Modified: 16th May 2017
Wordcount: 1827 words

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The themes in this play are centered on the argument which stipulates human minds in very violent and problematic aspects due the following; the lust for power and the violent acts associated with it, the chauvinistic clash male against female dominance, crime and its penalty, sensation versus motive; tribal alienation versus democratic idealism; contamination and purification. These have been emphasized because of their prevalence in the family set-up.

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The center point is Apollo puts a curse on prophetess Cassandra for refusing to give her a hand in marriage, she willingly accepts the responsibility for the outcomes of Apollo’s curse (Fagles, 2010). Prophetess Cassandra had entered into an agreement that required him to give her gift to prophesize in return for her; however after getting the power to prophesize she did fulfill her promise which prompts Apollo to punish her. This is enough evidence of arrogance defiance to a god by women.

Historically, there are political issues that involve leaders, wars, and maintenance of law and order. The Furies plays the judicial role by punishing those involved in terrible crimes through tormenting them by irreversible curses. In this case a person is not punished by human laws, the gods do the task. Through the Chorus the Greek soldiers are warned of the possible punishment for being too much violent on Troy because that shows lawlessness.

Apollo with his powers can not save the prophetess Cassandra from the eminent murder threat from Clytaemnestra, therefore she is very upset. She was cursed to see future events but she can not have control over them. The power of the gods is evident when Agamemnon and prophetess Cassandra are pronounced to death but no human powers are able to change.

Clytaemnestra torments Agamemnon by cleverly convincing him to walk across the red carpet an act which is signifies his demand for recognition of the role she played in the Greek victory. This is an offence to the gods. As with Cassandra, Clytaemnestra believes in the ideas that justice is best achieved through revenge “An eye for an eye,” she believes that more murder can be a possible cleansing for the sins caused by the earlier murders (Wilson, 2010).


The play fits into its time politically by carefully a portraying a pattern in change where that it is still possible for the less powerful class of the society to continue to play their normal roles in the society. This play is an avenue through which the Athenians to are able to understand recent political changes and be able to understand them (Aeschylus Et al. 2004). This pattern of change shows the drastic changes that are left behind by various that the people leave after them. This is evident when Athena persuades Furies to give up their violent pursuit of Orestes for revenge of killing his mother.

Furies are therefore helping maintain the cosmic order by enforcing laws that the father of gods and men administer hence they are not viewed as being anarchic and primitive spirits of violence. They are therefore feared and honored just as Artemis because they are concerned with justice in the society.

The play also fits into its time politically as it was written a time when tragedy was an order of the day in ancient Greeks politics especially when it was under tyrant Pisistratus hence playwright had to restructure their contents to portray the state of the politics of the time. In Oresteia drama therefore was used to magnify political issues of the time by embedding to the tradition of the Athenians.

The habit of arrogance is termed as a crime that has the consequences of a heavy punishment. The old men had a tough warning that being excessive and full of pride. Paris didn’t hit to this advice and therefore became guilty because he arrogantly caused violence to Menelaus’ trust, more worse he proceeded to kidnap Helen, Menalaus’ wife. This act led to terrible suffering though his own death and the subsequent destruction of his city and lineage.


The play fits it its time in that it describes an era when women could be seen to take leadership role sin the society and the author portrays women as being strong and powerful just as men are, for example Clytaemestra rules Argos while his husband is away in try and also manages to connive him to walk on the red carpet despite the fact that is only meant for gods.

Clytaemnestra is a woman who exhibits the behaviour of a man despite the fact that she is of a weaker gender, this caused the Chorus of Elders to be upset. She performs different tasks that women were not supposed to do, for instance she is a murderer and his mannerisms were weird because he could talk back them, she even goes to the extent of admiring to be the ruler of Argos (Slayford-Wei, 2010). However she did every thing what was not supposed to be done by other women, she was a murder, she was talking back to men and she wanted to rule Argos which all this were meant only to be done by men. From the Men’s Chorus Helen and Clytaemnestra are depicted as creatures that are extremely evil because they bring destruction and wreck to the ways of men.

The belief by Cassandra is that women should have respect for their husbands and always try being good wives. She doesn’t believe that Clytaemnestra has the right to brutally murder her husband, although Clytaemnestra is angry because of the death of Iphigenia. Cassandra is so disgusted that she compares Clytaemnestra to a very hideous animal. The Chorus of old men clearly ignores her warnings but she is confident of what will happen she therefore chooses to remain calm with a passive acceptance of her death.

The Chorus of men is in disbelief of the fact that a woman like Clytaemnestra could actually dare to perform such an act of murder because of her woman wood. Clytaemnestra dares them by proving her animosity as she proudly explains to them how she performed this violent act with her own bloody hands. In their response, they say that she will be crushed to death by the “bitter feeling” of men, this is partly due to the fact that the deadly crime was committed by a mere creature which is a woman.


The author argues that there is a thin line between humans and beast and thus allows human to transform to beasts to try and show that the people that leaved at that time were as in human as beast would be fro instance the wife of the king who eagerly anticipate to the return of his husband so that he would murder him and continue ruling (Wilson, 2010). This is further clarified when she finally hideously murders his husband upon his return from Troy.

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Athenians at the time of Agamemnon showed little or no loyalty to their women and mostly never involved them in the making of family decisions. For stance when Agamemnon is given a chance to make a decision between giving wind to his men and saving his daughters life ,he respects his men more and even goes ahead to sacrifice his own daughter without consulting his wife, Clytaemnestra.

The elders in the chorus are fast to blames Helen for what has befall Argos had termed her to a typical woman who causes trouble and the one who caused the Trojan war. They are not ready to pass the blame to the man who kidnapped her simply because he is a man and she has to take the blame because she is a woman.

More so the king Agamemnon blames Helen for all the deaths that resulted from the etojan war. The Chorus shows high respect for the gods by fearing beings such as the goddess Artemis. The gods as are very powerful, Goddess Artemis at one point demands for Agamemnon to make his daughter a sacrifice in order for the Greek ships to sail to Troy. The old men make their appeal for help from Zeus (gods’ king) and Artemis’ brother Apollo.

Apollo with his powers can not save the prophetess Cassandra from the eminent murder threat from Clytaemnestra, therefore she is very upset. She was cursed to see future events but she can not have control over them. The power of the gods is evident when Agamemnon and prophetess Cassandra are pronounced to death but no human powers are able to change.

Clytaemnestra torments Agamemnon by cleverly convincing him to walk across the red carpet, an act which is signifies his demand for recognition of the role she played in the Greek victory. This is an offence to the gods.


The play indicates that Athenians respected their older gods even after they have been overthrown by the younger gods. This is shown by the appearance of the Cronos in the Oresteia despite the fact that it was no longer worshiped. This play therefore insist that when there is change there is bound to be losers and winners but the losers are contented for the good of the greater society (Slayford-Wei, 2010).

The play shows that Athenians believed in existence and inheritance of curses. This is evident in the adage ‘sins of the father are visited upon the son’. Aegusthus’ father evokes a curse to Atreus his Son, when he was fed on the butchered children.

Also Athenians had the thinking of ‘violence begets violence’ meaning that revenge was seen as the only normal and right way of avenging against once defaulter. An eye for an eye was the way to societal justice.

Agamemnon avoids being perceived as unmanly due to the excessive obedience to womanly wishes. He therefore distrusts her because of her attempts to use womanly ways in convincing him. He tries to imply that women are typically manipulative creatures however Clytaemnestra shows her prevalence over this man when he willingly to walks on a red carpet. She holds really power over men, her husband also included.

Towards the end of the story, there is role reversing between men and women, Clytaemnestra, remains as the only woman in charge; she bosses to Aegisthus and the Chorus as the only male characters around her, these two characters acts like women despite the fact that they represent men (Slayford-Wei, (2010). The chorus of men was initially disrespective to her; Clytaemnestra can now belittle all male characters. Therefore, the Greek society questions the reversal of roles and its effects to the men’s position.

Clytaemnestra behavior is typically that of a man, this upsets the Chorus of Elders. By doing everything in a manly manner she believes that she has finally delivered justice to Argos, she manages to end the curse of bloodshed that had been in force for several years. In the chorus “I swept from these halls/the murder,” it is enough evidence for her belief, According to her, the murders of Agamemnon and Cassandra marks the erasure of previous generations’ bloodshed.


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