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Eumenides As Critique Of The Polis Summary

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Austin Barrow Dr. Vella AP English Literature; Period 1 6 October 2017 “ “: Eumenides as Critique of the Polis Athens functions as the polis or the pinnacle city-state of the time, and in Eumenides, it takes on the role as the birthplace of modern civic justice, leading the progression of humanity’s ability to determine morality in contrast to past models of vengeance in order to avoid anarchy and tyranny. However, Aeschylus’ story of the trial of Orestes implicates many of the imperfections of the Athenian justice system. In Eumenides, Aeschylus uses the Furies, persuasive language, and dark and light imagery to critique the polis, or the pinnacle city state of Athens, through the emphasis its flaws of sexual bias, the illusion of justice tied to the illusion of free will, and the continued presence of political absolutism. The curse on the house of Atreus and Apollo’s persuasive language emphasizes the bias in the new civic court system of the polis due to the blatant sexism present and the use of persuasion as a manipulative tool that can bypass the discovery of truth. “Apollo instances the superiority of the generative male sex from Athena herself, daughter of Zeus but borne by no mother – all of which Athena accepts in revealing her preference for Orestes” (Collard xxxvi). Apollo’s argument had no basis on the delegation of Justice and only implied feminine inferiority relative to the superior male, yet his persuasive language in relation to Athena’s upbringing is
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