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n. Greek Mythology
The son of Thyestes and lover of Clytemnestra. He helped Clytemnestra kill her husband Agamemnon upon Agamemnon's return from the Trojan War.


(Classical Myth & Legend) Greek myth a cousin to and the murderer of Agamemnon, whose wife Clytemnestra he had seduced. He usurped the kingship of Mycenae until Orestes, Agamemnon's son, returned home and killed him


(iˈdʒɪs θəs)

a cousin of Agamemnon who seduced Clytemnestra and was later killed by Orestes.
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Noun1.Aegisthus - (Greek mythology) the seducer of Clytemnestra and murderer of Agamemnon who usurped the throne of Mycenae until Agamemnon's son Orestes returned home and killed him
Greek mythology - the mythology of the ancient Greeks
References in classic literature ?
At that moment he was thinking of Aegisthus, who had been killed by Agamemnon's son Orestes; so he said to the other gods:
Then Minerva said, "Father, son of Saturn, King of kings, it served Aegisthus right, and so it would any one else who does as he did; but Aegisthus is neither here nor there; it is for Ulysses that my heart bleeds, when I think of his sufferings in that lonely sea-girt island, far away, poor man, from all his friends.
It told of the dispute between Agamemnon and Menelaus, the departure from Troy of Menelaus, the fortunes of the lesser heroes, the return and tragic death of Agamemnon, and the vengeance of Orestes on Aegisthus.
Agamemnon could not be got to show in his classical tunic, but stood in the background with Aegisthus and others of the performers of the little play.
In the years following the Trojan War, Electra waits for many years for the return of her brother Orestes from exile to help her take revenge against her mother Clytemnestra and stepfather Aegisthus for the murder of their father Agamemnon.
Clytemnestra rules Mycenae now, along with her new lover Aegisthus, and together they plot the bloody murder of Agamemnon on the day of his return after nine years at war.
It recounts the murder of Clytemnestra and Aegisthus by Orestes to avenge his father's death.
Having done so, he sailed off to war for many years, during which Clytemnestra, filled with hatred for her husband, took Aegisthus as a lover and co-ruler over the city during the king's absence.
More localized treatments of ritual in Euripides's Electra have also cast light on its use of and response to specific practices and categories: Barbara Goff (1991), for instance, explores the ways in which Orestes's identifying scar situates him as failed initiate in comparison to the Homeric Odysseus; whereas John Porter (1990) sees a disturbing appropriation of the Buphonia ritual in Orestes's assassination of Aegisthus.
And considering that Pelops was father of the criminal sons Atreus and Thyestes, who in turn fathered Agamemnon, Menelaus, and Aegisthus whose crimes and war are at the heart of Greek epic and tragedy from Homer onwards, Socrates surely has a point.
Sophocles' Electra is marked by an excessive and long-lived mourning: her father Agamemnon was brutally murdered by her mother Clytemnestra and suitor Aegisthus, the usurping king of Mycenae, and she has continued to mourn his death long past the customary grieving period.
Reckford (1981, 93-5) sees numerous parallels with the Odyssey here, in particular the slaughter of the suitors and Agamemnon's murder; thus Menelaus is equated with Aegisthus in the word amans.