of killing his mother. But whether he kills her or not, he is not afraid of the consequences.

Round 2 Pylades' Role

From the voice of Pylades in (L), he provides confidence to Orestes. He ensures him that killing his mother is the right thing to do. If he don't do now, Apollo will punish him severely. All the planning and this golden opportunity will be a waste. In (C) version, Pylades tells Orestes the consequence of not killing Clytamenestra. He is "forcing" Orestes to kill Clytamenestra.
Round 3 Actions in the story

In the (L) version, Faglespays more attention towards the action in the story. The words he uses shows more action than the (C) version. Escpecially the words that describes what is happening in the scene.

For example, in (L), Fagles writes, "The main doors open; ORESTES, sword in hand, is standing over the body of Aegisthus, with PYLADES close behind him."Compare to Hammondsworth's "Enter Orestes," (L) is better, because it produces an image in the reader's mind of what is going on. Hammondsworth's description can only give the readers an idea of what is happening.

Final Statement
I can only describe a partial difference between both edition because I read the entire Fagles' The Oresteia but only a partial of Vellacott's The Choephori. I am sorry that you don't agree with my opinion. This is an assignment I have to do for my English course so please forgive me opinion so get mad on me if u don't like it. However, I would like ot point out that Fagles' edition is interesting to read. That's all I have to say.

Aeschylus, The Choephoeri, in The Oresteia Trilogy, trans. Philip Vellacott. (Hammondsworth: Penguin, 1959): 136-137

Aeschylus, The Libation Bearer, in The Oresteia Trilogy, trans. Robert Fagles. (Toronto: Penguin, 1979): 216-219