By Simon Goldhill
Simon Goldhill makes a speciality of the play's themes--justice, sexual politics, violence, and the function of guy in historic Greek culture--in this basic advent to Aeschylus' Oresteia, the most very important and influential of all Greek dramas. After exploring how Aeschylus constructs a fantasy for the town during which he lived, a last bankruptcy considers the effect of the Oresteia on extra modern theater. The volume's equipped constitution and consultant to extra interpreting will make it a useful reference for college kids and lecturers. First variation Hb (1992): 0-521-40293-X First variation Pb (1992): 0-521-40853-9
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Extra info for Aeschylus: The Oresteia (Landmarks of World Literature (New))
The trial itself turns on issues central to gender roles. For Apollo’s final and necessary argument (Cho. 657–61) is that the mother is no parent to the child; the true parent is ‘the one who mounts’, and the mother is just ‘like a host for the male seed’. So too Athene’s reasons for voting for Orestes are explicitly based on her support for ‘the male in all things’ (Eum. 737). I shall return to this debate shortly. First, however, I wish to emphasize the effect such a focus has on the narrative of revenge and reversal.
Yet the trial allows Orestes to escape punishment. And as the Furies turn in anger against Athens, Athene’s persuasion assimilates them into the city, as guardians of order. On both the human and the divine level there is in the final scenes of the trilogy a move away from bloody conflict where each victory leads to disastrous transgression towards an institution and practice that aim to resolve conflict without transgressive destructiveness. As the narrative has been motivated by a pattern of transgression and punishment, so the narrative ends with the 28 THE ORESTEIA discovery of the potential to avoid the unending violence of revenge and reversal.
Chapter 2 The Oresteia 5 Introduction: plot and plotting The action of the Oresteia – in the sense of entrances, exits, deaths, adulteries and the like – is relatively simple to explain. What makes the trilogy so extraordinary is the intricate apparatus of explanation, comment and discussion with which its thrillingly dramatic central actions are surrounded. In the Agamemnon, Agamemnon returns home, victorious from Troy after a ten-year siege, and he is killed by his wife, Clytemnestra, who has been plotting with her lover, Aegisthus.
Aeschylus: The Oresteia (Landmarks of World Literature (New)) by Simon Goldhill