scholarly and agonized than Orestes who better fits in the robe of a Classical Greek revenge hero.
Jessica Price observes:
“An onslaught of tragic elements appear in both Hamlet and The Oresteia. Hamlet's hamartia in William Shakespeare's Hamlet leads to his succumbing to corruption and his eventual demise. In The Oresteia by Aeschylus, Orestes' hamartia takes a slightly different course, causing him to stumble, but not completely fall.”
While Orestes never indulges in long existential speeches or philosophical
In this essay I intend to discuss how Aeschylus presents Clytaemnestra in the Oresteia and how he marks the extent to which traits of Clytaemnestra's character remain defiantly unchanged as she manipulates events and characters around her. Clytaemnestra is the only character who appears in all three plays in the trilogy, but despite her immense stage presence she remains a troublesome character to interpret due to the highly ambiguous nature of her words. I intend to show that the key to unlocking
Justice and Social Order in The Oresteia
Democracy, emerging in the city-state of Athens, allowed unprecedented power to her citizens. Among these new powers was the ability to legislate. Yet, legislation was not without its problems. First the citizens must agree upon what is just and unjust, and then enforce the law by bringing the unjust to reconcile their guilt with the public through trial, and finally dispense the appropriate penalty. This evolution was not without concern. The Greeks
Sleep Imagery in The Oresteia
Sleep—it's what divides the day and the night; the conscious and the subconscious; the aware and the unaware. It's image, then, is a powerful tool for polarizing such extremes. In his trilogy, The Oresteia, Aeschylus utilizes sleep imagery to divide between those who are aware and those who aren't. Though sleep's meaning changes throughout the plays, Clytaemestra is always able to use it to her aid. Her story accompanies a shift in a justice system that defines
implicating the blood-feud social structure and universal beliefs that the son should take responsibility for his father’s murder. Besides the brief description of Homer, Orestes is more fully developed in many other legends including the trilogy Oresteia by Aeschylus. In his account, Klytaimestra sent Orestes to king Strophius, Agamemnon’s brother-in-law, in Phocis before the homecoming of Agamemnon. Then one day before Agamemnon’s tomb, he recognized his sister Electra and together they plot the
The Oresteia depicts the transformation of a system of justice which is unorganized and based on vengeance into an organized system of justice based on law. This transformation is effected by several changes involving both gods and humans. Among these changes are: the shift from a view of the individual as the victim of a crime to a view of the community as the victim of the crime; the change in the nature of the Furies, who start as vengeful spirits and have their nature so completely changed that
The Cycle of Vengeance in Aeschylus’s Oresteia
The cyclic thread of vengeance runs like wild fire through the three plays in Aeschylus’s Oresteia. This thread, with its complexity of contemporary and universal implications lends itself quite well to – in fact, almost necessitates – deeply interested study. While a brief summary of the Oresteia will inevitably disregard some if not much of the trilogy’s essence and intent, on the positive side it will establish a platform of characters, events
Comedic Violence in The Medea, The Oresteia, and Antigone
Almost no Greek tragedy escapes the use of violence. The Medea, The Oresteia, Antigone, and other classic works of Grecian tragoidia all involve huge components of violence in many prominent places, and for all of these stories, violent action is an integral part of the play. Medea, especially, is a character worthy of note in this regard; her tumultuous life can be plotted accurately along a path of aggression and passionate fits
In the Oresteia trilogy, Agamemnon has to be the most controversial story regarding female interpretation and gender roles. The character Clytemnestra has not only rejected her feminine role in the Greek society, but also knocks the patriarchal society of its axis because of her masculine actions. The essence of masculinity comes through Clytemnestra with the language that she uses and the pivotal point of the story, her committing the murder of her husband, Agamemnon. Her masculine role, which
during his life, but unfortunately, only seven of them remain until today. Nevertheless, we can still use some of his remaining tragedy plays to find out why he composed them, and what he tried to tell the audiences. from his most famous trilogy, The Oresteia (Puchner, 651). In particular, I will use the example from the first tragedy of his most famous trilogy.
The tragic event of Iphigenia in Agamemnon illustrated the theme of the play and revealed author’s main ideas. In the plot, Agamemnon is the
“Lazarus Laughed” (1928) or an adaptation of Oedipus’ character in “Desire Under the Elms(1924).
As for “Mourning Becomes Electra” (1931), O’Neill explores Greek tragedy, attempting to modernize it. The play is based on Aeschylus’s trilogy The Oresteia (though it is closer to Sophocles’ Electra than to Aeschylus’ plays). In a 1931 letter to drama critic Brooks Atkinson, O’Neill wrote, “Greek criticism is as remote from us as the art it criticizes. What we need is a definition of Modern and not
pieces of literature of various time periods, however there are texts in which contrary to the patriarchal society models, women are given substantial importance within the plot. Homer`s The Odyssey, Heart of Darnkness by Joseph Conrad and Aeschylus`s Oresteia each demonstrate or conceal female importance in a given society.
The Odyssey was written in a time when men played the dominant role. In ancient Greece, women occupied a subservant position. Women were valued, but vastly for their sex appeal,
probably the first play of a Promethean trilogy, the others being Prometheus Unbound and Prometheus the Fire-Bringer.The remaining three plays, Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and The Eumenides, produced in 458 BC, form the trilogy known as the Oresteia, or story of Orestes. In Agamemnon, one of the greatest works of dramatic literature, King Agamemnon returns home from Troy and is treacherously murdered by his faithless wife Clytemnestra. In the second play, Orestes, the son of Agamemnon, returns
The Philosophy and Psychology of Sophocles’s Antigone and The Eumenides in Aeschylus’ Oresteia
There is a consensus among readers of the poetry or plays written in the fifth century that the plays succeed with inspiring profound movement on the audience. The methods or reasons for the reader to be moved by a text are often disputed. Specific to tragic works the concepts of philosophy and psychology are critical elements to understand the cause of the stirred emotions of individuals who
against those of his ancestors.
Hamilton, Edith. Introduction. Mythology. Edith Hamilton. New York, NY: Hachette Book Group, 1998. Print.
Aeschylus, Agamemnon. Trans. Robert Fagles. New York, NY: Penguin Group, 1984. The Oresteia. Print.
Muller, Karl O. History of the Literature of Ancient Greece. Vol. I. London: Baldwin and Cradock, 1840. 308. Web. 25 Mar. 2012. .
Schlegel, August W. Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature
Agamemnon was going to kill the innocent daughters of others so his own
innocent daughter should be killed first.When Agamemnon returns from battle he is
immediately killed by his wife on the pretence that he has killed his innocent daughter(oresteia
1.857).Clytaemnestra, the leading woman, overcomes the Greek society’s slighting attitude
towards women, grasping the most powerful position attainable in Argos.Even after gaining
power, Clytaemnestra clutches this leadership desperately, unrelenting
independent life of its own. Until purged by the sacrificial death of the wrongdoer, society would be chronically infected by catastrophe” (Armstrong 2007). An example of the miasma in ancient Greek literature occurs in the Aeschylus's trilogy, The Oresteia. The myth concerned two brothers, Atreus and Thyestes, and their struggle for the throne of Mycenae. Atreus fed his brother a stew, which contained the bodies of his sons. The heinousness of this crime caused a miasma to contaminate the entire
The War-of the-Sexes in Eumenides
In this essay I will examine the war-of the-sexes taking place in The Eumenides, the final play of The Oresteia. The plot of The Eumenides pits Orestes and Apollo (representing the male gods and, to a certain extent, male values in general) against the ghost of Clytemnestra and the Furies (equally representative of female values.) Of more vital importance, however, is whether Athene sides with the males or females throughout the play.
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.
The first play, Agamemnon, tells about the return of the King from the Trojan wars and how
Agamemnon is the first play of Aeschylus’ trilogy, the Oresteia. Aeschylus was the first of Athens’ three great tragedians; the others: Sophocles; Euripides. The Oresteia was also the first Greek tragedy trilogy written. As Greeks of this epoch focused on humanist ideas, so did Aeschylus. He devoted his genius to serious contemplations of humanistic questions, such as the nature of justice. Other humanistic values are honor, truth, compassion, loyalty, devotion to family and
Religious Beliefs in Aeschylus' Oresteia, Homer’s Iliad, and Sophocles’ Electra
The final and definitive defeat of the Persian army at the battle of Plataea represented the end of an age-long threat to Athens. But the victory was also a miracle, as all the odds were against the Athenians at the onset of the war. While Pericles took charge of Athens after the war and started the advance of democracy, religion also thrived. The rebuilding of the Acropolis and the construction of the Parthenon
impact this power had on men. It shows how fierce a woman’s wrath could be and what they were capable of doing. These stories give us an insight on how women were viewed during this time.
Aeschylus, Peter Meineck, and Helene P. Foley. Oresteia. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Pub., 1998. Print.
Euripides, and Robin Mitchell-Boyask. Medea. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2008. Print.
"The Role of Women in Greek Mythology." Contributor Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2012. <http://voices.yahoo
in Aeschylus' The Oresteia Trilogy and Sophocles' Electra
The act of revenge in classical Greek plays and society is a complex issue with unavoidable consequences. In certain instances, it is a more paramount concern than familial ties. When a family member is murdered another family member is expected to seek out and administer revenge. If all parties involved are of the same blood, the revenge is eventually going to wipe out the family. Both Aeschylus, through "The Oresteia Trilogy," and Sophocles
Justice and Gender in the Oresteia
Justice and gender are put into relation with each other in Aeschylus’ Oresteia. In this trilogy, Greek society is characterized as a patriarch, where the oldest male assumes the highest role of the oikos (household). The household consists of a twofold where the father is the head, and the wife and children are the extended family. The head of the oikos is the only one who possesses the authority to seek justice. This is because the father acquires the authority
Progression from Evil to Good in Oresteia
Aeschylus' use of darkness and light as a consistent image in the Oresteia depicts a progression from evil to good, disorder to order. In the Oresteia, there exists a situation among mortals that has gotten out of control; a cycle of death has arisen in the house of Atreus. There also exists a divine disorder within the story which, as the situation of the mortals, must be brought to resolution: the Furies, an older generation of gods, are in conflict
Aristotle’s statement that “It (tragic hero) must be good.” is not very definitive. “Good” is a subjective term. All characters have different point of views and their interpretation of the term “good” varies accordingly. For example in The Oresteia, Clytaemnestra and Orestes are both tragic heroes, and yet their understanding of “good” conflicts each other. In Agamemnon, Clytaemnestra murders her husband, who is also the father of Orestes. In doing so, she justifies herself saying “By the child’s
justice or just another bad guy? In the trilogy of “The Oresteia,'; we come across a similar situation. When his jealous wife Clytaemnestra and his cousin Aegisthus kill Agamemnon, the king of Argos, it is up to his long lost son Orestes, to avenge his death. To the people of Argos and the house of Atreus, Orestes was an innocent hero in yet another chess game played by the gods.
Deep into the first story of “The Oresteia,'; better known as “Agamemnon,'; Cassandra, who has been
The Powerful Clytemnestra in Aeschylus' Oresteia
What Price Glory? was the title of a Maxwell Anderson play about World War I. Although the Oresteia deals with the period following a much different war, the same question can be asked of it. In the trilogy Aeschylus presents the reader with a stunning example of ancient Greek society, in which warrior ideals were firmly held, and glory in battle was considered the supreme good. The question of moral justification in the trilogy brings in many
it from being manipulated and to understand its place in society.
In ancient Greece, Aeschylus sought to define for the people of Athens the part of
human nature that necessitates justice and power. At the end of his series of plays in the Oresteia, Aeschylus tells the story of Orestes and the progression of justice. The final play, The Eumenides, ends with a struggle between different definitions of justice. Orestes is a youth charged with matricide which is punishable by death according
The Conflict in The Eumenides of The Oresteia
In The Eumenides, the third book of The Oresteia, there exists a strong rivalry between the Furies and the god Apollo; from the moment of their first confrontation in Apollo’s temple at Delphi, it is clear that the god and the spirits are opposing forces. Their actions bring them into direct conflict, and both of them are stubbornly set on achieving their respective goals while at the same time interfering with or preventing the actions of the
engages in making money. As you can see, each part of the soul has its own function and together they make up the soul. However, when one part overcomes or is stronger than the other that is when it becomes a problem.
Main Post: The Oresteia and Greek Drama
In this section, we learned about two different types of justice that was a part of society—household justice and civic justice. They are the total opposite from each other, and one is clearly better than the other. Justice of the
The very title of the poem itself can be seen as a reference to the massive statue of the Greek god, Helios, that was erected in Ancient Greece. Furthering this idea is her incorporation of the concept of the oracle and the Oresteia, a trilogy of Greek tragedies ("Oresteia.").
The poem “Daddy” is all about how Plath struggled to deal with the death of her father and how his memory affected her life, personally. She uses the controversial but highly effective approach of calling her father a Nazi
glory of the gods, for who could tell the inspiration of the gods from that of the humans that they befriended, harassed, and molested?” (17). The Trojan War was an episode that embodied the mix of the actions of both god and man.
In Aeschylus’ Oresteia, the events of the tragedy are immediately preceded by the events in the Trojan War. The story of the Trojan War begins on Mount Olympus, where Zeus made the rare good decision in regards to women. Zeus, a well renowned philanderer, had his eye on
books or works of literature that come from that time period. The New Testament in The Holy Bible is a valuable source that shows the history of the Christians and how they have developed. Literary works, plays, and poem like Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, Oresteia and Vergil are reflections of the culture and lifestyles of Ancient Greeks and Romans. There are some areas that don’t progress or some that have an unclear progression. Religion shows a definite progress as is changes from polytheism to monotheism
different. People took matters in their own hands. There was no judge, jury, prosecutor or defendant in Ancient Greece. Individuals acted as executioners based on their own predilections on how justice should be administrated and on whom. In the Oresteia, Aeschylus praises the substitution of such blood vengeance system with trial by jury, which according to him was a more civilized and equitable system. In that matter, I must agree with Aeschylus and argue that jury by trial is a far more civilized
The Imagery of Bloodshed in The Oresteia
In the prologue of Agamemnon, the first play of Aeschylus' trilogy, The
Oresteia, the watchman implores the gods for "a blessed end to all our
pain." (20). He is asking for deliverance from the retributive system of
justice, where the only certainty is that bloodshed breeds more bloodshed.
The old men of the chorus in their opening chant, "Hymn to Zeus," declare
that suffering must be experienced before man can be released from
The Importance of Gender in Aeschylus' Oresteia
Gender is made explicit as a theme throughout the Oresteia through a series of male-female conflicts and incorrectly gendered characters dominated by the figure of Clytemnestra, a woman out of place. This opposition of gender then engenders all the other oppositions of the trilogy; conflicts of oikos and polis, chthonic and Olympian, old and young can be assigned to female and male spheres respectively. In this essay I will look at how
becoming compatible in mind, body, and spirit. However, as unbridled anger breeds distrust and deceit, this steadfast romance can easily distort into dismal apathy. These contrasting representations of marriage in Homer’s The Odyssey, and Aeschylus’ Oresteia govern the works’ narratives, setting the scene for the climatic events and highlighting various themes presented throughout the plot. While the unanimity and loyalty of Penelope and Odysseus fortifies their love for each other, the strikingly different
In The Eumenides and Agamemnon of The Oresteia trilogy, Aeschylus constructs an over-arching metaphor for elements of the new Athenian democracy. The chorus in each play represents the people who feel under-represented and disrespected, by the society's changing values. In The Eumenides, the chorus of Furies is frustrated with the younger gods and infringements on their power; in Agamemnon the chorus fears more the control of an effective woman in Clytemnestra rather than the leadership of fruitless
Justice in the Oresteia
Justice is often taken for granted in the world we live in today with
a judicial system that gives fair punishment for most crimes. In the
Oresteia justice works much differently, where there are no judges or
a court system to resolve disputes, instead there is revenge. Revenge
is very messy because somebody will and has to get hurt first to
desire revenge, and it leads to a cycle that cannot and will not end
until everybody is dead. Justice does
Gramsci meanwhile he was imprisoned within a fascist jail in the 1920s.2 Creating a sexist doctrine that rules over early societies it filters itself into the pages of some of the most renowned historical pieces of literature. The Iliad by Homer, the Oresteia Trilogy by Aeschylus, the Old Testament, and Decameron by Boccaccio can all be studied from a feminist viewpoint in criticism of their show of masculine hegemony. Eternally famous playwright and innovator of our English language William Shakespeare
In the Oresteia there seems to be a continuing cycle of revenge. Someone is murdered and then a relative must kill the murderer, therefore becoming a murderer himself. A new chosen one is then selected to take revenge on that person who killed before him and the cycle goes on and on. The furies also play a part in this cycle of revenge. They seek out those who kill their blood relatives and haunt them and torture them for eternity. So basically they also take revenge for the ones that have been
Oresteia - The Issue of Justice in Aeschylus' Eumenides
The concept of justice is manifested through the three plays of Aeschylus' Oresteia. The old tradition of justice, the private blood feud, caused an ungoverned succession of violent acts that spiralled uncontrollably. Aegisthus, Clytemnestra's lover, is introduced in Agamemnon; he desires vengeance for the plot contrived by Agamemnon's father (Ag: 1605-1611).1 Neither Agamemnon nor Aegisthus took part in this "plot" and yet as the chorus
worshiped by specific people in similar, yet unique ways. A prime example of a series of polytheism can be seen in the Oresteia’s Eumenides. “Gods of the younger generation, you have ridden down/ the laws of the elder time, torn them out of my hands.” Oresteia (The Eumenides, 808-810). The Eumenides is not only the trail of Orestes, but also an example of the battle between the old and new gods of Greek mythology. In this excerpt the Furies, who are old gods, complain about how the new generation of gods
In “The Oresteia” trilogy, the ancient Greek playwright Aeschylus advocates the importance of the male role in society over that of the female. The entire trilogy can be seen as a subtle proclamation of the superiority of men over women. Yet, the women create the real interest in the plays. Their characters are the impetus that makes everything occur.
The most complex and compelling character in the three plays is Clytaemnestra. Clytaemnestra is consumed with thoughts of revenge. She seeks
The Judgment of Athena in Oresteia
Athena resolves the conflicts of the Oresteia with an ambiguous judgment that seems to satisfy all parties involved. However, in any conflict, at least one party must make sacrifices to work toward a resolution. Athena achieves her paradoxical result by misleading Apollo to think that he has received total victory in judgment and by offering compensatory powers to the Erinyes, thus creating an illusion of satisfaction for all amidst a reality of compromise
The Transformation of Justice
A cycle of murder and death spurs from the curse on the House of Atreus in Aeschylus’ The Oresteia but transforms from justice as vengeance to justice as fairness and forgiveness through the wisdom of Athena, establishing a new cycle of growth and life. The curse upon the House of Atreus was brought forth through the event of Zeus’ eagles devouring a pregnant hare which angered Artemis for she is the goddess of young animals and creatures. The big black bird swoops
In the trilogy Oresteia, the issues concerned are the transformation from vengeance to law, from chaos to peace, from dependence to independence, and from old to new. These four significant changes all take place throughout the play and are somewhat parallel to the transformations that were going on in Ancient Greece.
In Aeschylus' trilogy, the Greeks' justice system went through a transformation from old to new ways. In the beginning of the trilogy, the characters settle
metaphor or simile which better visualizes the author's true meaning. Lions have many different personality traits which make them extremely diverse creatures. This also promotes various applications to characters in literary works. In two works, the Oresteia by Aeschylus and Euripides' Bacchae, we see a continuing line of examples of lion imagery. Alongside this literary aspect, the analysis of characters' gender roles is possible. When observing these two concepts both individually and in conjunction
find a chorus in a modern tragedy, however in modern cinema like (500) Days of Summer a soundtrack can fulfill the role of a classic tragic chorus. Often aspects of an ancient Greek tragedy can be found in a modern tragedy such as the Furies of the Oresteia can be seen in the psychological struggles of Mourning Becomes Electra. Despite many of the classic elements of tragedy no longer serving modern works tragedy still exists when classic elements are replaced modern transitions. Tragedy is certainly