Similarities Between Odyssey And Agamemnon

1119 Words5 Pages
The story of the death of Agamemnon is told in both the Homeric epic Odyssey and in Aeschylus’ tragic trilogy the Oresteia. Although the basic plot remains the same, differences in presentation, emphasis, and details show how myth is fluid and can be adapted to suit a particular author, performance, and audience. This myth serves in the Odyssey as an example of failed nostos caused by the breakdown of the hero’s household, and so it provides a foil for the successful return home of the epic hero Odysseus to his intact household. On the other hand, in the Oresteia, the myth illustrates the overarching theme of the nature of justice. Here the death of Agamemnon both illustrates the curse on his household and also provides the necessary background for Orestes’ important role in the transformation of justice from oikos-based revenge to polis-based trial by jury. The Odyssey was composed in the 8th century BC and was performed for a society which was still somewhat…show more content…
He is now obliged to enact justice in the form of a murder of revenge committed not only against a male outsider to his household, but also against his own mother. This imposes on him a moral dilemma in which he is torn between the need to avenge his father’s death and his horror at killing his own mother. This dilemma is dramatized in the divine realm as well, with Apollo supporting Orestes, while the Furies, goddesses of revenge, persecute him mercilessly for matricide. This moral problem, which is essentially about the nature of justice, is resolved in the final play of the trilogy by Athena’s intervention and the introduction of a new form of justice, based not in the household’s need for revenge, but in the city’s need for stability. The first law court is established in a celebration of an Athenian democratic institution. The polis has taken over the role of administrator of justice from the

More about Similarities Between Odyssey And Agamemnon

Open Document