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The Oresteia of Aeschylus

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 07:20 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 68.2 
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Commentary on The Oresteia of Aeschylus

Some questions by Jim Kollens:

In the past you have mentioned your love of the playwright Aeschylus.   I was wondering if you would be so kind as to express your opinion on some questions.   I have just finished The Oresteia.   Most of my queries concern the third play, The Eumenides.

In regards to the trial, is this an invention of Aeschylus or is there a foundation for this story in myth?

I am confused by the Eumenides.   Are they The Furies?   Who are they?

What is the meaning of the verdict?   Are there various interpretations?   Apollo\'s logic did not quite convince me.   Is this the tradition or is this simply how Aeschylus viewed it or invented it?   How do you see it?

I did not read this play, but heard it on an audio book created by The Hollywood Theater of the Ear.   It is not perfect, but it truly has some fine moments.   For me, the most spectacular of these moments was at the very end of The Eumenides, the end of the trilogy.   A composer named John Baker created music for the final chorus that, together with the amazing words, is so uplifting that it quite took me by surprise, particularly after the dark mood of all the plays.

Reply from Diodoros Sikeliotis:

I found your questions on The Eumenides very accurate and of the utmost importance, and I thank you for giving me the chance to speak about these important matters.   I could write a book about this subject but here I shall attempt to be as brief as possible.

To answer your first question, the story preexisted in mythology.   There is a hill near the Acropolis which someone can see when visiting Athens called Arios Pagos, The Field of the Trial of Ares, God of War, for killing the son of Poseidon, Alirothios.   That place also was the camp of the Amazons against Athens at the time of Theseus.   According to the mythology, here was the...


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