Watchman:”My real wish however, when the houses lord has come, is to clasp his well-loved hand in mine. The rest I keep silent: a great ox is trending on my tongue-but the house itself, if it got a voice. Would speak very plainly, I talk willingly to those who know, and for those who do not know I choose to forget.”(34-39) Agamemnon Quotes - Shmoop: Homework Help, Teacher Resources ... (n.d.).
What comes on my mind after I read the quotation is fear. The people of Argos seem intimidated, they lack the freewill to express themselves as they should do. With freewill one can make choices without constraints. It’s been in control of our choices. Talking for instance the watchman is in fright of saying what it is he knows he is afraid to speak up. For fear of what might happen to him. He seems readily shaken not to encounter what may befall him if he does eventually say what he really knows.
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In most cases fear is mostly more than just a state of mind. It can affect one physically or mentally. It causes decisiveness and confusion. Stops someone from knowing what they really want. Fear also keeps someone from asking for help when they need it. The watchman does not have the freewill he can’t control what he does. Without freewill some things like self-esteem, Planning, prescriptive morality, self- and social responsibility don’t quite have a meaning.
When one is intimidated of someone or of something all they do is look over their shoulders trying so much to please not to cross anyone for they are afraid of what might happen if they don’t do so. The watchman is intimidated by the regime such that he can’t even speak what is in his mind. The people who are always intimidated they live in fear which may result to them having low self esteem and they tend to withdraw from other people also making them be uncomfortable around people. Intimidation makes people commit suicide or even hurting other people
I think that there is a lot of fear instilled to the people in Argos by the Clytemnestra’s rule ship. This makes the watchman unable to speak since he fears that if he does, something mighty happen to him and he could get punished. He wishes that the house had a voice, it would speak very plainly without withholding anything or fearing anything hence he cannot sleep due to restless fear
The watchman contradicts himself since he says he is unable to speak then he goes on and says he will speak to the people who already know what he is talking about. I think the watchman want to speak to the people who know since he feels that he can somehow trust them and they will be able to speak to people who already agrees with him without the fear of being reported to the authorities and punished for saying thoughts hostile to the people in power.
There is a lot of suffering. The watchman wants to remain silent; he fears he could be punished because of talking. The fact that people are severely punished gives him the reason where he wants to speak to those who have gone though what he has since they will be able to understand him. He suffers a lot from his interminable watch hence he asks for the rest from the gods. The queen also makes him to keep watch for a fire and can still say nothing.
Another idea that comes to my mind is mismanagement. It is oblivious that if there was good management the watchman couldn’t fear speaking up. Mismanagement comes with a lot of things such as mistreating others not even thinking of their wellbeing, hostility, cruelty and bitterness .we see that in the play the king has been gone for ten years fighting against Trojans and this has led to the household not managed as well as it used to be and the why the watchman want to shake the masters hand showing us that the Agamemnon was a competent king. Here the wife of Agamemnon gets to be infidel to the husband which leads her to committing all this crimes where so many people died at long run.
Another thing that I get to pick from this quotation is dictatorship or suppression of the people. The watchman here clearly has no power over himself for he cannot attempt to share what he knows with anyone else. He compares the power above him as a great ox which is an extremely big thing to trending a tongue for a tongue is just part of the human body. He has bitten more than he can chew. The great ox can also signify that what he knows is so big that he can’t handle it. He goes further to say that a house which is not fresh and blood would speak plainly only if it got a voice. A house would face no consequences nor would any pain be inflicted to it. There is also the fact that punishment seem to be the best way of learning then.
The citizen has no control over what goes on. One can say that their destiny is already set for them. Some mistakes don’t necessary need to be punished. When a person is cautious, one can see of the mistake done and escape it next time. But with this type of leadership where a person is afraid to speak up for fear of what might happen to them shows the citizen lack freedom.
Most people tend to shut down they become slaves and just do what they are told to say. Which is a negative thing for a person with no freedom is as well as dead for all they are being a burden. Their every public or private behaviour is regulated. Most of the outcomes of such ruling are negative. For you find most people are murdered, raped, tortured and there is no one to report their problems to for the authority is maybe so ignorant to see what is happening or most likely was involved. Such a country been governed by such authority don’t prosper for people have to have freewill in order to do so. Such people tend to set easier goals for themselves and do less than they are capable of. People tend to give up just a step short of their goals. Despite the much fear that the watchman seem to have he still wants to shake his hand maybe just as a sign of royalty.
Poor justice is also clearly portrayed. Argos lack moral righteousness. Normally for there to be justice the society has first to agree what is just and unjust. Where injustice leads to revenge which is very dangerous because people end up being hurt regardless of whether they are innocent or not. Looking at the play we see so many people dying. Mostly the pursuit of justice often leads to new wrong and further revenge in a vicious cycle. For the watchman to be afraid of speaking shows that there is no justice in Agamemnon.
One reason for existence of justice is to maintain Law and Order. When the two are absent they hinder continuous flow of social progress. This is also another reason why there can be no developed in Argos. The leaders in Argos seem to be separated from law and justice and this makes them be at their worst to the extent where people live in terror for they fear for their safety.
There is also the issue of trust. The watchman feels that he can not trust everyone. For it’s not everyone, he can tell what happened only those who knows about it. For there to be good justice there must be trust which clearly seems to lack in Argos. We can see the watchman been scared to expose his vulnerabilities to other people (Butler 1933). The watchman is afraid of people for they may judge him and he cannot predict the way in which people will react after he tells them what he knows.
With no trust, people are forced to lie and deceit others. Lack of trust makes it impossible for people to have a good relationship.
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