Aeschylus: The Oresteia (Landmarks of World Literature by Simon Goldhill

By Simon Goldhill

Simon Goldhill specializes in the play's themes--justice, sexual politics, violence, and the position of guy in historic Greek culture--in this common advent to Aeschylus' Oresteia, some of the most very important and influential of all Greek dramas. After exploring how Aeschylus constructs a delusion for the town during which he lived, a last bankruptcy considers the effect of the Oresteia on extra modern theater. The volume's prepared constitution and advisor to additional examining will make it a useful reference for college kids and lecturers. First version Hb (1992): 0-521-40293-X First version Pb (1992): 0-521-40853-9

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By Simon Goldhill

Simon Goldhill specializes in the play's themes--justice, sexual politics, violence, and the position of guy in historic Greek culture--in this common advent to Aeschylus' Oresteia, some of the most very important and influential of all Greek dramas. After exploring how Aeschylus constructs a delusion for the town during which he lived, a last bankruptcy considers the effect of the Oresteia on extra modern theater. The volume's prepared constitution and advisor to additional examining will make it a useful reference for college kids and lecturers. First version Hb (1992): 0-521-40293-X First version Pb (1992): 0-521-40853-9

Show description

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Extra resources for Aeschylus: The Oresteia (Landmarks of World Literature (New))

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What is more, at each point in these conflicts the female tends towards the support of a position and arguments that are based on the values of ties of blood to the point of the rejection of the ties of society, whereas the male tends to support a wider outlook of social relations to the exclusion of the claims of family and blood. Thus Agamemnon sacrifices his own daughter, ‘glory of the household’, to enable the panhellenic fleet to sail. He rejects his duties as a father to maintain his position in society as king and leader of an international military force.

Orestes is faced by Clytemnestra, to be a mother killer to avenge his father. Apollo, a god, faces the Furies, female divinities, in a trial which turns on who is the true parent, the male or the female. What is more, at each point in these conflicts the female tends towards the support of a position and arguments that are based on the values of ties of blood to the point of the rejection of the ties of society, whereas the male tends to support a wider outlook of social relations to the exclusion of the claims of family and blood.

The scene moves to Athens, where Orestes prays to Athene for salvation; the chorus enters in pursuit. Orestes attempts to justify himself, but the Furies dismiss his pleas and begin to sing the ‘binding song’ – a spell that promises the violent and disgusting death of their victim as punishment for his transgressions. Athene, however, enters, agrees to preside over the case, hears the preliminary statements from both sides, and sets up a court of citizens to try the case. After a choral ode on the subject of justice (which I mentioned in the previous chapter) the trial takes place with the chorus crossexamining Orestes, and Apollo speaking in his defence, and then the jurors voting.

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