ustice, fairness, and decency, abstract concepts that are innate in society and human nature. However, despite their near universal status in humanities mid, they often have different meanings for individuals. Aeschylus uses The Oresteia in order to explore these issues as characters in the play try to determine what it means to be just, what ought a just actor do, and what is the best model for achieving justice. The characters discuss ideas such as vengeance, reciprocity, balance, moderation, and finally the end result of the implied debate leads to a jury system. In this paper I will go over two of the several different interpretations of justice used in the Oresteia and compare and contrast them in order to demonstrate which is the best
The Eumenides confronts two contradictory perspectives: the Furies of the ancient order against Apollo of the young generation of Gods. Aeschylus introduces spiritual conflict within the human and universal realms. There is a lack of understanding of justice within the individual, producing an interrelational struggle amongst citizens, and resulting to the incomplete human identity in correspondence to their community. The justice system conquers upon an arbitrary verdict, providing little insight of the positions of good or evil. Aeschylus, through Athena, offers a compromise between two opposing radical ideas, balancing the neutrality of logic and sentiment within the individual, to strengthen unity of a society, and to stimulate the transcendance of humanity.
The actions inspired by vengeance and justice in Homer’s Iliad shows how detrimental the effects can be on others. The Justice seeked by warlike Menelaus causes pain and suffering to many on all sides of the war. Paris by abducting Helen hurt Menelaus’s pride, “Menelaus had in mind taking revenge on the man who’d injured him” (Homer, Iliad 3. 26-27). Seeking this revenge Menelaus
When Athena persuades Telemachus to muster up the courage to stand up against the suitors, she contrasts him with Agamemnon’s son, Orestes. She advises Telemachus to stop “‘cling[ing] to [his] boyhood any longer’” and man up to tell off his mother's suitors for being so ill-mannered (1.341). Yet, she describes Orestes’ killing of Aegisthus and tells Telemachus that he earned glory “‘throughout the world’” from defending himself against his father’s killer (1.343). Athena’s comparison between Telemachus and Orestes implies that she cares enough about Telemachus to compare him to someone who wanted justice for his father. Her choice to contrast him with Orestes also conveys that she cares about Odysseus and Telemachus finding him.
Odysseus’ reverence to the gods is shown again after the suitors families and the town learns of Odysseus’ homicide, they come after the royal family. Athena and Zeus come to Ithaca, ordering a peace. Homer describes the event and Odysseus’ reaction, “So she commanded. He obeyed her, glad at heart." (Homer 24.598).
While Odysseus’ actions taken to punish the suitors may appear immoral in modern society, by considering the ways in which modern society differs from Homeric society, Odysseus’ actions are just in the context of the poem. As violence has an extremely negative connotation in modern society, the use of the death penalty is morally ambiguous, and is a highly debated topic; however, violence is far more legitimized in the society of the Odyssey, and therefore, death is a far more acceptable form of punishment. This idea is exemplified by the way in which violence is discussed between characters within the Odyssey. In particular, this general acceptance of violence is demonstrated through the fact that many of the characters within the Odyssey share an almost unanimous belief that the suitors should be put to death to pay for their crimes.
The Oresteia is a trilogy written by the Greek author Aeschylus that comprises of three plays; Agamemnon, the libation bearers, and the Eumenides. The central theme of this book is “justice” which in the case of Orestes has led to exile. This book was written at a time when the star of Athens was in decline. It was a time that marked the establishment of a new socio- political order, a democracy adjudicated by the rule of law. This rule of law meant the institutionalization of justice (i.e. having a justice system), where cases are heard and verdicts are being reached based on evidence.
Zeus carries out his justice to those who deserves it, disregarding any sort of connection that he has towards the individual. As a result, he is able to hand out impartial punishment towards those who wronged his principles or the principles of others. An example of this is during the assembly of gods at Zeus’s halls to discuss the fate of Aegisthus. During the assembly, Athena takes this opportunity to plea to Zeus to aid Odysseus’s return to Ithaca. Athena takes advantage of Poseidon’s absence to persuade Zeus because Poseidon is a significant factor that prevents Odysseus from returning home.
Even after this, Athena feels like she deserves more credit for Odysseus’ journey home than he gives
The Odyssey, gods like Athena and Poseidon interfere with humans to satisfy their own desires, showing that they are just as imperfect and flawed as the mortals that they rule over. Athena favors Odysseus since he reminds her of herself. He portrays the same cunning, guile, and intelligence as she does; Athena had confided to him that “two of a kind, we are, contrivers, both,” comparing how similar they are. “Of all men now alive,” she says, “you are the best in plots and story telling.
Near the end of the story, Lysistrata makes reconciliation by saying, “Now I intend to give you a scolding which you both deserve” (Aristophane 1147). Although the men were scolding Lysistrata initially for devising this entire plan, it is now Lysistrata controlling the situation. This exhibits the extent of power Lysistrata has, and how her effects of power impact others. Initially, the power of Athens was held in the hands of the men, as they were only perceived capable of handling important issues. However, the role of power which Lysistrata held eventually proved to everyone that fighting was unnecessary, and a truce was imperative for the
In The Odyssey, by Homer, Athena influences the lives of Odysseus and his family. In Greek mythology, gods challenge and control mortals. Gods also provide support to mortals and thus, mortals depend and act on behalf of the gods and their decisions. Athena, daughter of Zeus, is the goddess of wisdom, and both Telemachus and Odysseus benefit from her power. Athena possesses the ability to disguise herself and others, and this skill allows her to give advice and guidance.
The ambassadors of both cities use Reconciliations body as a map of Greece pointing to different parts of her body to emphasize their points and make negotiations. They conclude the play by agreeing with Lysistrata and by making an agreement of peace. They also sing a hymn to the gods of ancient Greece. The way this play ends portrays how the main character, Lysistrata, is being admired for her opinion. Lysistrata ends with an easy victory because she is able to convince the ambassadors and the people of Athens and Sparta to create nonviolence which makes the audience feel content.