Thursday, May 14, 2020

The Oresteia by Aeschylus. COVID-19 Recreational Reading

The Oresteia by Aeschylus

I just finished up “The Oresteia” by Aeschylus (translated by Peter Burian and Alan Shapiro in the Oxford UP new translation series). I'd first read Greek Tragedies in the famed Richmond Lattimore/David Grene edited U of Chicago series and thought it would be good to try a new (more contemporary) translation. “The Oresteia” brings the multi-generational tragedy of the House of Atreus to a cathartic end (and, as is often the case, a commentary on contemporary Athenian politics) and provides interesting insights into the 5th C. BCE Hellenic concept of dikê ("justice"). The multiple meanings of "justice", explorations of how "justice" is often situational, and whether "justice" is derived by humans or externally manifested.

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