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He proclaims that justice has been served, and tries to justify his actions. Seized with a madness over his deeds, and haunted and pursued by the Erinyes , Orestes flees Argos.

Aeschylus' Choephori & Eumenides Study Guide

It was originally performed at the annual Dionysia festival in Athens in BCE , where it won first prize. There is also a significant amount of animal symbolism in the plays, and humans who forget how to govern themselves justly tend to be personified as beasts.

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Aeschylus seems to place a certain amount of emphasis on the natural weakness of women in his plays. The more traditional Aeschylus does not make any attempt at the more balanced male-female dynamics sometimes shown by Euripides. Other important themes covered by the trilogy include: the cyclical nature of blood crimes the ancient law of the Erinyes mandates that blood must be paid for with blood in an unending cycle of doom, and the bloody past history of the House of Atreus continues to affect events generation after generation in a self-perpetuating cycle of violence begetting violence ; the lack of clarity between right and wrong Agamemnon , Clytemnestra and Orestes are all faced with impossible moral choices, with no clearcut right and wrong ; the conflict between the old and the new gods the Erinyes represent the ancient, primitive laws which demand blood vengeance, while Apollo, and particularly Athena, represent the new order of reason and civilization ; and the difficult nature of inheritence and the responsibilities it carries with it.

There is also an underlying metaphorical aspect to the entire drama: the change from archaic self-help justice by personal revenge or vendetta to the administration of justice by trial sanctioned by the gods themselves throughout the series of plays, symbolizes the passage from a primitive Greek society governed by instincts, to a modern democractic society governed by reason.

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The tension between tyranny and democracy, a common theme in Greek drama, is palpable throughout the three plays. By the end of the trilogy, Orestes is seen to be the key, not only to ending the curse of the House of Atreus, but also in laying the foundation for a new step in the progress of humanity. Edited By: Robert Fagles. Wishlist Wishlist. Write a Review.

The Oresteia: Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides - PDF Drive

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Four Plays. Media: Dover Thrift Editions.

see The only surviving trilogy in Greek drama surviving from antiquity, Aeschylus follows the tale of the royal family of Argos. Built upon the foundation of Homeric legends, the Oresteia is a story of revenge as well as one family's progress from savagery to civilization. Related Products. Greek Drama Moses Hadas. Moses Hadas. The Odyssey Homer , Robert Fagles. Homer , Robert Fagles. The Iliad Homer.

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