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In Greek mythology
Greek mythology
, THYESTES (pronounced /θaɪˈɛstiːz/ , Greek : Θυέστης, ) was the son of Pelops and Hippodamia . He was a king of Olympia and father of Pelopia and Aegisthus
Aegisthus
. Thyestes
Thyestes
and his brother, Atreus , were exiled by their father for having murdered their half-brother, Chrysippus , in their desire for the throne of Olympia . They took refuge in Mycenae
Mycenae
, where they ascended the throne upon the absence of King Eurystheus
Eurystheus
, who was fighting the Heracleidae . Eurystheus
Eurystheus
had meant for their lordship to be temporary; it became permanent because of his death in conflict.

The most popular representation of Thyestes
Thyestes
is that of the play Thyestes
Thyestes
by Seneca in 62 AD. This play is one of the originals for the revenge tragedy genre. Although inspired by Greek mythology
Greek mythology
and legend, Seneca's version is different.

CONTENTS

* 1 Myth * 2 Theatre * 3 Inspiration for Literature * 4 References

MYTH

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Pelops and Hippodamia are parents to Thyestes. However, they were cursed by Myrtilus , a servant of King Oenomaus , the father of Hippodamia. Myrtilus was promised the right to Hippodamia's virginity and half of Pelop's kingdom, but Pelops denied both to him and killed him by throwing him into the sea. With his dying gasp, Myrtilus cursed their line, which is where Thyestes
Thyestes
and Atreus comes in.

Thyestes' brother and King of Mycenae, Atreus , vowed to sacrifice his best lamb to Artemis
Artemis
. Upon searching his flock, however, Atreus discovered a golden lamb which he gave to his wife, Aerope , to hide from the goddess. She gave it to her lover, Thyestes, who then convinced Atreus to agree that whoever had the lamb should be king. Thyestes
Thyestes
produced the lamb and claimed the throne.

Atreus retook the throne using advice he received from Hermes
Hermes
. Thyestes
Thyestes
agreed to give the kingdom back when the sun moved backwards in the sky, a feat that Zeus
Zeus
accomplished. Atreus retook the throne and banished Thyestes.

Atreus then learned of Thyestes' and Aerope's adultery and plotted revenge. He killed Thyestes' sons and cooked them, save their hands and heads. He served Thyestes
Thyestes
his own sons and then taunted him with their hands and heads. This is the source of modern phrase "Thyestean Feast," or one at which human flesh is served. When Thyestes
Thyestes
was done with his feast, he released a loud belch, which represents satiety and pleasure and his loss of self control.

An oracle then advised Thyestes
Thyestes
that, if he had a son with his own daughter Pelopia , that son would kill Atreus. Thyestes
Thyestes
did so by raping Pelopia (his identity hidden from her) and the son, Aegisthus
Aegisthus
, did kill Atreus. However, when Aegisthus
Aegisthus
was first born, he was abandoned by his mother, ashamed of the origin of her son. A shepherd found the infant Aegisthus
Aegisthus
and gave him to Atreus, who raised him as his own son. Only as he entered adulthood did Thyestes
Thyestes
reveal the truth to Aegisthus, that he was both father and grandfather to the boy and that Atreus was his uncle. Aegisthus
Aegisthus
then killed Atreus.

While Thyestes
Thyestes
ruled Mycenae, the sons of Atreus, Agamemnon
Agamemnon
and Menelaus
Menelaus
, were exiled to Sparta. There, King Tyndareus accepted them as the royalty that they were. Shortly after, he helped the brothers return to Mycenae
Mycenae
to overthrow Thyestes, forcing him to live in Cytheria, where he died. As a token of good will and allegiance, King Tyndareus offered his daughters to Agamemnon
Agamemnon
and Menelaus
Menelaus
as wives, Clytemnestra and Helen respectively.

When Agamemnon
Agamemnon
left Mycenae
Mycenae
for the Trojan War
Trojan War
, Aegisthus
Aegisthus
seduced Agamemnon's wife, Clytemnestra , and the couple plotted to kill her husband upon his return. They succeeded, killing Agamemnon
Agamemnon
and his new concubine, Cassandra . Clytemnestra and Aegisthus
Aegisthus
had three children: Aletes , Erigone , and Helen who died as an infant.

Seven or eight years after the death of Agamemnon, Agamemnon's son Orestes returned to Mycenae
Mycenae
and, with the help of his cousin Pylades and his sister Electra
Electra
, killed both their mother, Clytemnestra, and Aegisthus.

Tired of the bloodshed, the gods exonerated Orestes and declared this the end of the curse on the house of Atreus, as described in Aeschylus ' play The Eumenides .

However, other stories say that when Aletes and Erigone came of age and became rulers at Mycenae, Orestes returned with an army then killed his half-brother and raped his half-sister, who gave birth to a son, Penthilus .

THEATRE

Further information: Thyestes (Seneca)

In the first century AD, Seneca the Younger wrote a tragedy called Thyestes
Thyestes
. In 1560 Jasper Heywood , then a Fellow of All Souls College , Oxford
Oxford
, published a verse translation . Shakespeare
Shakespeare
's tragedy Titus Andronicus
Titus Andronicus
derives some of its plot elements from the story of Thyestes. In 1681, John Crowne wrote Thyestes, A Tragedy, based closely on Seneca's Thyestes, but with the incongruous addition of a love story. Prosper Jolyot Crebillon (1674-1762) wrote a tragedy "Atree et Thyeste" (1707), which is prominent in two tales of ratiocination by Edgar Allan Poe . In 1796, Ugo Foscolo (1778–1827) wrote a tragedy called Tieste that was first presented in Venice
Venice
one year later. Caryl Churchill , a British dramatist, also wrote a rendition of Thyestes. Churchill's specific translation was performed at the Royal Court Theater Upstairs in London on June 7, 1994 In 2004, Jan van Vlijmen (1935–2004) completed his opera Thyeste. The libretto was a text in French by Hugo Claus , based on his 20th century play with the same title (in Dutch: Thyestes). Thyestes appears in Ford Ainsworth 's one-act play, Persephone.

INSPIRATION FOR LITERATURE

Seneca's influence in literature is reflected through other works. In Arnold's Sonnet on Shakespeare, the influence of Seneca is apparent. "The reminiscence of Atreus’ speech in the Thyestes
Thyestes
of Seneca, which might subtend Cleopatra’s own passionate, distended rhetoric about Antony" (Edgecombe, 257).

* Bibliotheca Epitome 2.10-2.15 * Hyginus , Fabulae, 85: Chrysippus, 86:Sons of Pelops, 88:Atreus * Aeschylus ' Agamemnon * Edgar Allan Poe , The Purloined Letter, 140

AUTHORITY CONTROL

* GND : 118622471

REFERENCES

* ^ Seneca; Churchill, Caryl. Thyestes. : Nick Hern Books, 2014. Ebook Library. Web. 21 Oct. 2015. * ^ Edgecombe, Rodney Stenning. "A Debt To Seneca In Arnold's Sonnet On Shakespeare." Notes And Queries 60.2 (2013): 258. Print.

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Thyestes
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