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Free «Agamemnon Analysis» Essay Sample

Case for Clytemnestra Prosecution

There is enough evidence to show that Clytemnestra killed Agamemnon and Cassandra. Agamemnon (the king of Mycenae) is the husband of Clytemnestra. The King had been away at the Trojan War. He returns home with the Trojan princess, Cassandra, as his concubine. Clytemnestra persuades Agamemnon to enter the home. She conceals her motive to kill by making the king walk on a purple tapestry, which is a sign of his kingly status. Clytemnestra waits until the king is in the bath before she entangles him in a net and stabs him to death. Besides, Cassandra, who has been sitting in the chariot all along, walks in the palace and Clytemnestra turns to her, and kills her too. The aspects of the motive and premeditation are present in these cases (Widzisz 18). Thus, Clytemnestra should be charged for the two homicides.
Case for Clytemnestra Defense
The circumstances forced Clytemnestra to kill both Agamemnon and Cassandra. First, Agamemnon had deceptively sacrificed their daughter Iphigenia to Artemis in order to win the Trojan War. This act deeply affected Clytemnestra as she could not understand how winning a war could be more valuable than the life of her daughter (Widzisz 112). Thus, Clytemnestra act was a crime of passion. Besides, killing Cassandra is another crime of passion as Clytemnestra could not control the rage towards her husband who, after sacrificing their daughter and being away for a long time, returns home with a concubine as a trophy. The distressing event was too much for Clytemnestra that she suffered from temporary insanity and committed the murders. These are extenuating circumstances that should inform the judgment. A fair judgment would be clearing Clytemnestra from the charges.
There cannot be a justification for the two homicides as the extenuating circumstances are weak. First, the laws of the time allowed for keeping concubines. The case for crime of passion cannot surpass by the motive and premeditation that guide the murders. Crime of passion cannot apply when much time has passed between the sacrifice and the return of Agamemnon. The insanity plea is also weak as Clytemnestra shows remorse and tries to justify the deaths. Clytemnestra is guilty of the first degree murder. She should face execution.


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