Free «Oresteia» Essay Sample

How can we explain the fact that everyone tries to protect Orestes? He had killed his own mother and deserves a punishment, instead of this Aeschylus shows us, that everyone, except Erinyes, is for Orestes. There are two explanations: historical changes in Aeschylus’s country and his refection of tyranny.

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In this tragedy Aeschylus showed an important historical process of him time, like a fight between matriarchy and patriarchy. Exactly this period was determined by overcome from matriarchic life style to patriarchic one. It was a creation of new democratic thoughts in the society, which streghtened the authority of the country. This trilogy proofs a cruel fight between powerful figures, like Clytemnestra and Erinyes, and new dynasties of the paternalistic regime in characters of Orestes and Apollo. Firstly Apollo tries to save Orestes in Delphi. He makes Erineys fall asleep and sends Orestes to Athens, protected by Hermes. Then Athena finds a consensus. She does not just protect Orestes and harm Erinyes, she makes an honest trial. She gives her voice on to justify Orestes. On the other hand the goddess satisfies Erineys by offering them to become Eumenides. And promise them, that they will be adored. They accept this offer and live happily. In this epic joust Athena leaves women and joins men’s side. In this way she is symbolizing willing submission of women to paternalistic order. Such behavior is explained, like an admission of its supreme justice. Athena is the goddess of wisdom and her views are respected. The tragedy by Aeschylus treats undetected senses of social, biological and religious relationships between men and women. Secondly Aeschylus used a very detailed trial scene like a gift for the Athenians and their interest in the trial. This is an ideal clue to the understanding of the whole trilogy. In addition to that, poet was strictly against tyranny. The tyrannical character is Clytemnestra. So with this murder Orestes kills tyranny.

That’s why Aeschylus protects him by the hands of Apollo, Hermes and Athena.

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