In Agamemnon, why does the Chorus mention "dishonor to the hospitable hearth" and Zeus "god of guests?"

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The Chorus of Argive Elders, in Agamemnon, are discussing Helen's marriage to Paris of Troy and the war it began. Although married to Menelaus, Paris of Troy abducts and marries her. Angered by the disrespect to his brother, Agamemnon declares war upon Troy and spends ten years fighting the Trojans.

The Chorus, old and unable to take care of themselves for much longer, celebrates the return of their leader. During their conversations about the return, they consider Helen's place and speak of the parable of the lion cub (a lion who turns mean after being raised by a human).

The marriage of Helen to Paris of Troy brought Troy's destruction. Their marriage brought "dishonor to the hospitable hearth." As for the quote regarding Zeus, he "attended" the wedding as "guest and host" and now hears the "funeral chants" which lament the "evil fate" the marriage brought to Troy.

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