Tragedy, Closure, And Society: Agamemnon. Essay

1014 words - 4 pages

The guy gets the girl. The poor man wins the lottery. The orphan gets a home. They lived happily ever after. Americans are so used to endings that provide closure and warm, fuzzy feelings, that it is difficult to understand the appeal of a tragic ending. For the Greeks, the ending that does not provide that same satisfaction as the "happy ending" is what brings them back for more. In a society so engaged in the theater and the arts, those endings that are left open to interpretation, or those that provoke emotions of shock and pity, are the sequel setups and movie trailers of our society today.Different facets of Greek society appear in their fine arts, and the people enjoyed seeing their everyday lives portrayed on stage. The lives of the Greeks were not entirely "happy," and therefore the scenes that depicted their lives as flawed characters are not what present-day Americans call "happy" either. Tragic endings frequently occurred in real life; brothers would feud and ultimately one would prevail, causing harm and suffering to his brother and the family. This endless cycle of tragedy in Greek society was not the only way of life, but it is an important aspect of their ancient culture. What appeared on the stage accurately illustrated certain parts of everyday life, while also adding the drama that excites the audience to this day. These bits of drama that were fused with reality included appearances of the gods, miracles, oracles, over-exaggeration and larger-than-life heroes.One such hero, the great king Agamemnon, is a tragic hero with the undesired fate that causes Americans to shudder. In the Aeschylus' tragedy Agamemnon, the title character is forced to sacrifice his own daughter for good fortune in war. When he returns home from the horrors of war to his seemingly loving wife, he is met with his unexpected destiny. His wife, Clytaemestra, stabs him, citing a long-standing grudge against her husband for killing their daughter. "With the sword he struck, with the sword he paid for his own act" (pp. 55: 1528-1529). In the scene where Clytaemestra kills Agamemnon, the audience realizes that the story will not end on a favorable note. That one act of murder turns the story of Agamemnon's glory to gloom. The ending to his catastrophic story would probably lead to low ratings and harsh critical analyses today because of the very fact that we, as Americans, yearn for closure and feelings of satisfaction; we do not like to walk out of the theater with that sympathy for the character that, ironically, made the Greeks feel better about their own tragic lives. We would rather feel that justice prospers, evil is defeated and all is well in the end.Agamenon's fate in this story is not the only thing that appeals to the Greek audience and makes us as American's uneasy, the fact that Agamemnon is a tragic hero like most others in Greek literature appears in many forms in other tragedies such as this one by Aeschylus. According to...

Find Another Essay On Tragedy, Closure, and Society: Agamemnon.

"More sinned against than sinning." Is this a more appropriate description of Agamemnon than Clytaemestra?

1020 words - 4 pages Clytaemestra's murder of Agamemnon can be seen as one of the main sins in the play. The Chorus of Argive Elders calls the act 'obscene' and since one of the functions of the Chorus is to direct the audience's sympathy and give voice to pious opinions this indicates Clytaemestra is more sinning than sinned against. However when she defends her acts after the murder to The Chorus she tells them it was she who was sinned against, as her husband

An Examination of Clytaemnestra as a Tragic Victim of the Oresteia.

2297 words - 9 pages Clytaemnestra, although villified in the Oresteia, was in fact a moral extractor of vendetta justice who fell victim to the patriarchal Athenian society. What constitutes justice is a question that could not be given justice in one brief paper; therefore, for purposes of this paper we will use only two ideas of justice: vendetta justice and legal justice. Vendetta justice defies boundaries limiting actions and allows the extractor to make their

Tragedy In Drama

1706 words - 7 pages Tragedy and Drama In a range of dramatic works from Agamemnon to Hamlet, one sees the range of development of the tragic form, from the earliest Greek to the later Shakespearean tragedies. There are two basic concepts of tragedy: the concept introduced by Aristotle in his Poetics, and the concept developed by Frederick Nietzsche in his "The Birth of Tragedy." Many dramas can be reviewed to reveal the contrast between these two

Tragic Hero

551 words - 2 pages tragedy and die at the end. These two tales also have the motif of future telling which results, in the two being slain by close people. The story of Agamemnon takes places in Greece during the Trojan War. Agamemnon, king of Agros, is commander of the Greek navy that eventually seizes Troy. To please the goddess Artimis, Agamemnon sacrifices his daughter Iphigenia, in order to safely travel to Troy. When he returns from battle he brings with him

Agamemnon a Tragedy by Aeschylus

2061 words - 8 pages Aeschylus’ well-known tragedy of Agamemnon allows one to closely look at the treasured polytheistic religious ideas of Ancient Greece and how the Grecians relied heavily on the thought of free will versus fate determined by their gods. With the play being set and written in Greece, the polytheistic lifestyle is apparent and unabashed as the culture of the time would have seen the play to be easily believable; the entire audience would have been

Aristotelian Tragedy: Clytemnestra’s Tragic Role in The Oresteia

1589 words - 6 pages , 596). Orestes does not realize his wrongdoing and he goes unpunished. Following Aristotle's model, neither Agamemnon nor Orestes fit the criteria of a tragic hero.At first glance, it may seem Orestes is the tragic hero of Aeschylus' The Oresteia; he is clearly the main character, and the play is in part a coming of age story about him. However, the Greek tragic hero is defined as a key actor in a tragedy who oversteps the bounds of human nature

Agamemnon Vs. The Clouds

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

Destiny, Fate, Free Will and Free Choice - Prophecies in Oedipus, Antigone, and Agamemnon

1044 words - 4 pages   The Damning Prophecies in Oedipus, Antigone, and Agamemnon        Oracles, seers, and prophets are used in Greek tragedy to provide foreshadowing for the audience and characters. The seers' wisdom is conveyed through the pronouncement of oracles or prophecies. They confer forecasts to principal characters that affect the characters' future. Although not always believed, and often endeavored to be

The importance of structure in "The Agamemnon" is a classic Greek tragedy written by Aeschylus.

1586 words - 6 pages The Agamemnon is a classic Greek tragedy written by Aeschylus in which he entails the continuation of the curse on the house of Atreus in the time period following the end of the Trojan War and the return of King Agamemnon. This play tells of the murders of Cassandra and Agamemnon-by-Agamemnon's wife Clytemestra. Throughout the play many aspects have a profound effect on the structure. Things such as the chorus, audience, the use of common

Manipulation of desires in The Iliad.

835 words - 3 pages , despite being motivated to get richer, the motivation was none other than doing his job and getting paid for it. Even in our modern day society, although men work and have jobs, their desire for wealth is the motivation behind their actions. Agamemnon therefore tries to give Achilles gold and riches to motivate him into helping his cause, a job Achilles had in the past.Weaknesses, derived from the various desires Achilles has, can be manipulated

Forgive and Forget

1202 words - 5 pages The rage that first overtook Achilles in the Iliad eventually subsides to compromise with his king, reconciliation with his enemies, and complete acceptance of his fate. The quarrel that incites Achilles anger is never resolved but is instead put into the past by a compromise with Agamemnon. Achilles' anger over the death of Patrokolus rages until the death and disgrace of Hector. Only through avenging his fallen comrade can Achilles accept

Similar Essays

Tragedy Of The Commons And The Problem Of Overpopulation And Resource Demand Among The American Society.

716 words - 3 pages Tragedy of the Commons: Overpopulation and Resource DemandHardin's "Tragedy of the Commons" thesis provides a great example and forewarning of overpopulation and resource demand (Burger & Gochfeld, 1998). Overpopulation is likely the world's chief concern. With this population increase comes the demand on resources. We, as a global society, keep tapping into these resources; resources that may already be close to depletion or no longer

Chorus Intervention In Aeschylus' The Eumenides And Agamemnon

982 words - 4 pages despite the trial's outcome, and that by reconciling themselves to it, they will retain some power. In both The Eumenides and Agamemnon the choruses relate significantly to the actions and characters in each tragedy. While the characteristics and constituents of each chorus differ, both represent the groups left behind in a new era of government. The completion of The Oresteia shows the transformation of power both within the context of the

Tragic Hero Characterization I Essay

1582 words - 6 pages caused by his brother Menelaus' unfaithful wife but he had to show his patriotism to avoid being shunned or overthrown due to his lack of loyalty to his kingdom. Because of his curse, whichever decision he makes is going to end in tragedy. These tragic heroes are neither completely sinister nor completely benevolent but possess a combination of benevolent and sinister character traits. The tragic heroes Creon, Antigone, and Agamemnon

Agamemnon Essay

705 words - 3 pages Agamemnon Agamemnon is the first book in the Orestiean Trilogy written by the famous Greek tragedy writer, Aeschylus. Agamemnon is a story of justice and revenge. The story takes place in a city called Argos. It starts with Agamemnon, the king of Argos, away at the Trojan War. The city is eagerly awaiting the news of their king’s welfare and the outcome of the war. Watchmen are posted in the city, watching for the beacon that would report the