A murder is always a dramatic event, and, since the dramatic nature of it depends to a large extent on it being witnessed and reported, one would hope that a good author would ensure his or her report of a murder reflected that. Agrippina's death, a matricide, has often been labelled as ‘dramatic’ by modern commentators, yet a comprehensive and satisfactory analysis of the reports as described in three ancient sources is still outstanding. A number of papers have given partial attempts at offering proof of the dramatic nature of the reports. My aim in this paper is to bring in two further significant connections between the historians’ accounts and other domains (Greek drama, rhetoric) which have to my knowledge been overlooked. These new factors force us to re-evaluate earlier attempts of finding the sources of inspiration for Tacitus, Suetonius and Dio. I will do this by spelling out certain allusions implicit in all three authors, but with special emphasis on Tacitus, showing that, despite its understated nature, his succinct account could be highly evocative to his audience, alluding to the pathos appropriate to both tragedy and rhetoric. These two strands of influence on the reports not only enhance the effect of the passage at issue, but also make a full and proper reponse of the audience to it more plausible.