Libation Bearers as a Revenge Tragedy - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Summary
Aeschylus' Oresteia is the only surviving ancient Greek trilogy. It is an achievement of western civilization that can be compared to Dante's Divine Comedy, Michelangelo's painting that adorn the walls of the Sistine Chapel or Shakespeare's tragedies. Though the other Greek playwrights did not present connected episodes in their plays, Aeschylus experimented on the theme of revenge in three connected plays in Orestes…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER98.9% of users find it useful
Libation Bearers as a Revenge Tragedy
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Libation Bearers as a Revenge Tragedy"

Download file to see previous pages (2003, p. 3)
The ancient world saw retribution as a divinely ordained necessity. Avenging the death of father and mother or near of kin takes the dimension of a sacred filial or fraternal duty. However, the execution of this can put a person in conflicting situations. The person killed also can be near in blood and the avenger endangers himself or herself by inviting more curses. Often this takes the form of perennial stream of unending retribution with no escape route. This aspect of vengeance has engaged the attention of Greek Tragedians. In primitive societies, the fear of retribution might have acted a deterrent in reducing crime. In the heyday of Greek culture, the great writers used the themes of retribution for its cathartic effect on the spectators.
The last of the Oresteia trilogy The Libation Bearers is indeed a play of retribution. It opens at the tomb of Agamemnon. Orestes' sister Electra comes to the tomb to perform the rite for the dead father. The libation bearers who have come to pour the libations on the tomb also accompany her. She does not seem to be steadfast in her resolve to avenge the death of her father due to certain reasons. At the point of time, she has come for performing the rites on the request of Clytemnestra to lessen anger the spirit of the dead against her. She wants to avenge her father's death however she wants to keep her hands free of the dead. She also knows that if she kills her mother, justice will pursue her. This dilemma is shared with the chorus, who ask her to entrust the duty of revenge on a man. She prays to the gods that Orestes will come and perform the sacred duty of avenging their father's death. Now Orestes steps in and the brother and sister recognize each other. Since Orestes comes with divine mandate from the god Apollo himself to purse the path of revenge he is bent on the deed. Aeschylus uses the theme of eagle (Agamemnon) and viper (Clytemnestra) to echo the past:
Behold our cause!
Look on the brood bereft of their eagle-sire,
Who died entwined in the coils of a vicious viper
Look on the starving orphans, ravaged by hunger,
Too young to carry their father's prey to shelter. (lines 246-250)
.
Greek plays are apparently fatalistic in tone. However, personal responsibility in their ruin is not completely ruled out. The tragedy of Oedipus unknowingly marrying his own mother and producing brother children and sister children and ultimately repenting and doing penance for his deeds is height of tragic fate that awaits great heroes. Aeschylus makes it clear that Agamemnon is both trapped by fate and his own innate nature. Orestes is torn between two forces the sacred duty of avenging his father's death and the injunction of Apollo and the lengthy harangue of Apollo in which he spells out the punishments that awaits him if he fails in his duty. The other force is his dislike of matricide and the fear of justice that will follow him as it did the heroes of the past. Great triumphs are followed by great perils. Clytemnestra, Agamemnon's wife receives the victor with ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
  • CHICAGO
(“Libation Bearers as a Revenge Tragedy Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words”, n.d.)
Libation Bearers as a Revenge Tragedy Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words. Retrieved from https://studentshare.org/miscellaneous/1525564-libation-bearers-as-a-revenge-tragedy
(Libation Bearers As a Revenge Tragedy Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 Words)
Libation Bearers As a Revenge Tragedy Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 Words. https://studentshare.org/miscellaneous/1525564-libation-bearers-as-a-revenge-tragedy.
“Libation Bearers As a Revenge Tragedy Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/miscellaneous/1525564-libation-bearers-as-a-revenge-tragedy.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Libation Bearers as a Revenge Tragedy

Shakespeare's Hamlet: Revenge, Religion and Tragedy

...? No. Shakespeare’s Hamlet: Revenge, Religion & Tragedy Hamlet is one of the masterpieces in English literature. Even after centuries, it can behold its audience and entertain them thoroughly with unpredictable plot and colorful characters; the obsession for revenge, the madness and antic disposition, the balance and human emotions and actions due to sin and salvation are all presented in a thought provoking manner. The themes in Hamlet seem to be alive today in one way or another, modern times have changed the words used, but the meaning remains the same. Plays based on dilemmas are Shakespeare’s specialty, and Hamlet was the best amongst such plays written in a time when religion,...
10 Pages(2500 words)Term Paper

The issue of revenge in the tragedy of Shakespeare's Hamlet

...?The play Hamlet is a revenge-tragedy. Does Shakespeare condone or condemn revenge in his play? Examine (2) characters that seek revenge, explain theconsequences of those actions. Hamlet is one of the best known tragedies of the great playwright William Shakespeare and a popularly quoted in many instances. It is essentially a tragedy incorporating the element of ‘revenge’ and the longest play of Shakespeare. There are essentially three characters who seek revenge – Hamlet, Laertes and Fortinbras. They all sought to avenge their fathers’ murders. The other themes of humanity are love, justice and the...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Discuss Hamlet as a revenge tragedy

...? Discuss "Hamlet" as a "revenge tragedy" The revenge tragedies mainly focus upon some specific elements of revenge and tragedy. Within the scenario of literature, the Elizabethan era gave ample importance to revenge tragedies and Hamlet by Shakespeare is one of the best examples for the same. This play consists of the basic elements of a revenge tragedy, which unveils the reason behind the protagonist’s tragedy and his doom in the end. One can easily identify that revenge is the most important element in the play and it leads the...
5 Pages(1250 words)Research Paper

Argue For or Against Hamlet's Revenge: Positive arguement For revenge

.... “Elusiveness of revenge and impossibility of tragedy: Shakespeare’ s Hamlet and Pirandello’ s Enrico IV.” University of Pisa. 2005. Web. 5 May. 2011. . “Indecision, Hesitation and Delay in Shakespeare's Hamlet.” 2011. 5 May 2011. . Mabillard, Amanda. “Hamlet.” 2010. Web. 5 May 2011. . Shakespeare, William, and Hapgood, Robert. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. UK: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Print. Skulsky, Harold. “Revenge, Honor, and Conscience in "Hamlet".” Modern Language Association. vol. 85. no. 1. (1970): 78-87. “Term paper on Hamlet - By William Shakespeare.” n.d. Web. 5 May. 2011. .... ? 5 May, Hamlet's Revenge Critical Analysis: Revenge is indeed, the most fundamentaltheme of the play Hamlet. The...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Is Hamlet Primarily a Tragedy of Revenge

...Hamlet by Shakespeare “Hamlet” by Shakespeare is a perpetual poet masterpiece of all times. The masterpiece depicts the main character, Hamlet, as a person of great and unrivaled eloquent power, a philosopher, and an individual who stands tall against the grey mold in his era. He struggles against societal injustices and strongly advocates for the truth (Adams 1). In the whole of the world literature, this unique image depiction of the Danish prince has no rivalry. The play incorporates themes of revenge and tragedy, and this revenge ultimately leads to the death of Hamlet and the people he loves. The desire by Hamlet to revenge the death of his father somehow distracts...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Civic Punishment or Private Revenge

...Civic Punishment or Private Revenge: The Case Against Euphiletus The rhetorical play in Euphiletus' defense speech during his trial reveals two conflicting value systems being juxtaposed, one the tribal code, which demands honor and the civil code that abnegates honor in the form of communal justice. Thus in order to understand this shifting ground of justice, it is important to determine from the facts of the case itself and the general legal and ethical atmosphere that surrounded Athens at the time whether or not Euphiletus' attack represents an act of civic punishment or private revenge. Furthermore, if indeed it was an act of civic punishment, was the execution of the act peripheral to the current...
10 Pages(2500 words)Case Study

City Comedy and Revenge Tragedy

... behavior towards others undergoes a significant transformation, and he comes back to Uruk at the end of the story a changed personality. Gilgamesh becomes a mature leader only because he is capable of learning to move beyond the assertions of his ego, to acquire humility and an acceptance of his communitys values. Baker, Oliver. In Shakespeares Warwickshire and the Unknown Years. London: S. Marshall, 1937. Griswold, Wendy. Renaissance Revivals: City Comedy and Revenge Tragedy in the London. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986 Sophocles. Othello. Trans. Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzgerald. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry and Drama. Ed. X. J. Kennedy. 5th ed. New York: Harper, 1991. 999-1039.... The differences between...
8 Pages(2000 words)Essay

Revenge

... Revenge in Hamlet: Different Perspectives The tragedy of Hamlet is s one of Shakespeare’s popular work that even students of today are assigned to analyze this classical tragedy. The main reason for this is the fact that revenge is a popular theme in plays. Who wouldn’t want revenge? People are attracted to stories that presents the opportunity to vindicate oneself from humility or oppression.In order to give us a more thorough discussion of different perspectives towards this play, three articles were chosen that presents different ideas. Nevertheless, the main theme of these articles is revenge. Revenge in Elizabethan Plays The first article found on the website field-of –themes presents the historical and social framework... that...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

The Tragedy of the Revenge- Oriented Prince Of Denmark

...Zejia Zheng WRT 102- 64 Analysis 2 The tragedy of the revenge- oriented Prince of Denmark The Tragedy of Hamlet, a Prince of Denmark is a play written by the famous William Shakespeare. The play is set in the Kingdom of Denmark. It is mainly talking about Hamlet’s life. More precisely after the alleged murder of his father. Hamlet assumes several characteristics as he trudges along the rugged path of vengeance. Thanks to his cunning and clever tactics, he finally achieves his long term desired goals.        Hamlet is a undoubtedly a smart man. Firstly, he feigns madness after the ghost tells him that the killer is none other than Claudius. From “as I perchance hereafter shall think meet/...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Gender roles in the Oresteia (Agamemnon,Libation Bearers ,The Eumenides)

...for sacrificing her daughter and partly because of her adulterous relationship with his cousin. The second play, The Libation Bearers portrays the revenge of Agamemnon’s children, Electra and Orestes against their mother for his death. When Orestes slays Aegisthus and his mother Clytemnestra, he is guilt-wracked and maddened by the incarnations of the Furies as a result of his mother’s curse. The final sequel, Eumenides is the trial of Orestes for his matricide, in which jury is organized by goddess Athena. The story ends with the acquittal of Orestes by Athena. The entire trilogy revolves around a series of retributive blood shedding acts, which is resolved and supplanted by the jury of...
5 Pages(1250 words)Term Paper
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic Libation Bearers as a Revenge Tragedy for FREE!

Contact Us