So great is the difference between the Orestes of Greek tragedy and Racine

So great is the difference between the Orestes of Greek tragedy and Racine

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So great is the difference between the Orestes of Greek tragedy and Racine's Orestes that some  students are quite disconcerted by it and cannot accept an Orestes who is the victim of an unhappy  love affair rather than of a grim and deadly family feud. In both plays, however, Orestes is a victim and his misfortunes drive him to insanity. Racine leaves  some doubt in our minds, however, as to whether Orestes is really the victim of an overwhelming fate  or whether he does not, to some extent, bring his own doom upon himself. His opening speech to  Pylades may be read in two ways: as a frank recognition of the curse which lies upon him and as an  exercise in self-pity. His reproaches to Hermione his tactless comments on her abandonment are  understandable, but they are hardly calculated to further his suit. Orestes' courtship reminds us  somewhat of that of Alceste in 
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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.

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