New PDF release: Aeschylus: The Oresteia

By Simon Goldhill

ISBN-10: 0521832292

ISBN-13: 9780521832298

Simon Goldhill specializes in the play's themes--justice, sexual politics, violence, and the function of guy in historic Greek culture--in this normal advent to Aeschylus' Oresteia, probably 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 geared up constitution and consultant to additional studying will make it a useful reference for college students and teachers.

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Extra resources for Aeschylus: The Oresteia

Sample text

As the means of Dik¯e, gives place to Reason’ – and at the level of the divine ‘Zeus has moved forward from violence and confusion . . ’ The cosmic order mirrors the order of the polis: ‘the problem of Dik¯e is solved’. This approach to the Oresteia has been dominant for many years. It offers a vision of the Oresteia moving from tragic problems to a resolution in the harmony of achieved social order, from violence to mediation, from the darkness and despair of the corrupt house to the shining glories of the city of Athens (Meier).

Agamemnon has taken it for granted that a war for a wanton woman is a proper thing: it is his conception of Dik¯e. ’ Thus the tragic double bind of Agamemnon is seen as a flaw in the idea of dik¯e: ‘The obvious implication is that we have a conception of Dik¯e that cannot work even though it is the present will of Zeus. ’ The implications of this ‘unworkable’ notion of dik¯e are developed in the Choephoroi, as Orestes approaches the task of avenging his father. For even if Electra prays to be ‘purer by far than my mother’ (Cho.

The queen hears the cry of a servant and comes on stage pursued by Orestes: their confrontation thus takes place centre stage. ’. Pylades, hitherto silent – and silent for the rest of the play – speaks three magisterial lines reaffirming the need to follow the god’s injunctions. Orestes drives his mother into the house; the chorus sings of the arrival of justice at last; and Orestes appears over the bodies of his mother and Aegisthus, just as Clytemnestra had appeared over the bodies of Agamemnon and Cassandra.

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Aeschylus: The Oresteia by Simon Goldhill


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