Gender Issues in Aeschylus' Oresteia Trilogy

This research analyzes gender issues in Aeschylus's Oresteia trilogy, comprising the plays Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers (Choephoroi), and Eumenides. The relevance of gender-specific themes that emerge in the plays will be discussed.

The Oresteia cannot be understood without reference to the curse of the house of Atreus of Argos, which is bound up with the legend of the Trojan war. The curse began when Atreus killed sons of his brother Thyestes, who had seduced Atreus's wife. After a banquet in which Atreus fed Thyestes's children to him, Thyestes laid a curse on Atreus's descendants. Atreus's two sons, Agamemnon and Menelaus, married two sisters, Clytemnestra and Helen, respectively, and when Helen either eloped with or was abducted by Paris to Troy, Agamemnon, like Menelaus, assembled an army of Greeks and prepared to sail for Troy. But that was made possible only after Agamemnon succumbed to a demand by the goddess Artemis that he offer his daughter Iphigenia as a propitiating sacrifice. That sacrifice accomplished, the Greeks set sail, and spent some 10 years winning the war and reuniting Helen with Menelaus (Olson 171ff; Graves 50ff passim).

The end of the Trojan war and the return of Agamemnon to Argos begins the action of the Oresteia. In the Agamemnon, Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus, who is also Agamemnon's cousin, murder Agamemnon and his war prize-concubine Cassandra, of the royal house of Troy. In the second play, The Libation Bearers, Clytemnestra's exi



Related Essays

Language Gender Issues Language Gender Issues. Gender Language Oppression INTRODUCTION As part of sign-systems, language is an extremely powerful tool for .... (1198 5 )

Women's Bodybuilding Gender Issues Women's Bodybuilding Gender Issues. In order to examine the sociological gender issues inherent in women's bodybuilding, it is necessary .... (1929 8 )

Gender Issues in American Society Gender Issues in American Society. Miedzian, Myriam. Boys Will Be Boys. New York: Doubleday, 1991. In the book Boys Will Be Boys, Myriam .... (1543 6 )

Gender Issues in Business Gender Issues in Business. Gender Issues As increased numbers of women have entered the workforce over the past decades, increased .... (2420 10 )

Gender Issues in Public Administration Gender Issues in Public Administration. Despite all the attention that has recently been focused on the oglass ceilingo problem .... (1023 4 )

Category: Literature - G
Common Topics
Click Here to Get Instant Access to over 32,000 Professionally Written Papers!!!
Join Now  
Saved Papers  
Save your essays here so you can locate them quickly!
"Thank you for making such a high quality site! Your papers are the best I have seen around"
Debbie B.
"Your site was very helpful and gave me the details I needed in order to complete my essay!!!"
Mike F.
"This site is an excellent vehicle for quick referrences. Thanks a bunch!"
Carla T.
"Great site, I got a lot of new ideas I would have never thought of before."
Nate A.
"I love this site!!!"
Marie H.
Copyright © 2007 - 2014 Lots of Essays. All Rights Reserved. DMCA