Blindness In Oresteia, Oedipus The King

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It is very common for myths to have a character who is either blind, mad, or acts impulsively. From some of the most ancient works such as The Epic of Gilgamesh, through Shakespeare, and even the most common fairy tales, these common character types appear. In works such as The Oresteia, “Oedipus the King”, and the Grimm Brother's telling of “Rapunzel”, there is at least one character whose blindness, whether metaphorical or physical leads to the downfall of either themselves, or others. In The Oresteia, more specifically the opening play “Agamemnon”, there are multiple characters who are blind in some way. One of these characters is Agamemnon himself. While he has no physical disability, Agamemnon is blind to the motives of his wife, and he is unable to see the problems he creates in his home. When Agamemnon first returns home from the Trojan War, his wife …show more content…

Cassandra is one of the few characters in the play who can see with clarity. She has been given the gift of telling prophecies, but has also been cursed so that no one believes her. While standing outside the house, Cassandra begins to tell the prophecy of Agamemnon’s death to the chorus of men. These men do not believe her, and just think that she has gone mad. While the chorus of men are unable to believe Cassandra due to the curse, the men are also ‘blind’ and do not suspect Clytaemestra of wanting to kill her husband. In the play of “Agamemnon”, the title character is metaphorically blind. He is unable to see that his actions have consequences that will affect him in the future. Due to his actions during the Trojan War, and his actions when he returns home, Agamemnon cannot foresee or prevent his own death. His death in turn causes a chain reaction that affects every major character in the play. Agamemnon’s metaphoric blindness is what led to the downfall of not only himself, but also the downfall of several other

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