The Persians

The Importance of the Chorus in Aeschylus’ presentation of the Persian Invasion 12th Grade

The chorus was an integral feature of traditional Greek tragedy, which explains the high degree of importance placed on the chorus by Aeschylus in ‘The Persians’, used to reinforce the tragic elements of the plot, whilst also helping to create a sense of pity for Persian characters perhaps demonized by Greeks. Indeed, whilst Aeschylus certainly uses the chorus to draw out the differences between the social and military attitudes of the Greeks and the Persians, the speeches of the messenger figure are arguably more important to deepening this cultural divide which would have been felt acutely by Athenian audience members, many having experienced the on-stage battles only a few years prior to the production of the play at the Dionysius Festival.

Aeschylus’ chorus plays a significant role in earning ‘The Persians’ status as a tragedy through aligning with many of the features commonly associated with traditional Greek tragic plays, therefore making it ore dramatic. Indeed, the very existence of the chorus within Aeschylus’ play and that they enjoy a significant amount of speech within each section of the play aligns it with many tragedies of the era- such as Agamemnon and Electra- in which the chorus acted as an integral part of...

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