The theme at Goat Rope these days has been Greek tragedy but you'll find links and comments about current events below. Today we start on the Oresteia by Aeschylus, one of the greatest dramatic works ever written. Its great theme is the human journey from violence and barbarism to democracy and the rule of law. Too bad the journey isn't over yet
According to Robert Fagles and W.B. Stanford,
Aeschylus was forty five in 480 B.C. when the Persians sacked Athens and destroyed the shrines of the gods on the Acropolis. Soon afterwards he fought in the forces which defeated the Persians at Salamis and Plataea, as he had fought in the Greek victory at Marathon ten years before. The Greeks in general, and the Athenians in particular, because they had played the major part in the triumph of Hellas, saw these victories as a triumph of right over might, courage over fear, freedom over servitude, moderation over arrogance.
In the optimistic climate that prevailed after that great victory, it was hoped that a new era of harmony, rationality, and justice would prevail. Aeschylus' trilogy about the violence-ridden family of Atreus developed these themes.
More to come.
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