October 15- Aeschylus, The Libation Bearers

October 15- Aeschylus, The Libation Bearers - -Orestes’...

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October 15, 2007 Aeschylus, The Libation Bearers Continuity in Imagery and Theme In terms of plot, a fairly static play (appropriate for middle play of trilogy): - Recognition scene between Electra and Orestes (166-234) - Murder of Aegisthus and Clytemnestra (838-930) - Cliffhanger ending (1021-76) Woven things - The robe used to trap Agamemnon Animals: snakes - Orestes as a snake: Clytemnestra’s dream and its meaning (526-50); Clytemnestra’s last line (928) - Clytemnestra as a snake: Orestes (247-48, 994-95), chorus (1047) Which one is actually the snake? In what context are snakes next mentioned? The Furies: an image from Agamemnon that becomes more concrete by the end of The Libation Bearers - Apollo’s oracle to Orestes: 269-97; cf. 577-78, 646-51
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Unformatted text preview: -Orestes’ vision of the Furies at the end of the play: 1048-62 Vengeance and Justice: Prayer of Electra (123-51) • Orestes, Electra, and the Chorus consistently equate Orestes’ • Apollo’s oracle to Orestes (269-297): the Furies will haunt Orestes if he does not avenge his father’s murder • Problem? To avenge his father, he must murder his mother. What about the Furies then? • Orestes to Chorus: ‘But do not envy me, I have won a tainted victory’ (1017; cf. 1021-43) • If justice is vengeance, can there ever be any resolution? The Libation Bearers suggests that there cannot.-Chorus at close of play: When will it end? When will it be calm? When will it sleep, this fury, this Ruin? (1074-75)...
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This note was uploaded on 05/01/2008 for the course CLAS 131 taught by Professor James during the Fall '07 term at UNC.

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October 15- Aeschylus, The Libation Bearers - -Orestes’...

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