The House of Atreus: A Play

Agamemnon is like: I can’t believe we’re still stuck in this place. I am totally tired of waiting around for wind. I’m going to sacrifice my youngest kid to Artemis. Tell her it’s her wedding, she can marry that musclehead Achilles.

Cassandra to Iphigenia: Um, I wouldn’t go to your dad’s if I were you.

Agamemnon is all set to slaughter Iphigenia. But Artemis is like: JK, you can kill this deer instead and I’ll teleport Iphigenia to chill with the Taurians for a while. Just don’t tell anyone.

Electra: Orestes, did you hear what Dad did? He killed Iphigenia and now he’s like blatantly hooking up with Cassandra, who’s the most annoying prophetess ever and like half his age. Mom is having a fit!

Orestes is like: Dad, WTF? You sacrificed Iphigenia just so you could go on a trip?

Enter Clytemnestra, who is is like: Kids, chill, I’ll take care of it. Agamemnon, honey, come inside and take a bath. Your girlfriend can wait here.

Cassandra to Agamemnon: I wouldn’t go in there if I were you.

Clytemnestra to Agamemnon: Here we go, get in the tub. [Stab, stab, stab.]

Cassandra is like: I told him. This family never pays attention to me.

Orestes is like: OMG, what am I going to do? If I don’t revenge Dad, the whole entire House of Atreus will look, like, totally lame. But you’re not supposed to like kill your own mother, are you?

Electra is like: Um, Iphigenia was stupid anyway? I totally would have sacrificed her to Artemis if I’d been in Dad’s situation. Mom overreacted as usual. I hate her. [Exits, slouching.]

[Orestes slays Clytemnestra.]

Chorus of Boeotian Fisherwives: OMG! OMG! Life totally sucks for these guys!

[The trial of Orestes]

Bailiff: In the case of People v. Orestes Son of Agamemnon Son of Atreus, the defense has rested. Jury, how find you?

Furies: Guilty! Let us hound him to hell!

Various respectable Athenians: On account of the defendant’s dysfunctional home environment, we recommend counseling in lieu of human sacrifice and damnation.

Athena: The jury is split 50/50. Let the defendant go.

Furies: We’ll hound him anyway!

[Iphigenia in Tauris]

Iphigenia is like: I am so glad I don’t have to live in stupid old Greece anymore. Dad was so typical–ready to kill me just to go sailing. I can’t understand a word these barbarians say but they are so cool. If any Greeks show up, I’ll sacrifice them!

[Enter Orestes and Pylades, in chains, pursued by Furies.]

Iphigenia is like: Look, here come two Greek dorks now! Get them ready for the sacrifice. I am like totally up for cutting those two dudes’ throats.

Orestes is like: Um, Iphigenia? I’m, like, your long-lost brother?

Iphigenia is like: Oh yeah, look at you. What was I thinking–sacrificing you guys, hahaha. Let’s all escape from this place. Your boyfriend can come, too. I am totally ready to go home to Greece.

[Orestes rules justly for many years and then goes to hell with the Furies like everyone else.]

About Peter

Associate Dean for Research and the Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Tufts University's Tisch College of Civic Life. Concerned about civic education, civic engagement, and democratic reform in the United States and elsewhere.
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