Download Aeschylus: The Oresteia by Simon Goldhill PDF

By Simon Goldhill

Simon Goldhill specializes in the play's themes--justice, sexual politics, violence, and the position of guy in old Greek culture--in this basic creation to Aeschylus' Oresteia, essentially the most vital and influential of all Greek dramas. After exploring how Aeschylus constructs a delusion for the town within 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 extra examining will make it a useful reference for college students and teachers.

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Extra resources for Aeschylus: The Oresteia

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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). It sees the Oresteia making the transition from the false light of the beacons to the true light of the final torch-lit procession of the Athenians.

The Oresteia is in the full sense of the term a political drama; and awaits your – our – verdict. 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.

And yet the messenger also reports the scattering of the Greek fleet, which, it is made clear, is the result of their desecration of the altars of the city of Troy. Paris’ crime has led to his destruction. The Greek fleet’s crime has led to its destruction. Agamemnon’s killing of his daughter awaits requital. As Agamemnon returns to Clytemnestra’s trap, then, he has been depicted both as a victor punishing transgression and as a transgressor awaiting punishment. From the first ode’s representation of the sacrifice of Iphigeneia, Agamemnon is locked into a narrative of revenge and reversal: revenge which punishes wrongdoing, but which, in turn, establishes the revenger as a wrongdoer in need of punishment.

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