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LibationBearersStudyGuide - 7 What is Clytaemnestra’s...

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The Libation Bearers Study Guide Discussion Questions 1. Why has Clytaemnestra sent women bearing libations to the grave of Agamemnon? Is she motivated more by fear or remorse? 2. What is the attitude of the chorus toward Clytaemnestra and the death of Agamemnon? How do they make this clear? 3. What are Electra’s feelings over the death of her father? How does her prayer (ll.126-156) give moral justification to Orestes and the actions he will take? 4. Critics have complained that the lock of hair and the footprints are improbable indicators of identity in the recognition scene and that this detracts from the power of the play. Do you agree? 5. The reasons for Orestes to act against his mother are compelling, but the consequences he can expect if he doesn’t act are equally persuasive. What are they? What forces demand his action? 6. How do the chorus, Electra, and Orestes attempt to justify the actions he will take? (ll.312-571) How does the litany of evil women reinforce their decision? (ll.572-633)
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Unformatted text preview: 7. What is Clytaemnestra’s nightmare? How does it contribute to the decision to kill her? 8. Compare the nurse’s remark that she fed Orestes (l.750) to Clytaemnestra’s claim that she nursed him (ll.883-885). How does Clytaemnestra’s lie lessen the guilt of Orestes? 9. Pylades has one speech in the play and it is crucial. Why? For whom does he speak? 10. Examine the battle of wits between Orestes and his mother. Does Clytaemnestra lose this battle or does she simply fail to win it? 11. Examine the imagery of light and darkness in The Oresteia . How does it serve to reinforce and even justify the action of the play? See line 950, for example. 12. What happens to Electra? Is she replaced by Pylades? Why? 13. If Orestes is justified in killing his mother, and has the support of Apollo, why must he suffer? 14. Why does Orestes go to Delphi? Names to Remember Electra Pylades Delphi The Furies...
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