What are the parallels between the families of Agamemnon and Odysseus?
The stories of Agamemnon and Odysseus both belong to an epic tradition referred to as the `return cycle`, a narrative tradition concerning the returns of the heroes from Troy, of which only the Odyssey is preserved in epic form. Many Greek tragedies are based on return stories.
In the cases of both Penelope and Clytemnestra, the wife anxiously awaits the hero`s return. Penelope remains faithful to Odysseus and spurns the suitors; Clytemnestra takes Aegisthus as a consort and they together kill Agamemnon. Athena advises Odysseus and Telemachus and helps them. Cassandra gives true advice to Agamemnon but because she was cursed by Apollo is not believed and thus can avert neither his death nor her own. Agamemnon has killed his daughter Iphigenia, which alienates Clytemnestra; Odysseus has never harmed Telemachus.