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Unformatted text preview: Orestes possesses in full that quality of lucidity lacking in Pyrrhus and only partially present in Hermione. He has no illusions about his situation. Like an objective outsider, he reports to Hermione his attempts to forget her, to find surcease in death, only to return to her as enamored as ever. He reads between the lines and rightly interprets Hermione's unconvincing attempts at kindness as an unwitting admission of her passion for Pyrrhus. Orestes' lucidity is all the more remarkable, since it only emphasizes his bitter fate. It tells him that his love is all-consuming, that his life depends on Hermione's affection, and that this affection never was and never will be his. In other words, his lucidity tells Orestes that he is doomed. Yet Racine's portrayal of this character — one of the most complex in his works — raises the question of whether Orestes' fate is not at least to some extent self-invited. When he enters, question of whether Orestes' fate is not at least to some extent self-invited....
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This note was uploaded on 11/27/2011 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.
- Fall '08