Seeking Power In Agamemnon And Antigone

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Pages: 7

Greek Tragedy:
Seeking Individual Justice, Glory, and Power

In Agamemnon and Antigone, Aeschylus and Sophocles, the renowned Greek tragedians, depict the human vulnerability to love, pride, and power. Under unusual circumstances, they examine the basic human characterizations and its moral compass. In these plays, tragedies occur. As a result, innocents may suffer, but only during such critical times the authenticity of the human morality can be truly tested. Aeschylus and Sophocles prove that in tragedies, human morality can be simply lost and its ethical opposites are likely to evolve and intertwine into one—the right might mean wrong, good could be bad; and justice sometimes means injustice. However, it is the human choice
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Aegisthus, for instance, seeks justice by revenging his two brothers—whom Agamemnon’s father boiled and served as a dish to Aegisthus’ father—from Agamemnon. To Aegisthus, revenging his family cannot be achieved unless Agamemnon is killed. However, there is another motif to him, which is seeking power. Although he is in a forbidden relationship with Clytemnestra, their love lacks sincerity—at least on Aegisthus’ part. He needs Clytemnestra to assassinate Agamemnon and to pave the road for him to the palace. As the chorus leader points out, Aegisthus lets Clytemnestra do the “dirty work” while he was hiding because he is a “coward,” which means that without Clytemnestra, Aegisthus would remain exiled and his revenge couldn’t be achieved (1987-1998). Although he gains some sympathy when he describes what Agamemnon’s father did to his family, he immediately loses it—the sympathy—when he threats the chorus. In addition, he was in exile and without Clytemnestra, he would remain far from home. Thus, his relationship with Clytemnestra is a perfect opportunity to revenge his family, returns home, and to rule the city. On the other hand, Clytemnestra needs him because she can’t rule by herself. Thus, she needs someone, who is as weak as Aegisthus, to rule the city from behind. She needs a new husband with a royal background to replace the old one: