The Oresteia Themes

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Revenge is the key motivator of action throughout the play. Clytemnestra kills Agamemnon out of a desire to take revenge on him for having sacrificed their daughter, while Aegisthus goes along with her plans out of a desire to avenge the murder and torture of his family by Agamemnon's father. In The Libation Bearers, Orestes murders Aegisthus and Clytemnestra out of a desire to take revenge for the murder of Agamemnon. Finally, in The Eumenides, the title characters are desperate to take revenge on Orestes for having committed the ultimate sin of matricide. It's important to note that in all this, the attitude of the play towards both the act and the concept of revenge is ultimately ambivalent. On the one hand, portrayal of the characters taking revenge is so balanced as to be almost sympathetic. This is particularly true of Clytemnestra, who acts out of a deep...

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This section contains 1,388 words
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