Childhood <ul><li>Immersed early in the mystic rites of the city and in the worship of the Mother and Earth goddess Demeter, he was once sent as a child to watch grapes ripening in the countryside. </li></ul><ul><li>According to Aeschylus, when he dozed off, Dionysus appeared to him in a dream and ordered him to write tragedies. </li></ul><ul><li>The obedient young Aeschylus began a tragedy the next morning and "succeeded very easily." </li></ul>
Family <ul><li>His father, Euphorion, headed a wealthy, aristocratic family. </li></ul><ul><li>His brother, Cynegirus, died at Marathon, though Aeschylus fought on. Many scholars believe the playwright also participated in the battle at Salamis (480 B.C.), among other engagements. </li></ul><ul><li>Aeschylus had two sons, Euaion and Euphorion. </li></ul><ul><li>Euphorion, claimed first prize at the City Dionysia, defeating both Sophocles and Euripides in 431 BC. </li></ul>
Aeschylus's education <ul><li>Aeschylus's education included the writings of Homer . </li></ul><ul><li>It was Homer who proved most inspiring to Aeschylus when he began to write as a teen. </li></ul><ul><li>He entered his tragedies into the annual competition in Athens and won his first award as a young adult in 484 B.C.E. </li></ul><ul><li>Aeschylus' writings were strongly Athenian and rich with moral authority. </li></ul><ul><li>He carried home the first place award from the Athens competition thirteen times! </li></ul>
Aeschylus as soldier <ul><li>Aeschylus lived through many exciting events in the history of Athens. </li></ul><ul><li>Politically the city underwent many constitutional reforms resulting in a democracy. </li></ul><ul><li>Aeschylus became a soldier and took part in turning back a Persian invasion at the Battle of Marathon (490 B.C.E. ). </li></ul>
Athens <ul><li>Following Greek resistance of the Persian Empire, Athens established its independence as a democracy of the elite and intellectual. </li></ul><ul><li>Athens became the headquarters of the Dalian League of Greek city-states. This brought prosperity to the city and made Athens the center of the Greek cultural world. </li></ul><ul><li>Nevertheless, Aeschylus's plays left a bigger mark in Greek history than any of his battle accomplishments. </li></ul>
Greek Plays in his time <ul><li>When Aeschylus first began writing, the theatre had only just begun to evolve. </li></ul><ul><li>Plays were little more than animated oratorios or choral poetry supplemented with expressive dance. </li></ul>
Greek Plays in his time <ul><li>A chorus danced and exchanged dialogue with a single actor who portrayed one or more characters primarily by the use of masks. </li></ul><ul><li>Most of the action took place in the circular dancing area or "orchestra" which still remained from the old days when drama had been nothing more than a circular dance around a sacred object. </li></ul>
Aeschylus Drama <ul><li>Aeschylus' work has a strong moral and religious emphasis. In his plays, he addresses complex theological problems. </li></ul><ul><li>Many of his plays end more "happily" than those of the other two; namely, his masterpiece The Oresteia trilogy. </li></ul><ul><li>Besides the literary merit of his work, Aeschylus' greatest contribution to the theater was the addition of a second actor to his scenes. </li></ul>
Aeschylus Drama <ul><li>Previously, the action took place between a single actor and the Greek chorus </li></ul><ul><li>He also attempted to involve the chorus directly in the action of the play. </li></ul><ul><li>Although Aeschylus is said to have written over ninety plays, only seven have survived. </li></ul>
Theater of Dionysos, Athens , where all Aeschylus' plays were first performed.
Newly found play <ul><li>In 2003 another Aeschylus play was discovered in the wrappings of a mummy in Egypt. </li></ul><ul><li>The play, Achilles , was part of a trilogy about the Trojan War. </li></ul><ul><li>It was known to exist due to mentions in ancient sources, but had been lost for over 2000 years. </li></ul>
Death <ul><li>Aeschylus frequently travelled to Sicily, where the tyrant of Gela was a patron. </li></ul><ul><li>In 458 he travelled there for the last time; according to traditional legend, Aeschylus was killed in 456 when an eagle (or more likely a Lammergeier), mistaking the playwright's bald crown for a stone, dropped a tortoise on his head. </li></ul><ul><li>He dies in Gela (c. 456 BC) in one of his trips to Sicily and a monument is build there in his memory. </li></ul>
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