According to Merriam Webster

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According to Merriam Webster dictionary, a femme fatale is an attractive and seductive woman, especially one who will ultimately bring disaster to a man who becomes involved with her. This idea of vengeful women such has femme fatales has been shown in the arts, mainly in the theatre, for centuries even though this term was well identified in the twentieth century. Clytemnestra proves to be one of the first examples of a femme fatale by murdering her husband to seek revenge for the death of her daughter he sacrificed.

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As shown in the play Agamemnon, by Aeschylus, Clytemnestra is shown as self-sufficient, and clever. She uses her traits, combined with her seductive charm, to trick Agamemnon.

The audience is aware that the murder is obviously planned way before his arrival, showing us how rigid, conniving, and willing she is to go the extra mile to get what she wants. When Agamemnon finally returns to his home, Clytemnestra coaxes Agamemnon into believing he is safe at home by being both obedient and bashful. She had it all planned out to the tee, she did not aggressively attack him the second he arrived and did not scold him for bringing another woman into their house. She simply played the part of a well-behaved housewife until she reveals her plan. Clytemnestra is the example of a classic Femme Fatale.

Clytemnestra would be considered every man’s worst nightmare. Now, to fully understand Clytemnestra as a femme fatale, one must understand how her character was written according to how the playwright visions the character. According to the backstory of the play, Clytemnestra was the wife of Agamemnon, who was the king of Mycenae, and sailed to Troy as the leader of the Greek army to help his brother Menelaus win back his wife Helen who had been taken by Paris of Troy. But, before he left Greece, Agamemnon had to sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia to the goddess Artemis, to please him and avoid confrontation with him. Artemis promised he’d allow the winds to blow in Agamemnon’s favor for the war in Troy. While Agamemnon was fighting the war in Troy, Clytemnestra began plotting the murder of her husband with her new lover, Aegisthus.

When the king finally returns, the two lovers eventually over the cores of the play, attack him and cut his throat. Although she has been portrayed as a villain in this Greek tragedy, no one could blame her for wanting the revenge of her daughter’s death. This plot allows the audience to paint a picture of a justified mother who is seeking revenge for her daughter’s death and shows that Clytemnestra has been planning this revenge for years and years.

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