Euripides: Orestes by Matthew Wright

By Matthew Wright

"Orestes" used to be one among Euripides' most well-liked performs in antiquity. Its plot, which centres on Orestes' homicide of his mom Clytemnestra and its aftermath, is interesting in addition to morally advanced; its presentation of insanity is strangely severe and hectic; it offers with politics in a fashion which has resonances for either historic and smooth democracies; and, it has a brilliantly unforeseen and ironic finishing. however, "Orestes" isn't a lot learn or played nowa days. Why may still this be so? maybe this is because "Orestes" doesn't agree to smooth audiences' expectancies of what a 'Greek tragedy' might be. This e-book makes "Orestes" available to trendy readers and performers via explicitly acknowledging the distance among old and sleek rules of tragedy. If we're to understand what's strange concerning the play, we need to imagine when it comes to its impression on its unique viewers. What did they count on from a tragedy, and what could they've got made from "Orestes"?

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Extra info for Euripides: Orestes

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6 Aristotle was writing in the fourth century BC, several decades later than the plays that he describes; and his views on tragedy, coloured by his own very particular and complex philosophical preoccupations, will have been very different from the views of Euripides or his audience. What is a ‘perfect’ or ‘unitary’ plot in any case? The question 31 Euripides: Orestes is very difficult, or even impossible, to answer. 7 What is important is that a definite design can be perceived in the plot of Orestes: it is not simply a random, cobbled-together series of events.

47 Euripides: Orestes Choral song (1537-48) Another brief interlude, answering the earlier strophe at 135365 and using the same music. As Willink points out in his commentary, this ‘long-range responsion’ in effect marks off lines 1353-1548 as a self-contained act-within-an-act. The chorus sing yet again of the fall of the house of Atreus. As they sing, they notice smoke rising from the front of the palace (1542). ’ (1547) – a common enough image in tragedy, which here is transformed into a real threat, as it seems that the house may literally be destroyed.

It also strikes me that any mention of Menelaus’ smart appearance here might have seemed particularly pointed to anyone in the audience who remembered Euripides’ Helen (in which Menelaus was so dirty and ragged that he was unrecognizable to his wife). 25 Menelaus questions Orestes, in an unusually lengthy sequence of stichomythia (385-447), about what has been happening to him. But as the scene progresses, it becomes less likely that Menelaus’ arrival will actually result in the longedfor deliverance that it promised.

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