Tragedies in literature are popular due to their main characteristic of depriving the reader of any form of hope in the text that he or she reads. It always carries a somber mood and at most times; it leaves the reader utterly dejected. The issue of melancholies in a tragedy is very popular. In most tragedies, melancholy is portrayed by the storyline the author uses. In the tragedies of The Orestia Trilogy, Oedipus the King, and The Bacchae, all these characteristics are clearly elaborated. The main defining feature in all these tragedies is the political motivation that they carry with them.
In The Orestia Trilogy, the play Agamemnon, cited as one of the best plays to be written in Greek (SparkNotes), carries all the qualities of a classic tragedy. From characterization to the themes it portrays, Agamemnon is highly devoid of hope to the reader of any optimism in the whole content it carries. From the start of the play throughout its entire body, there is a sense of impending doom. The watchman’s speech in it carries a very pessimistic message that after combining it with Cassandra’s prophesies and the words and the message of the chorus, the reader completely gets engulfed in a direly somber and melancholic mood. Politically, in Agamemnon, the killing of the king occurs and the violence that the author of this book describes fully leaves the reader with completely no hope of any good thing.
The main message of The Orestia Trilogy concerns how politics in the society determine the peaceful coexistence of the inhabitants of that society. This is presented by the author in the way that he describes the political turmoil that precedes the killing of the King. The differences that erupt later exactly describe modern situations thus giving the modern reader of the book the message of how to avoid any violence that might be politically motivated. In the recent past, the exact replica of what the author of Agamemnon describes has occurred in several countries and the outcome of such acts has been violent rebellions leading to the killing of numerous people. Political violence, its effects and how to avoid it are the main messages that the author of this book emphasizes.
In Oedipus the King and The Bacchae, the two authors seem to be communicating almost the same message to the audience. These two plays share almost all the contents from the political setting to the themes that the authors intend to make their audience understand. The major messages in these two plays are the limits of freewill and the power of unwritten law. Though presented differently by different authors, these two main messages are very clear in both plays and the audience clearly gets these messages from the characterization that the authors have set and the sceneries that the acts that the characters are involved in.
In Oedipus the king, the author gives the impression that there comes a time in life when humanity comes first than the state and its laws. The act of Creon commanding that Polynices remains unburied demonstrates how inhuman his plight to follow the written law that gives him power to give orders on what should be done by his subjects. However, his act is condemned by his subjects and in the subsequent acts that follow, they all in unison demonstrate that not burying the dead amounts to obscenity than crime. In the Bacchae, written during the Dionysian invasion days, it contains features of Dionysus’ development in the integration to the social and religious ways of the Greeks. Restraint or control and release or freedoms are the major messages that the writer of this play intends to explain to its audience.
In Apology, Socrates main teaching revolves around the aspects related to the wisdom of man. It should be remembered that Apology is set in the actual trial of Socrates where he is accused of corrupting the youth and by his argument that deliberate corruption was incoherent. All that is recorded here can be taken as a true account of what actually took place during the trial of Socrates. He argues that a man taken as the most foolish can happen to be the wisest of them all. He further goes to teach that lying about gods’ messages was an abomination during his time and the times to come. From apology, Socrates message is still relevant to this day. In everyday life, any body who has read and understood the message contained in Apology can be in a position to not consider anybody as foolish as he understands that the same foolish person can actually happen to be the wisest that there ever can be.
In Crito, Socrates is trying to portray himself as some one who judges how right or wrong a thing is by taking into consideration the moral aspects related to it rather than the values embedded in culture (Cavalier). His main messages are that a person should rightly and never do any wrong. He argues that living well and living justly are one but the same thing. The difference between living well and justly and living rightly, as Socrates can be presumed implying is that by living rightly, whether it is the law you want to avoid being punished by, living rightly invoves doing no wrong in all your actions and in any aspect that pertains your life. He also states that even if one is wronged, he should never opt to do wrong to whoever or whichever thing that wronged him. In the modern life, for the peaceful coexistence of people, living in Socrates desired life can grant a very peaceful society. The conflicts in modern life are brought about by people’s failure to live rightly and their failure to avoid doing all types of wrongs.
The cave allegory, Plato’s work is intended to explain the general life of humans by way of how they carry out their activities like thinking, talking or any other thing without being in a state of awareness of any form of reality (Cohen). Plato’s message in the cave allegory is to explain the words of a language to not being the names of the things that are physical but rather the names of things that we cannot see. Things that can only be grasped with the mind and their appearance be imagined. This is one thing that teachers should emphasize to the modern student. The effort taken to explain to explain the physical things to students usually yield minimal results but if the students were thought to learn through imagining the appearance of things as per to their names, the whole learning process could have been vey cheap. In this context, the learner implies a person who lacks all forms of knowledge of the subject of study.
Hellenistic art came into being 500 years after the Golden age and it defined, in a great way, the Hellenistic period. Unlike archaism and classism, mostly defining the golden Age art, the Hellenistic art came in the period when iconography was the larger part of the world. The Hellenistic art was majorly characterized by realism and worldliness and unlike in the Golden age art, the Hellenistic art became popular with sculptors and other artists trying to make images, both carved and drawn, in such a dramatic way that one could actually depict them being real objects in real life situations. Mostly, the artists in the Hellenistic art were involved in developing the images of their rulers.