Conflicting Loyalties In The Oresteia

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In the trilogy The Oresteia, Aeschylus shows the never ending cycle of violence within the house of Atreus. The cycle acts as a “net” entrapping Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, Orestes, and many other characters. This net has not only encapsulated characters but it also produces actions throughout the play provoking the audience to think of several different conflicted loyalties. Specifically, the rendezvous between Clytemnestra and the chorus highlights right versus wrong, self-help justice (in the form of revenge) versus justice by trial, and honor versus dignity. The audience can understand all of the aforementioned conflicting loyalties because they are conflicts that each and every person has undergone at least once. While the events taking place throughout the play are outlandish, but the actions aroused by the conflicting loyalties are comprehendible. The audience can still analyze the character’s actions and thoughts and recognize that they are genuine and understandable human encounters. From this, a sense of humanity—that we all have certain concerns and duties and we must respond to them…show more content…
These unique responses allow the audience to see how their actions based upon their own individual sense of human nature affect others around them. The aforementioned knowledge creates connections between characters in this play and humanity. Each day people in our society must contemplate right versus wrong, revenge versus peace, and honor versus dignity, and from there, they must act according to their individual impulses and needs. Therefore, not only can the audience understand why the play runs the course it does, they can also comprehend and empathize with the characters as well—a dynamic that continues to allow The Oresteia to be a prominent piece of
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