Why the dog eyed woman?

Some translations use epithets. One says, “that bitch, that whore.”. Of course technically he is wrong. Clytemnestra is not a female dog. nor is she selling her body. But you could see why he would be angry–he has been recently murdered by her and her boy toy, Aegisthus.

The phrasing sticks in my head–the vivid chaos in the picture behind him. Clytemnestra exacts her revenge in a killing spree and Cassandra goes to her grave shouting out the fulfillments of grim prophecies.

An Agamemnon lays dying with his eyes wide open?

As I lay dying the dog-eyed woman would not let me close my eyes.

It calls to mind A Clockwork Orange (a film that creates instant PTSD) in which a psychopathic murderer is forced to go through aversion therapy. His eyes are prevented from closing while he is forced to watch hours of violence. The associations with violence become unbearable and he gets physically ill around violence.

It means he can neither perpetrate nor defend himself from violence.

It seems that Agammemnon has gained no insight from the manner of his death but Clytemnestra has exacted ultimate revenge.

Or, so, at least, we think.

Like him, Agammemnon is forced to witness the violence at the heart of his house.


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