Agamemnon: Metaphor Analysis
Imagery of Yokes and Nets
Here the recurrent image of the yoke is used just after the mention of the blasphemous destruction of the temples and altars, and just after the image of the working of the soil, which usually leads to the growth of seeds, is used for utter destruction. When Agamemnon refers to his army as "the Argive monster" (824) and "the ravening lion" (827), the feeling is strengthened that human beings become less than human when they carry out justice in this way, treating other human beings like animals.
The image of the net is taken up again by Clytemnestra: If Agamemnon had suffered as many wounds as false rumors told her he had, he would be "riddled with more holes than a net" (868). The tapestries she has spread before Agamemnon seem a visible form of the image, and when she boasts about the murder, she speaks of how she spoke falsely at first, in order to "fence up the nets / of harm to a height beyond overleaping" (1376), and speaks of the robe in which she entangled him for slaughter as "a covering inextricable, like a net for fish" (1382).She has treated him as less than human, and in so doing she has become less than human-the Chorus speaks of her as gloating over his body "like an evil crow" (1472) and of Agamemnon as lying "in this spider's web" (1492).
Aegisthus completes the image pattern by threatening to yoke any citizen who dares to disobey him "with a heavy yoke" (1640). The heavy sense of hopelessness that pervades the play is deepened and strengthened by the imagery throughout.