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'Persians' an uneven but accessible account of ancient defeat
'Persians' an uneven but accessible account of ancient defeat

Imagine a play by a contemporary American playwright examining the war in Afghanistan from the point of view of Taliban leaders grieving their losses. No luck? This superhuman leap of sympathetic imagination is what Aeschylus achieved in his 472 BC drama "Persians," which is this year's outdoor production at the Getty Villa. What makes Aeschylus' achievement even more remarkable is that he fought against the invading Persians in the Battle of Marathon and was a witness to (if not a participant in) the Battle of Salamis, which marks a crucial turning point in the play. This is where the Greeks defeated the Persian armada, and the young King Xerxes, determined to...

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