Oresteia trilogy by Aeschylus is a famous ancient Greek tragedy that consists of three major parts, all of which reflect hierarchal gendered norms seen in ancient Greece at the time. Throughout the play, the role of women and how they relate to their families and society is evident. In the traditional Greek community, the women were seen as passive while the male gender dominated the community. Women played an essential role in their families such as taking care of the family as well as household chores. In the play, the women primarily functions revolve around their families and children. Importantly, the Oresteia play view women as subjects to men action as well as passive in nature.
Cassandra is a passive and submissive woman. Additionally, she is also viewed as an object to meet the men desires. For example, she was gifted to Agamemnon’ after he emerged victorious in the Trojan war. In Argo’s palace, Cassandra takes the role of a mistress as well as a concubine to Agamemnon since Agamemnon had a family. Although Cassandra is known in the castle, she reveals some painful truth to the chorus although one of them believed her. Firstly she explains some of the bloody events that had taken place in the House of Atreus which includes Iphigenia sacrifice and also Cassandra revealed that Agamemnon and herself were going to die shortly.
Apollo, a god, had made a romantic request to love Cassandra. However, Cassandra rejected the romantic pursuits which in turn forces Apollo to punish Cassandra. Apollo gifted Cassandra with the gift of prophecy, however, as a result of dismissing him, Apollo punished Cassandra with the new gift indicating that no one would ever believe in Cassandra’s accurate prophesies.
In the second part Eumenides, Apollo reveals the relationship between mother and child as well as father and child. Apollo explains that the fathers have the sole responsibility of conceiving children and therefore, children are supposed to protect and side with the father as opposed to the mother. Importantly Apollo indicates that a mother’s life is worthless compared to a father’s life. Apollo’s argument of the relationship between a child and mother and father further diminishes the value of women in the traditional Greek society.
While grieving his father’s death and promising to revenge his death, Orestes leave behind some essential clues which informs Electra of her brother’s presence. In this case, Orestes cuts two locks of his hair and spread them one by one on his father’s grave. In the Greek tradition only a family member was allowed to leave the hair in the tomb. Since Electra was sure she was not the one as well as the fact that her mother would not access the grave, she was quite sure it was her brother Electra’s hair on the grave.
Electra and her brother Orestes have significant similarities in their physical appearance. For example, the texture of their hair is similar as indicated in the play that they both have wavy hair. Additionally, their footprints are also identical. It is, however, essential to suggest that both are different regarding gender whereby Electra is female while Orestes is male. Apollo’s view of mother and child relationship, as well as father and child relationship, is significantly influenced by the father irrespective of the child’s gender. Importantly, as a result of Apollo’s view of women, Apollo ordered Orestes to revenge for his father’s death although he was avenging it against his mother.
In the case trial, Athena a female goddess supported Apollo view of mother and child which lead to Athena supporting that a father’s life was more important to a child’s life when compared to the mother’s relationship. Athena sprang out of her father’s head, which supports Apollo’s view about mother and child relationship. It is, however, essential to indicate that Athena’s mother was assimilated in Athena’s father’s body. Athena’s mother and Cassandra’s treatment by the men who loved them are similar. Zeus, Athena’s father, was jealous of his wife which led him to insult and assimilate her in his body. Similarly, Apollo was jealous of Cassandra’s after rejecting her, and as a result, he punished her which led to her death.
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