Clytemnestra (or Clytaemnestra) (Eng. /klaɪtəm'nɛstɹə/ Greek: Κλυταιμνήστρα Klytaimnéstra, "famed for her suitors") was the wife of Agamemnon, king of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Mycenae or Argos. In the Oresteia by Aeschylus, she was a femme fatale who murdered her husband, Agamemnon—said by Euripides to be her second husband—and his concubine Cassandra. However, in Homer's Odyssey, her role in Agamemnon's death is unclear and her character is significantly more subdued.
Also during this period of his absence, Clytemnestra began a love affair with Aegisthus, her husband's cousin (they produced a daughter; Erigone). Whether Clytemnestra was seduced into the affair or entered it independently is debated. Nevertheless, together they plotted the murder of Agamemnon.
When Agamemnon returned from Troy, he brought the princess Cassandra as his concubine, thus Clytemnestra's jealousy was another partial motive for his murder. Upon his arrival, he entered the palace for a banquet while Cassandra remained in the chariot. It is at this point that Clytemnestra (or Aegisthus, see "Controversy") fulfilled her plan by initially seducing him into a vulnerable position, then entangling him in cloth and finally murdering him.
Meanwhile, Cassandra, who had the gift of always true prophecy, saw visions of Agamemnon's murder and her own. Her attempts to elicit help failed (she had been cursed by Apollo; no one would believe her prophecies) and when she realized she was fated to die, she ran into the palace and was also killed by Clytemnestra. After the murders, Aegisthus replaced Agamemnon and ruled with Clytemnestra. She was eventually killed by her son Orestes, who was the reluctant avenger of his father's death.
Clytemnestra has been the subject of many artistic works.
Hooked on Classics; the Gripping Legend of Clytemnestra Will Be Told at Sherman Cymru When a Major New Production Opens This Week. Cardiff Actress Kezrena James Tells Dave Owens Why It Is Such a Thrill for Her to Be on Home Ground
Apr 18, 2012; Byline: Dave Owens IN the stripped back environment of a rehearsal studio it's always difficult to get the full picture - devoid...
'It's Really Thrilling Seeing Things Embodied Better Than I Imagined' She May Be Renowned for Her Poetry but Now Gwyneth Lewis Has Written Her First Stage Drama. as Sherman Cymru Prepare to Premiere Clytemnestra, She Tells Karen Price How She Was Inspired by a Greek Myth
Apr 14, 2012; Byline: Karen Price * NSIDE a large and airy rehearsal room at Sherman Cymru in Cardiff, three actors are being put through their...