By Simon Goldhill
Simon Goldhill specializes in the play's themes--justice, sexual politics, violence, and the position of guy in historic Greek culture--in this basic advent to Aeschylus' Oresteia, probably the most very important and influential of all Greek dramas. After exploring how Aeschylus constructs a fable for 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 advisor to additional studying will make it a useful reference for college students and lecturers. First variation Hb (1992): 0-521-40293-X First version Pb (1992): 0-521-40853-9
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Additional resources for Aeschylus: The Oresteia (Landmarks of World Literature (New))
32 THE ORESTEIA The triple repetition of dik¯e and dikaios (the adjective from dik¯e) in three consecutive lines is strongly marked. In the first instance, dik¯e seems to imply a general standard of correct behaviour for the king with regard to the gods (‘It is right . ’). In the second case, it seems to imply the retribution of blood for blood (‘vengeance . ’). But in the third case, dik¯e (in the plural) implies ‘cases’, ‘pleas’ (‘heard justice . ’), as, indeed, the voting of the gods in urns suggests a legal procedure that looks forward to the Eumenides.
A charter for the city . . Let me sketch in slightly more detail this interpretation, following H. D. F. Kitto’s eloquent version. In the Agamemnon, ‘there is a law of Dik¯e – not “justice” but “requital” – that wrongs done must have their revenge, “the doer must pay”’. ‘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.
250–1); the destruction of Troy is from ‘Zeus who brings dik¯e’ (Aga. 525–6); Agamemnon sees himself as the agent of dik¯e in the destruction of Troy (Aga. 813); Clytemnestra sees herself as the agent of dik¯e in the destruction of Agamemnon (Aga. 1432); the chorus warns that ‘Dik¯e is being sharpened to new deeds of harm on new whetstones of fate’ (Aga. 1535–6). So, in the Choephoroi, Orestes arrives as an agent of dik¯e (Cho. 641–5); and the chorus sings that (Cho. 931) ‘Dik¯e came to the sons of Priam in time .
Aeschylus: The Oresteia (Landmarks of World Literature (New)) by Simon Goldhill