Orestia The Death Of Love The Birth Of Vengeance

Essay add: 30-09-2015, 11:50   /   Views: 296
Orestia: The Death Of Love, The Birth Of Vengeance

It all started when Thyestes seduced Atreus’ wife and contested his right to the throne. To get even, Atreus killed Thyestes children and fed them to him. When Thyestes realized what his brother had done he cursed him and his descendants. From that point on the house of Atreus saw many wrongs and much retaliation. Vengeance was the theme that surrounded it. There‘s a Spanish quote that comes to mind when I think of the House of Atreus; “La venganza nunca es buena, mata el alma y te envenena.” Which means, “Vengeance is never a good thing, it kills your soul and it poisons you.” Except, it seems like for the House of Atreus the quote is more like “it poisons your soul and it kills you. ”

Atreus had two sons, Agammemnon and Menelaus. Agammemnon would be the second of the family to commit murder in cold blood. He however, did not kill to avenge something that had been done to him. He killed to get something he wanted. He wanted to win a war. A war to which he would take hundreds of warriors to fight and dieto return a woman to her husband. A woman who had left because she wanted to, not because the conflicting party had kidnapped her. Still, Agammemnon turns his daughter, Iphigeneia into a sacrificial victim for a God so that he can win the war. Like his father, Agammemnon lies to the victim. He tells his daughter and wife that they need to go to him because she is to be wed. When they get there instead of a wedding Iphigeneia receives death.

After he kills her daughter Agammemnon goes on to fight and win the war. Mean while, he expects Clytaemnestra to be sitting in her living room writing about how much she misses her adorable husband. But how can she? The man he married and loved leaves to go in search of a woman who left because she wanted to. Than after lying to her, he kills one of their children. And when he returns, he returns ten long years later with a mistress. The nerve of that man to expect to find his wife eager to be with him. It’s only human that she was in pain, it’s only right for her to try to fill the hole that her husband left empty.

If a man leaves a woman unattended and vise versa I think it’s fair that they get what they have coming, specially if there’s something on top of the mere loneliness. In this case that being the murder of that woman’s daughter. Ten years are a long time, loneliness and the murder of a child is too much to bear. Clytaemnestra did what she had to do. She became romantically involved with a man. Not just any man, a man who had it in for her husband just as badly as she did. The man was the only son of Thyastes that Atreus did not kill and serve up. Together they created the plan to retaliate the deaths of those they loved. For that Clytaemnestra awaits to have her husband back all alone so that she can kill him.

The job of a husband is to love honor and obey. The job of a father is to care for and protect his children. The job of a man who is both is to balance his affection and protection with his wife and his heirs. Agamemnon was a husband and a father, and with each one he showed flaws that were unpardonable. Maybe his actions were predestined to happen. But had he stopped himself ten years before his death, the idea that he could have avoided a chain of blood shed remains wandering in my head. But he did what he did and although I don’t believe in taking “justice” into one’s own hands. Clytaemnestra only gave him what he had coming.

Unlike me, Agammemnon’s remaining children did not believe that the death of their father was justified because he had killed their sister. I wonder why they would rather be against their mother “I despise her she deserves it” says Electra as Orestes her brother claims that their father was a great hero. All the while I’m reading their conversation I wonder if it occurred to them that just as Iphigeneia was killed they could have been killed by that hand they loved. But it seems as if they never thought about it because they plan to avenge their father’s murder.

They plan and follow through the murder of Clytaemnestra and her lover Aegisthus. Orestes unlike Clytaemnestra, he takes time to explain to his victim the reason for which she is about to die “I want to butcher you” he tells her, “You love this man” (whom he has already killed)”the man you should have loved you hated.” And he goes on to tell her how miserable she made his life by basically throwing him out, and how painful the loss of his father was and how badly he needs to avenge his death and with “suffer outrage now” he kills the woman who gave him life.

The theory of “an eye for an eye” is something humans practiced yesterday, practice today, and will keep on practicing for centuries to come. In The Orestia, it is that theory that drives the people who step into the house of Atreus to follow the cycle of vengeance by shedding the blood of those relatives who did wrong to other relatives. So the shed of all the relative blood is what makes the search for justice more akin to a simple idea that the house of Atreus was always inhibited by people who needed to see blood. And since all that lived in search to avenge, or to bring justice, died in the same manner. I can say once again that for the characters in The Orestia “Vengeance is never a good thing, it poisons your soul and it kills you. ”

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