Composers and their stage works 

The Persians




Part of the tetralogy that won the first prize in 472 B.C. The play concerns the period following the Greek defeat at Salamis of the Persians, who had been led in battle by their rash and proud king, Xerxes. The ghost of Xerxes's father Darius, summoned up by the chorus in a spellbinding invocation, appears above his funeral mound and explains the significance of the event at Salamis: Zeus is punishing Xerxes's hubris, which had threatened to destroy the order of the universe. Xerxes is ultimately the victim of Ate, the moral blindness and self-infatuation that Zeus employs to lead arrogant men along the path of their own destruction.