Choruses In Aeschylus's Oresteia

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In Aeschylus’ trilogy, Oresteia, three different choruses support each play in their unique ways. A group of male elders communicate with principal characters and comment on the action in Agamemnon, while slave women offer advice to Orestes and Electra in Libation Bearers. Yet throughout The Furies, the title chorus develop their own plan to avenge Clytemnestra’s murder by chasing down Orestes and bringing him before Athena and her jury. As Aeschylus’ style and characterization of a chorus develops over his trilogy, each group gains more independence and serves a greater role in terms of the play. The furies ultimately present their own conflict in the play’s exposition and continue to act as a free entity to achieve their own goal. The furies serve as both a physical representation of Clytemnestra’s…show more content…
When Pythia first finds the furies, she describes them as a “hideous sight, much like Gorgons, but worse” (The Furies, 48-49). Their unforgiving appearance automatically annihilates any sense of sympathy for their case, setting Clytemnestra up for failure. Apollo also chimes in to describe the furies as untouched and repulsive virgins, claiming that no human or creature would dare touch them (64-74). While the furies’ ugly looks make them less reliable to humans and gods, it also represents the idea that Clytemnestra could only birth disgusting creatures after she murdered Agamemnon. Through their revolting appearance, the furies develop relationships with the other characters which represent the worldview of Clytemnestra after her death. Since the furies represent Clytemnestra, they must look unpleasant to evoke a disgust from Orestes and Apollo which would replicate their disgust towards Clytemnestra. This physical detail therefore establishes the furies in relation to the rest of
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