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Agamemnon Vs. The Clouds Essay

1558 words - 6 pages

Despite their different genre, Agamemnon and The Clouds present contrasting images on the place of individuals in their families. While the tone of Agamemnon creates a more serious picture than the comical atmosphere of The Clouds, the relationships are based on the same precepts and share several aspects. Images of the gods, their prophetic messages, and their execution of justice massively influence the images of relationships while love and memory more directly affect the actions of individuals.

Similarities in the presentations of the relationships are easily noticed. Both families express love for their constituents in varying forms. Strepsiades, though angry at his current predicament, spoiled his son, giving Pheideppides' horse addiction financial priority. "Yes, you and your [Pheideppides'] damned horses! Gigs, rigs, nags, ponytails ....Hell, horses everywhere! Horses in your dreams! But me? I'm bankrupt, broke, ruined, waiting for the end of the month when all these debts come due." (Clouds pg 23) Their sarcastic and interdependent bond is characterized repeatedly be each. "Since you yourself [Strepsiades] admit that loving and lickings are synonymous, it's only fair that I [Pheideppides]- for your own damn good, you understand? - whip you in return." (Clouds. pg 136) These images show us the nature of their love and present a background for comedy. Similarly, the opening impression of Agamemnon is of a queen faithfully waiting for her beloved king to return. "What else/ is light more sweet than this,/ to spread the gates before her husband home from war/... Come, and with speed, back to the city that longs for him,/ and he may find a wife within his house as true/ as on the day he left her." (Agamemnon ll. 601-607) However, the deep rooted hatred in Clytemnestra is eventually exposed, and Agamemnon is brutally murdered by his faithful lover. The dependency of Strepsiades upon Pheideppides and vice versa maintains their rocky relationship. Despite their hateful words, Strepsiades needs his son to defend him against the debtors and Pheideppides needs his father to nourish himself and his habits. Agamemnon expresses the complete opposite relationship. Agamemnon is no longer desirable or needed by Clytemnestra. Therefore, upon his return, the king is disposed of.

Reoccurring motifs and themes play important roles in the execution of relationships in both works. Justice surfaces several times in The Clouds and strongly shapes the connection between Strepsiades and Pheideppides. Before he enters the Thinkery, Strepsiades has some understanding of justice, explaining it as "Zeus...blasting the liars with bolts of lighting." (Clouds pg 53) It becomes obvious latter that Strepsiades has no respect for truth and justice though. This lack of respect for justice influences the bond between father and son. "But remember, Sokrates: I want to him [Pheideppides] able to...

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