Aeschylus was an ancient Greek writer of tragedies. He is described as the "father of tragedy". According to Aristotle, Aeschylus expanded the number of characters in the theatre of tragedy and allowed confrontation and tension among them. Before his improvisation, characters only interacted with the chorus.
He has written around seventy to ninety plays, out of which only a few have survived. Fragments from other Aeschylus' plays have survived in quotations, while few others were found on Egyptian papyrus. He holds the distinction of being the pioneer in portraying plays in a trilogy form. His play named "Oresteia" is the only ancient example.
Aeschylus was born in c. 525 BC in Eleusis, a small town near Athens. His family was wealthy and renowned. Aeschylus' family was an upper class, aristocratic one. They were well renowned in Attica. He worked at a vineyard in young age. It's said that the God Dionysus visited him in his sleep and commanded him to turn his attention to the tragedy.
Aeschylus also returned to Sicily. He died in Gela around 456 or 455 BC. It's said that he was killed outside the city by a tortoise dropped by an eagle. In one of his books called the "Naturalis Historiæ", Pliny said that Aeschylus was so scared of a prophecy that he would die by a falling object that he would roam about outside. Nevertheless, Aeschylus' work was quite famous, and to date, he is considered a master of tragedy. Below are some of the famous Aeschylus Quotes.
Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.
Long-lasting pain won't be forgotten by us simply. It will take time to forget it, and thus the only way to do this is by the grace of God. You may not be able to change the way things are happening. Yet drops of mercy will fall on you once you start believing in the almighty.
Happiness is a choice that requires effort at times.
Staying happy or sad is our individual choice. Yet it's also something that we have to make efforts for, to acquire. You will have to strive for it and look in that direction. Happiness is thus both a conscious effort as well as an abstract feeling.
My will is mine...I shall not make it soft for you.
Staying strong in your word is very important. That's why you should always abide by whatever you feel is correct. Don't change your boldness and will without really indulging in it. You don't have to soften your mind or choices for the sake of others.
Nothing forces us to know what we do not want to know except for pain.
Sometimes we just leave things as they are and don't do anything to know more about them. However, pain is the best lesson to learn things that you otherwise may have detested to learn. It's an emotion that makes you go through every other emotion.
For it would be better to die once and for all than to suffer pain for all one's life.
What's better? Suffering the entire life or dying once? Suffering your entire life is not at all a good choice. What you should ideally do, as Aeschylus suggests, is striving hard to die than suffer your entire lifetime. It means that one should not think that death is anyway a bad thing. It's rather a happy state.
Tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.
Human beings sometimes have to be tamed nicely. The rudeness in them has to be softened. Only then will this world become gentle. Sometimes we tend to become very angry or selfish, which is why we display our savage side. Thus, gentleness in the world will come through the taming of our minds.
It is in the character of very few men to honour without envy a friend who has prospered.
Jealousy is all a part of the game. If someone succeeds more than us, we always envy their success. We think that they are our rivals and that they would become a thorn in our paths. However, it's challenging to find those friends who celebrate the success of their other friends. Such people are rare.
Continue reading some more Aeschylus Quotes...
For somehow this is tyranny's disease, to trust no friends.
What's tyranny? The worst form of tyranny would be not trusting your friends or relying on them. If you think that someone is your friend, your first task should be to trust everything that they do or say. You have to not develop doubts in your mind about them.
It is a profitable thing, if one is wise, to seem foolish.
If you are wise, then pretending that you are foolish can work in all ways. It's rather profitable to show the world that you are foolish. That's because wisdom should not be manifested everywhere. It should be only portrayed in front of people who deserve that wisdom.
There is an advantage in the wisdom won from pain.
Pain, as Aeschylus said before, is a great teacher. It can teach you so many things. It's advantageous to develop your knowledge and wisdom from pain. You need not learn only from good things. You can also become wise by going through pain.
To learn is to be young, however old.
Learning is a process that should continue your entire lifetime. It should be taken in a positive light. It doesn't mean that you get older and your learning just corrupts. That's not how it happens. Learning should be something that should be pursued in all age groups. So pretend that you are young and learning, however old you may be.
Time, as it grows old, teaches all things.
Time passes and teaches us so many things. As humans grow old, they learn a lot more things.
Ageing helps you gain wisdom and learning. Time also operates in the same way. It works in a manner wherein it gets older, and it becomes a great teacher. It teaches you so many things.
Memory is the mother of all wisdom.
Having wisdom is one thing. But having the memory to store that wisdom is another. You need to have a memory that is reliable and transferable. What it means is that you should be able to put in usage whatever that you have learnt. And that should be something that you can share with other people also.
In war, the first casualty is truth.
In war, so many people lose out on a lot of things. Some people get killed, others get injured, while towns are ransacked and plundered. However, the first casualty in a war is the truth. It's the truth that suffers and dies. That's because there are no ethics and morals left in a violent war.
Few more Aeschylus Quotes...
There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief.
The greatest of all pains is the recapitulating of joy that you do in grief. It's the memory of those happy and beautiful times that makes you long for it. However, since you remember the happiness in grief, you can't change things back in the past. That gives you a lot of pain.
Suffering brings experience.
Suffering is tough. It's not easy to go through things that just hit you and give you pain. However, if looked at carefully, suffering is the best way to learn new things. It's the best way to imbibe values from experiences. It's the most effective way to build wisdom.
I know how men in exile feed on dreams
Men in exile may have no food or water to consume. However, history shows how men in exile feed on dreams. They develop their thoughts in exile, which are quite revolutionary and path-breaking in nature. That's why it's said that being in exile helps in mushrooming of some great ideas.
I gave them hope, and so turned away their eyes from death.
Giving hope to someone can work in miraculous ways. By giving someone hope, you are taking something as big as death away from their path. That's the energy that something as light or as normal as hope carries within itself. It's this energy that can do wonders in healing someone.
Call no man happy till he is dead.
Happiness is transient. It cannot be something that can be called permanent or something that would stay with you for a lifetime. In this scenario, real happiness is when you die because that's when your suffering will end. That's the only way to attain eternal peace.
It is easy when we are in prosperity to advise the afflicted.
Being in a positive situation is always easy as you can advise someone easily. Advising people who are afflicted while you being in a privileged position is easy. However, you should always give pieces of advice from a third-person perspective and never impose your standards on others.