The Persians / Prometheus Bound / Seven Against Thebes / The Suppliants Bound
'But what mortal man can escape
The guileful deception of a god?'
Aeschylus, often known as the father of tragedy, was the first to raise the drama of classical Athens to a high art. The Persians, his earliest surviving play, is unique in its depiction of contemporary events – the Battle of Salamis – rather than heroic myth. Seven Against Thebes is the story of two brothers paying a terrible price for their claim to the throne of their city, and The Suppliants, the oldest text that attests to the existence of the word 'democracy', presents the tale of the Danaids' plea for protection from forced marriage. Prometheus Bound, which may be a later work by Aeschylus' son, portrays the suffering of the Titan Prometheus at the hands of Zeus after he was caught giving fire to mankind.
Alan Sommerstein's translation communicates the tragic grandeur of the original text, and his introduction places the plays in historical and dramatic context, explaining the developments of Greek theatre in Aeschylus' time. This edition also includes suggested further reading, maps, a chronology and the surviving fragments of ten other plays.
Translated with an introduction by ALAN SOMMERSTEIN
About The Author
Aeschylus was born of a noble family near Athens in 525 BC. He took part in the Persian Wars and his epitaph, said to have been written by himself, represents him as fighting at Marathon. At some time in his life he appears to have been prosecuted for divulging the Eleusinian mysteries, but he apparently proved himself innocent.
Aeschylus wrote more than seventy plays, of which seven have survived: The Suppliants, The Persians, Seven Against Thebes, Prometheus Bound, Agamemnon, The Choephori, and The Eumenides. (All are translated for Penguin Classics.) He visited Syracuse more than once at the invitation of Hieron I and he died at Gela in Sicily in 456 BC. Aeschylus was recognized as a classic writer soon after his death, and special privileges were decreed for his plays.
Series: Penguin Classics
For Ages: 18+ years old
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 23rd February 2010
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.8 x 1.7
Weight (kg): 19.8