Cassandra Essay

889 words - 4 pages

Cassandra is the daughter of Priam and a pivotal figure "“ the rulers of troy and a priestess of Athena. She was given the give of prophecy by Apollo because he had sexual desire for her. She promised she would do his favor, but "kept not faith with Loxias" (Aeschylus 40). He punishes her by letting her keep the gift, but could not make anyone believe her. Because no one believed her, she was secluded, disrespected, mocked, and deserted by all the people around her, even her own parents. She awaits in terror the catastrophe to come, all of its strokes in a precisely predicted order. Although Cassandra is misinterpreted as a mad woman, she is a powerful character foretelling the doom of Agamemnon and herself through visions of a curse upon Agamemnon's household and the fate of Agamemnon and herself.Cassandra is given the gift of prophecy by the god, Apollo. She is the character who foretells her doom through visions of a curse upon Agamemnon's household. When Agamemnon returns to the palace of Atreus, after he had defeated Troy, he brings Cassandra home with him. Cassandra was a war prize given to Agamemnon by his soldiers. Clytemnestra, Agamemnon's wife, is told by Agamemnon to welcome Cassandra. When Clytemnestra asks Cassandra to leave the chariot and enter the palace, she refuses. Clytemnestra gets frustrated with her and returns to her palace. Cassandra begins to weep and tells her fate in riddles to the chorus. She cries to the god, Apollo. "Ah!"¦O God!"¦Apollo, O Apollo!" (Aeschylus 37). The chorus does not understand why she cries to that god, and so they saw her as a lunatic. She claims that she can smell blood, and sees visions of Thyestes, Agamemnon's father, who unknowingly feasted upon the flesh of his own children. "Ah no, ah no, an abominable place, full of guilty secrets"¦yea, of unnatural murderers"¦aye, truly, a place of human sacrifice, sprinkled with blood of babes!" (Aeschylus 37). The chorus does not understand her at first, but then realizes that "she seem a prophet worthy belief" (Aeschylus 40) because she knows about the history of the palace of Atreus. "See yonder babes, weeping their sacrifice, their flesh roasted and eaten by their sire" (Aeschylus 37)! Cassandra is given the gift of prophecy by the god, Apollo, but her visions are unbelievable by all mortals. Cassandra's role was to forecast the doom of Agamemnon and herself. After Clytemnestra leaves the scene, Cassandra begins to cry and asks herself why Agamemnon has brought her home, to die with him....

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