The Themes of Law and Order in 'Oresteia'

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The Themes of the Oresteia The play termed the Oresteia is actually a trilogy that is built around the family of Agamemnon. Traditionally, one of the primary themes of the three plays is a movement from a traditional belief in revenge for wrongs to one of justice and the rule of law. The purpose of this paper is to discuss all three of the plays and look at how justice is conceived in each. Agamemnon The first play, Agamemnon, tells about the return of the King from the Trojan wars and how his wife has chosen to react to the reunion. Clytemnestra is the queen who was angered by the fact that Agamemnon was away for a decade and that the King sacrificed their daughter Iphigenia to one of the gods. In one part of the play, the Chorus of Elders chants "Zeus who hath paved a way for human thought, by ordaining this firm law 'He who learns, suffers'" (Aeschylus, trans. 1893, 1.176-179) which speaks to the law that was formed by the words. The people of Greece followed the law that a person who commits a crime, whether that be a recognized law or one that the punisher deemed appropriate, is subject to some form of punishment. In Agamemnon's case, Clytemnestra believed that his actions justified his death. She did not believe that it was murder because his actions justified her actions. She is advised against injuring the King and also believes that since he has returned from the Troy with a concubine, Cassandra, that Cassandra must be killed also. The play ends with
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