|Profession:||Playwriter, Poet, Prelate, Soldier|
Aeschylus was the first of the three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays can still be read or performed, the others being Sophocles and Euripides. He is often described as the father of tragedy our knowledge of the genre begins with his work and our understanding of earlier tragedies is largely based on inferences from his surviving plays. Only seven of his estimated seventy to ninety plays have survived into modern times, and there is a longstanding debate about his authorship of one of these plays, Prometheus Bound. At least one of his works was influenced by the Persian invasion of Greece, which took place during his lifetime. So important was the war to Aeschylus and the Greeks that, upon his death, around 456 BC, his epitaph commemorated his participation in the Greek victory at Marathon rather than his success as a playwright. He was a deep, religious thinker. No poet has ever presented evil in such stark and tragic terms yet he had an exalted view of Zeus, whom he celebrated with a grand simplicity reminiscent of David's Psalms, and a faith in progress or the healing power of time.
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