... I will walk with my song torn open.

says Kassandra in Anne Carson's translation of Aiskhylos' Agamemnon --

... I will walk with my song torn open.

And Klytaimestra, after killing Agamemnon -- a sort of dragnet of doom entrapping him -- Klytaimestra says to her lover Aigisthos --

Ignore their yelpings.
You and I, as masters of this house,
will dispose all things as they should be.

Oh the doom in these plays. The excruciating blood -- the shame -- the sense of character, overwhelming each individual. I cannot get Kassandra's words away from me -- I will walk with my song torn open. I think of Philomela whose cry is cut out so she can't proclaim Tereus' violence. These thoughts insinuate themselves into my new classes and I sit and think of how silly it now seems to me to talk about actions and reasons as if they were wholly analyzable physical events, to be completely explained in terms of physical causation. That's what some would like to do. And then I think of how to speak of Agamemnon's choice to sacrifice Iphigeneia to save the fleet -- and of Klytaimestra's overwhelming vengeance -- and of each character's notion of justice -- of Elektra grieving and Orestes vengeful and then mad. I think of the experience of such a play -- seeing Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf on stage two nights ago and feeling my entire body resonate with Martha's howling at the end -- shivers and tears and fear and sorrow all at once.