Euripides V Themes

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Justice

Throughout Euripides' tragedies, characters seek justice. The ultimate judges of right and wrong are the gods. In Electra, Electra and her brother Orestes seek to kill Aegisthus and Clytemnestra as revenge for their father Agamemnon. To them, this is justice. To Clytemnestra, Agamemnon's death is justice for the death of her daughter, Iphigenia. Both Electra and Clytemnestra plead that they are taking one life in repayment for another, and that it is just. The issues, however, are far from clear-cut. Clytemnestra's motives are questionable, and the chorus condemns her for not following her husband. For Electra, in seeking revenge, she kills her own mother. Matricide, whatever the motive, is a crime. Though she seeks justice, her actions are not just, and she must suffer exile.

In The Phoenician Women, Polyneices is in a similar position to Electra. Like Electra, he has been wronged and sent from his proper...

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This section contains 938 words
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Buy the Euripides V Study Guide
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