I stumbled onto the work of Aeschylus through Robert Kennedy’s most famous speech delivered in Indianapolis on his 1968 election tour. It is a remarkable speech not only for its profoundly personal nature, but also in that it helped turn an angry crowd away from violence only moments after they had learned of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. Kennedy’s words are also remarkable in that he painstakingly cites Aeschylus as a guide to understanding:
My favorite poet is Aeschylus. And he once wrote. Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God. While rioting broke out in many other cities across the country that night, Indianapolis remained calm, in part due to words of wisdom written some 2500 years before.