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Dear Temur,

Agamemnon, I am rather certain, has little relation to any Dionysus cult.
The story is from Homer, and dramaticised by Aeschylus ; Agamemnon is the
head of the House of Atreus, and his family have a rather long and sad
history; his murder, of course, is bound up with the Trojan War (he led the
Greeks against the Trojans; Menelaus, Helen's husband, is his brother).

I think one can start looking at it from that point of view.

Yours, Jennifer

----- Original Message -----
From: "Temur Kobakhidze" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, September 19, 2002 11:36 AM
Subject: Is Sweeney a grotesque Dionysus?


> Dear listers,
>
> I wonder if "Sweeney Among the Nightingales" has any relation to Dionysus
> cult and especially, if Agamemnon is in some way or another related to it,
> besides the commonly accepted view of the remote ritual origins of Greek
> tragedy from the collective worshipping of Dionysus.
>
> Can the animal images of the striped zebra and the spotted giraffe, along
> with the "horny gate", Doris's "murderous paws", grapes (hothouse grapes,
> as mentioned for the second time), figs, bananas, oranges, etc. stand for
> allusions and hints to the manifestations or avatars of Dionysus?
>
> And in case they CAN, do these images lead to the exploration of further
> ritual complexities in the poem? Is there a solid ritual and mythical
> substructure in the poem (like the one of The WL), which calls for further
> interpretations? Is Sweeney a parodied Agamemnon,and Agamemnon a disguised
> Dionysus? And to what extent are (if only)all the females of the poem
> Menades, and the males - Satyrs? Is the whole poem a contemporary parody
of
> the ancient rite of worshipping the god of fertility and wine?
>
> In short, is the latent meaning of this poem similar to that of "Sweeney
> Erect"?
>
> Regards,
>
> TK