Electra and Traditional Greek Beliefs in The Libation Bearers
The Iliad and The Odyssey portray a hierarchical, stringently ordered society, ruled by powerful kings, followed by the masses and sanctioned by the gods. At the murder of Agamemnon, a complete breakdown of the Greek social, governmental, and religious systems occurs, throwing Greek civilization into a state of uncertainty. The populace begins to question the stability of basic foundations such as family, justice, and religion. Only Agamemnon’s faithful daughter, Electra, continues to carry the torch of the old ways of Greek culture, unfaltering in her beliefs. In Aeschylus’ The Libation Bearers, Electra embodies the previous Greek beliefs on justice, family, and religion, creating a link to the ordered society that existed before the treacherous murder of her father.
In The Libation Bearers, Electra signifies the traditional Greek beliefs of justice. When Aegisthus calls himself “the weaver of justice” (1635) in Agamemnon, the idea of justice changes completely with the chorus often questioning whether Agamemnon’s death was an act of justice or simply revenge for Iphigenia’s sacrifice. In the beginning of The Libation Bearers, Electra mirrors the social confusion, by asking, “Judge or avenger, which?” (122). Although this...
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