Sunday, May 13, 2001

Euripides? Ya, Eumenides?

As we arrive at the last play of Aeschylus’ Oresteia trilogy, the House of Atreus is not doing especially well. Agamemnon and Clytemnestra are dead, and Orestes has seen better days. The Eumenides opens at the shrine of Apollo, where the prince is surrounded by hideous Furies who have blood dripping from their eyes, snakes for hair, bad breath, bushy armpits, and major attitude.

The Furies are earth divinities who keep order in the world by avenging wrong wherever they find it. Matricide, they figure, is pretty much at the top of their list. Orestes, who was goaded into killing Clytemnestra by Apollo, now stands condemned by a pack of pissed off earth goddesses.

The wonderful thing about the Oresteia, again, is that everyone feels completely justified in taking even the most horrific action. Even better, from their own perspective, everyone’s actions make perfect sense. When rights collide with rights, some sort of arbitration is in order, and Athena, with her winning smile, excellent conflict resolution skills, and can-do attitude, is just the person to deliver. The scene therefor shifts to Athens, where the matter will be settled in court.

At the center of the play, the Furies explain their position: justice depends upon fear of revenge. Should Orestes go free, the whole system will break down. Sons will then murder mothers with impunity. When right is trampled, they say, revenge should “hunt the godless day and night.”

“Be just,” they say “and you will never want for joy.” But the “reckless ones, the marauders, dragging plunder, chaotic, rich beyond all rights,” they will always get what’s coming. “He who lives his life for wealth, golden his life long,” will eventually “ram on the reef of law and drown, unwept.” We are pleased to find that the Furies have a clear position on greed.

As the Furies become increasingly likeable, Apollo sounds more and more like an obnoxious know-it-all. He and the leader of the Furies argue their cases like a couple of third-rate lawyers and unhelpfully resort to name-calling. Orestes looks worried. Apollo finally asserts that regicide is worse than matricide because “the man is the source of life” and the “mother is just nurse to the seed.” He offers Athena herself, who sprung from the head of Zeus, as proof.

This is just the sort of thing that gives dead white males a bad name.

Athena says she has heard enough and casts her vote for Orestes because she “honors the male.” The jury splits down the middle, and her vote carries the decision. Orestes is understandably thrilled, but the outraged Furies plot revenge. Athena, ever the politician, deftly coopts them. The Furies are given a sacred place of honor in exchange for not making her life miserable.

The Oresteia is said to describe the advance of civilization and the dawn of rationality as embodied in the Athenian court. The trilogy moves from blood feud and blind revenge to a formal system of justice, but in the end, what determines justice is simply the idiosyncratic opinion one male-identified Olympian. This, to most, will feel familiar. As numerous 5-4 Supreme Court decisions will attest, power and justice are easily confused.

40 comments:

五王 said...

任何你憂慮的事,你都應該去採取一點行動,不要只是在那邊想..................................................

毛衣 said...

命運,就是自己行為的結果。 ....................................................

龐克搖滾 said...

睇完之後覺得有d頓悟..感謝分享.........................................

瑋婷 said...

I love readding, and thanks for your artical...................................................

佳玲曉豪 said...

A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour..............................................

黎仁南 said...

百鍊鋼可化為繞指柔。......................................................

嘉容嘉容 said...

看看blog調整心情,又要來繼續工作,大家加油........................................

茂恒 said...

最美好的東西是看不到、摸不到的,但可以用心感覺。 ..................................................

柏信豪俐 said...

Poverty tries friends.......................................................

淑婷 said...

Nice post ~ 3Q..............................................................

嘉琬 said...

每一個人無論怎樣渺小,在自己的眼中,都自有其份量 ..................................................

DennisPick麗珠 said...

好文!值得一推~~加油哦!.............................................

怡萱 said...

Conversation makes one what he is..........................

呈均 said...

所有的資產,在不被諒解時,都成了負債..................................................

佩GailBohanan1蓉 said...

免費成人影騙免費成人電影觀看曼雪兒情色文學成人小說杜雷斯成人貼圖區杜雷斯成人貼圖a片情色成人影片a片無碼圖片a片短片看a片電影城a片圖貼a片網路看a片影片免費看A片線上看a片免費線上影片a片免費影片線上a片免費影片網a片卡通火影忍者a片卡通直播a片孕婦做愛a片未成年a片在線看a片在線觀看a片成人免費觀賞a片免費下載無碼a片免費卡通a片免費成人影片a片免費免下載a片免費貼a片免費貼片a片論壇分享愛情禁忌視訊聊天交友mmshow交友104相親網成人圖片區

瓊文TamMcfee0520 said...

成人貼站 中部視訊聊天 免費色情聊天室 av免費片 交友 最新女優排行 性感美女 777美女影片 學生妹偷拍 6k 聊天室 愛愛色情網 情趣影片 18禁免費看 台灣美少女自拍俱樂部 美腿影城 a片歐美 情色試看 色情榜 情色貼圖區 //bbs.x383.com/sexcity/ 完美女人影音聊天網 一夜情 情色美女圖 辣妹 人妻熟女系列 歐美超熟女 情人視訊 2009空姐招考 a片a圖分享區 美女自拍寫真 85cc免費影城85cc卡通 微風線上成人觀看 打嘟嘟成人網 777 貼圖貼片 援交桃園 嘟都情人色網 鋼管 無碼av貼圖 洪爺影視 大奶av女優免費看 sex520免費影片亞洲區 免費線上成人影片下載 巨乳 性愛持久 後宮網站 無碼 0204影城 免費線上性愛直播 走光秀

俊宏 said...

愛情不是慈善事業,不能隨便施捨。..................................................................

峻龍 said...

I guess I will need a lot.................................................................

陳芳 said...

要照顧身體歐~保重......................................................................

江婷 said...

成熟,就是有能力適應生活中的模糊。.................................................................

徐政峰 said...

成熟,就是有能力適應生活中的模糊。.................................................................

王名仁 said...

人有兩眼一舌,是為了觀察倍於說話的緣故。............................................................

JasonBirk佳琪 said...

woo ~ woo ~ thx alotsˋε ˊ..................................................................

宥妃宥妃 said...

路過留言支持~~~..................................................................

MariaFoley0念火 said...

文章雖然普通,但意義卻很大~~^^~~ ..................................................................

楊儀卉 said...

成功可招引朋友,挫敗可考驗朋友............................................................

陳佑發 said...

要保持更新呦,加油!!!期待你的新文章!!!..................................................................

彥安 said...

幫你推個文~~期待更新!加油啊!............................................................

盈廖生家秀蔡 said...

i consder your artical is so nice!..................................................................

吳淑芬吳淑芬 said...

能猜得出女人真實年齡的男人也許耳聰目明,但肯定毫無大腦。哈哈!..................................................

邱允成邱允成 said...

Make hay while the sun shines...................................................

張v李佳羽嘉旺 said...

有趣有趣~還ok的啦(。・`ω´・)......................................................

家唐銘 said...

時間就是塑造生命的材料。

黃以陳美苓富 said...

成功可招引朋友,挫敗可考驗朋友............................................................

偉曹琬 said...

這麼好的部落格,以後看不到怎麼辦啊!!!............................................................

幸家陳瑋齊 said...

你的分享很不錯.. 謝謝 ..................................................

廷淑君淑君伸 said...

第一忠誠,第二勤奮,第三專心工作。..................................................

至馬馬馬馬玄馬馬馬馬 said...

果然很有意思呀....這當然要頂一頂呀 ̄﹏ ̄..................................................................

江趙雲虹趙雲虹仁昆 said...

所有的資產,在不被諒解時,都成了負債...........................................................

junjun said...

It is never too late to learn. ............................................................