How far does Clytemnestra draw the reader's sympathy?

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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This quesiton really depends on the reader. Let me give a brief summary of her plight. She is married to Agememnon, a Greek king and general. Her husband goes off to war to rescue Helen, his brother's wife and punish the Trojans. However, as the Greeks are ready to depart, the gods do not send favorable winds. Therefore, they are not able to sail. So, what Agememnon does is offer a sacrifice to the gods for favorable winds to get their campaign started. This would be a prudent thing to do ordinarily, but in this case his sacrifice is his daughter. When Clytemnestra finds this out, she is filled with rage and so when Agememnon returns from war, she slays him in a bath. This is a tough situation. I go back and forth. Murder for Murder? Forgive? Seek justice in another way? The very fact these questions can be raised shows that there is at least some sympathy.

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