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(born 525/524died 456/455 BC, Gela, Sicily) Greek tragic dramatist. He fought with the Athenian army at Marathon (490) and in 484 achieved the first of his many victories at the major dramatic competition in Athens. He wrote over 80 plays, but only 7 are extant; the earliest of these, Persians, was performed in 472 BC. Other plays that survive are the Oresteia trilogy (Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and The Eumenides), Seven Against Thebes, The Suppliants, and Prometheus Bound. Considered the father of Greek tragic drama, he added a second actor to the performance, an innovation that enabled the later development of dialogue and created true dramatic action. He was the first of the three great Greek tragedians, preceding Sophocles and Euripides.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Aeschylus, visit Britannica.com.