EBOOK / KINDLE [Ὀρέστεια] by Aeschylus


ForewordAcknowledgementsA Reading of The Oresteia The Serpent and the "Eagle Agamemnon The Libation Bearers "Agamemnon The Libation Bearers Eumenides The Genealogy of OrestesSelect BibliographyNotesGlossary I have suffered into truthYou now the rules now turn them into justiceThe outrage stands as it stands you burn to now the endNever try to cut my power with your logicwe spoil cut my power with your logicWe spoil with scruples long as things go wellOld men are children once again a dream that sways and wavers into the hard light of dayWhich is all to say that this trilogy is bananas and savage and graceful and that Aeschylus was doing Shakespeare things about two thousand years before Shakespeare More thoughts here Murder betrayal revenge torment you might wonder Why would I bother reading three Greek plays when I could see the same sort of lurid problems on an episode of Jerry Springer And fold laundry at the same time Two possible answers First you re not going to get patricide matricide human sacrifice and unintentional cannibalism on daytime TV because we still draw the line somewhere and you have to admit those are pretty dramatic More importantly though along with the dysfunction in the House of Atreus comes a searing examination of guilt retribution and justice It s a lot of philosophical bang for your buckThe first play in the trilogy Agamemnon sets up the conflict for the remaining two Agamemnon returns home from the Trojan War to his wife Clytemnestra who has spent the last ten years plotting revenge because he sacrificed their daughter to appease a god at the outset of the journey The verbal interplay at their reunion is the stuff of English majors dreams Clytaemnestra s subseuent murder of Agamemnon wit. Perhaps the greatest of the Greek tragedians Aeschylus wrote 90 plays but only seven have survived complete Among them is this classic trilogy dealing with the bloody history of the House of AtreusIn Agamemnon the warrior who defeated Troy returns to Argos and is murdered by his wife Clytemnestra for sacrificing their daughter Iphigenia before the start. Ardly unproblematic itself read it And Lose Sleep But You sleep But now for sure why this is a masterpiece Seeing the Oresteia on stage is an overwhelming experience to say the least Reading and discussing the drama at university felt like going through the Disney version of it by comparison Hearing the screams seeing the blood and madness following real people on their anxious road down to hellish destruction while they stare at you the audience with blind eyes that is almost than one can bear even if one is familiar with the intertwined plays beforehandViolence leads to violence in a brutal Chain Reaction That Is reaction That is curse that the family of Atreus experiences in three consecutive steps Agamemnon has to choose between political and military success and his love for his daughter Iphigenia He chooses to be a leader over being a human so he sacrifices his daughter on the way to Troy and thus icks off the action thriller Klytamnestra his wife follows the call of revenge as does Orestes the son Electra on the sidelines cheers on her brother when he ills his mother and thus participates in the honour illingsSpirals of violence are not unusual in the history of mankind but unluckily we don t possess the Greek dramatic device of a deus ex machina to set the score straight and suggest a solution that leads to better understanding and rule of law Or could one see the international organisations formed after the Second World War like the UNO or later the EU as such attempts at reining in the blood lust of humiliated and hurt humanity Of eternal contemporary relevance the Oresteia is hard to stomach but important to consider Must read a classic even after two and a half millennia. Ion and dramatic dialogue the plays embody Aeschylus’ concerns with the destiny and fate of individuals as well as the state all played out under the watchful eye of the gods Still powerful and provocative after 2500 years these great tragedies offer unparalleled insight into the world of ancient Greece and the origins of the Western dramatic traditio.

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H the help of a lover who has his own history with Agamemnon is the stuff of Mafia dreams though actually I m only guessing on that one However Clytaemnestra s revenge creates the conflict that drives the other two plays and generates the ethical conundrum Aeschylus ultimately wants to solve For now Clytaemnestra s son Orestes needs to avenge his father s death but what happens if you ill your own mother And how is the cycle of revenge ever supposed to end The Libation Bearers has Orestes debating what he should do sort of like Hamlet until the advice of his sister and the chorus women wins the day and that s when the excitement icks up a notch Clytaemnestra s death at the hand of her son calls forth the avenging Furies ancient goddesses of chthonic tradition who appear here as gorgon like horrors swathed in black heads writhing with snakes It s so dramatic Also IT S FITTING FOR CLYTAEMNESTRA IS LIKE A FURY s fitting for Clytaemnestra is like a Fury in avenging her daughter s death she acts within the old paradigm of blood ties that the Furies champion wherein maternal claims are stronger than marital So even though Orestes does his duty to avenge His Father In Accordance With father in accordance with current ethos he s pursed by snaky haired horrors for illing his mother Like his father Orestes appears to be both an agent and a victim of fate for in following the gods direction to avenge his father s death he both aligns himself with the Furies spirit of vengeance and becomes subject to it Perhaps Orestes contradictory relationship with the Furies is Aeschylus s commentary on a theology rife with snares and contradictions In The Eumenides Aeschylus resolves the problem but his solution to the blood feud tradition is Of the Trojan War In The Libation Bearers Orestes Agamemnon’s son avenges his father by murdering his mother In The Furies Orestes flees to Delphi pursued by the divine avengers Erinyes of his mother After being purified by Apollo he makes his way to Athens and is there tried and acuitted at the court of AreopagusWritten in a grand style rich in dict. Ὀρέστεια