Case Analysis : ' Fate, Athena '

1490 Words Dec 13th, 2016 6 Pages
In the conclusion to the case which decided Orestes’ fate, Athena, offering explanation for her final decision, notes her inherent preference towards men: “There is no mother anywhere who gave me birth/ and, but for marriage, I am always for the male/ with all my heart… I shall not value [Clytemnestra’s] death more highly than his” (The Eumenides, lines 736-40). This argument calls back to Apollo’s claim that children are not born from the characteristics of both their parents, but rather from their father’s seed: “The mother is no parent of that which is called/ her child, but only a nurse of the new-planted seed/ that grows” (The Eumenides, lines 658-60).Women are only the vessels, imparting no influence besides nurturement to their children. While this clearly biased justification eschewed the rights for her own gender, this reasoning worked within the consistency of Athens’ cultural frame. The case, in the canon of the play being Athens’ first trial by an impartial jury, was decided largely by the influences of the personal sexist biases held by most citizens in that society. The morally pure systems defining Greek democracy could only be seen as true if the moral inconsistencies derived from their cultural bias were ignored. The system of justice and democratic vote appealed to the higher ideals of human virtue, but humans inevitably let their own personal prejudices intercede.
The American Declaration of independence sought, as it claimed, life, liberty, and the…
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