I don't totally understand what is going on here. Is Clytemnestra really attempting to distance herself from the deed she has just committed after recently proclaiming how pleasurable she found killing her husband? Clytemnestra's opening question: αὐχεῖς εἶναι τόδε τοὔργον ἐμόν; Do you affirm this deed is mine? draws attention to the fact that she is not explicitly referenced in the preceding Χορός, <δάμαρτος> being a conjectural emendation.A.Ag 1497-1504 Clytemnestra
αὐχεῖς εἶναι τόδε τοὔργον ἐμόν;
Ἀγαμεμνονίαν εἶναί μ’ ἄλοχον.
φανταζόμενος δὲ γυναικὶ νεκροῦ
τοῦδ’ ὁ παλαιὸς δριμὺς ἀλάστωρ
Ἀτρέως χαλεποῦ θοινατῆρος
τέλεον νεαροῖς ἐπιθύσας.
Do you affirm this deed is mine?
Do not imagine
that I am Agamemnon's spouse.
A phantom resembling that corpse's wife,
the ancient bitter evil spirit
of Atreus, that grim banqueter,
has offered him in payment,
sacrificing a full-grown victim
in vengeance for those slain babes.
— H.W. Smyth
Is the phantom l. 1500 φανταζόμενος perhaps co-referential (pointing to the same entity) with the δαίμων of 1468, 1477, 1482? The actions of humans are often depicted as being influenced by what a modernist might call invisible forces but apparently conceptualized by the Ancient Greeks as quasi-personal agents. I use the term quasi-personal because a modernist might quibble over the word personal since the δαίμων typically remains unnamed. The δαίμων was an agent of different order than strictly human agents but responsible for human actions.ὤμοι μοι κοίταν τάνδ’ ἀνελεύθερον
δολίῳ μόρῳ δαμεὶς <δάμαρτος>
ἐκ χερὸς ἀμφιτόμῳ βελέμνῳ.
Ah me, to lie on this ignoble bed,
struck down in treacherous death
wrought by a weapon of double edge
wielded by [the] hand [of your own wife]!
— H.W. Smyth
The ultimate agent in this passage is Zeus who is a much higher power than a δαίμων.
I am not a philosopher so perhaps the word agent isn't really appropriate in reference to Zeus. Perhaps someone will expound on the implications of παναιτίου author of all πανεργέτα worker of all.1481
ἦ μέγαν οἰκονόμον
δαίμονα καὶ βαρύμηνιν αἰνεῖς,
φεῦ φεῦ, κακὸν αἶνον ἀτη-
ρᾶς τύχας ἀκορέστου·
ἰὴ ἰή, διαὶ Διὸς
τί γὰρ βροτοῖς ἄνευ Διὸς τελεῖται;
τί τῶνδ’ οὐ θεόκραντόν ἐστιν;
Truly you speak of a mighty Fiend,
haunting the house, and heavy in his wrath
(alas, alas!)—an evil tale
of catastrophic fate insatiate;
woe, woe, done by will of Zeus,
author of all, worker of all!
For what is brought to pass for mortal men save by will of Zeus?
What herein is not wrought of god?
— H.W. Smyth
Elizabeth Vandiver in her excellent lecture series on Attic Tragedy discusses the different levels of agency and the role of Fate in the actions of Tragic Heroes. If my memory is reliable, Vandiver said the Attic Tragedians were not obsessed with the question of human free will. The fact that human actions were determined by divine agents and Fate didn't reduce the human responsibility for these actions. Listening to Vandiver discuss this reminded me of The Freedom of the Will by Jonathan Edwards.
A Careful And Strict Inquiry
Into The Modern Prevailing Notions Of That
Freedom Of Will
Which Is Supposed To Be Essential To
Moral Agency, Virtue And Vice, Reward And Punishment, Praise And Blame