Orestaia Essay

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In most Greek tragedies, the writers use the Chorus as a tool to comment on actions in plays. The Chorus does not play an active role in the story, such that if they were removed, the plot would not be affected. However, in Oresteia, Aeschylus does not follow this traditional pattern. In the trilogy the Choruses do comment on the action of the main characters, but as it progresses, the chorus goes through a metamorphosis from the traditional chorus of “The Agamemnon” into a chief character in “The Eumenides”. While the traditional Chorus represents the consensus of the audience or of society as a whole, the true distinctness of the author’s style comes from his other unconventional uses for the chorus. In Oresteia, Aeschylus uses the Chorus, not only as a tool to explain background information and express the opinions of a larger group, but also to develop and emphasize themes as well as to advance the plot. On the other hand, probably because of the time constraint on the stage of City College's Diego Rivera Theatre, the director John Wilk, who recently presented an original adaptation of Aeschylus' Greek trilogy in the form of a rock musical, has decided to dedicate more time on the first and second play, despite the fact that many readers would find the third if not more, at least as important as the previous two plays. Aechylus's trilogy, and especially the first play, calls our attention repeatedly to a central concept of justice: justice as revenge. This is a relatively simple notion, and it has a powerful emotional appeal, even today. According to the revenge ethics from that time the killer must be killed and that killing must be carried out personally by the most appropriate person, who accepts that charge as an obvious responsibility. In the book revenge emerges as something problematic, something that, rather than upholding and restoring the polis, is

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