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Aeschylus Quotes


Aeschylus Quotes

Æschylus (Greek: Αἰσχύλος; 525 BC – 456 BC) was a playwright of ancient Greece, the earliest of the three greatest Greek tragedians, the others being Sophocles and Euripides.

“Words are the physicians of a mind diseased.”

– Aeschylus, on life as quoted in Prometheus Bound

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Aeschylus Quotes about Death


“O Death the Healer, scorn thou not, I pray,

To come to me: of cureless ills thou art

The one physician. Pain lays not its touch

Upon a corpse.”

– Aeschylus on death, as quoted in, Frag. 250 (trans. by Plumptre), reported in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)


“Of all the gods, Death only craves not gifts:

Nor sacrifice, nor yet drink-offering poured

Avails; no altars hath he, nor is soothed

By hymns of praise. From him alone of all

The powers of heaven Persuasion holds aloof.”

– Aeschylus on death as quoted in Frag. 146 (trans. by Plumptre), reported in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)


“So in the Libyan fable it is told

That once an eagle, stricken with a dart,

Said, when he saw the fashion of the shaft,

“With our own feathers, not by others’ hands,

Are we now smitten.”

 Reported in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)


“Death is better, a milder fate than tyranny.

I pray the gods will give me some relief

And end this weary job. One long full year

I’ve been lying here, on this rooftop,

The palace of the sons of Atreus,

Resting on my arms, just like a dog.

I’ve come to know the night sky, every star,

The powers we see glittering in the sky,

Bringing winter and summer to us all,

As the constellations rise and sink.”

– Aeschylus, on death as quoted in Agamemnon


“For it would be better to die once and for all than to suffer pain for all one’s life.”

– Aeschylus, on death as quoted in Prometheus Bound


“But when the dust has drunk the blood of men,

No resurrection comes for one who’s dead.”

– Aeschylus, on death as quoted in Eumenides


 “Of all the gods, Death only craves not gifts:

Nor sacrifice, nor yet drink-offering poured

Avails; no altars hath he, nor is soothed

By hymns of praise.

His resolve is not to seem, but to be, the best.

Variant: To be rather than to seem.”

 Seven Against Thebes, l. 592

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Aeschylus Quotes about Education & Wisdom

Aeschylus Quotes about Life, Death & Education


 

‘He who learns must suffer

And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget

Falls drop by drop upon the heart,

And in our own despite, against our will,

Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.”

– Aeschylus, on education as quoted in Agamemnon

 


“Wisdom comes through suffering.

Trouble, with its memories of pain,

Drips in our hearts as we try to sleep,

So men against their will

Learn to practice moderation.

Favours come to us from gods.”

– Aeschylus, on education, as quoted in Agamemnon

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Aeschylus Quotes about Life


“I know how men in exile feed on dreams of hope.”

– Aeschylus, on life, as quoted in Agamemnon


“Good fortune is a god among men, and more than a god.”

– Aeschylus, on life, as quoted in Libation Bearers


“Destiny waits alike for the free man as well as for him enslaved by another’s might.”

– Aeschylus, on life, as quoted in Libation Bearers


“Time waxing old can many a lesson teach.

A prosperous fool is a grievous burden.”

– Aeschylus, on life as quoted in Frag. 383, reported in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)


“Bronze is the mirror of the form; wine, of the heart.”

– Aeschylus, on life as quoted in Frag. 384, reported in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)


“Words are the physicians of a mind diseased.”

– Aeschylus, on life as quoted in Prometheus Bound


“For somehow this is tyranny’s disease, to trust no friends.”

– Aeschylus, on life as quoted in Prometheus Bound


“It is in the character of very few men to honor without envy a friend who has prospered.”

– Aeschylus, on life as quoted in Agamemnon

 


“It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath.”

– Aeschylus, as quoted in Frag. 385, reported in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)

 


“Old men are always young enough to learn.”

– Aeschylus, as quoted in Agamemnon

 


“Do not kick against the pricks.”

– Aeschylus, as quoted in Agamemnon

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Quotes about Aeschylus


“Aeschylus is not impersonal but transpersonal, a believer in fate and moral responsibility at the same time.”

– Aeschylus, as quoted in Rollo May, in Love and Will (1969), p. 136


“Æschylus is above all things the poet of righteousness. “But in any wise, I say unto thee, revere thou the altar of righteousness”: this is the crowning admonition of his doctrine, as its crowning prospect is the reconciliation or atonement of the principle of retribution with the principle of redemption, of the powers of the mystery of darkness with the coeternal forces of the spirit of wisdom, of the lord of inspiration and of light.”

– Algernon Charles Swinburne in The Age of Shakespeare (1908)

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