Peripheral Vision

In Aeschylus’s Oresteia, the Chorus of Agamemnon and Cassandra share several common traits. The chorus, a large group made up of miscellaneous elders, would, as individuals, all function as secondary characters. Cumulatively these individuals create one main character that offers supplementary information and commentary to the normal dialogue of Agamemnon. Cassandra, too, plays a secondary role making her entrance towards the end of the play, crying her last prophecy, and finally meeting her end by Clytemnestra according to it. Additionally, Cassandra provides the audience with extra information that could not be obtained from the common dialogue. These entities function differently to expand the audience’s overall peripheral vision of the play. Cassandra and the chorus oppose each other in time reference, in acceptance of their individual fates, and in dialogical content. Together, these oppositions give the audience a brilliant panoramic portrayal of the play.

The logical progression of thoughts in both the strophes of the chorus and the prophetic song of Cassandra oppose each other and tease the audience with dramatic irony, serving to illuminate the helplessness of mortals and emphasize their dependence and subjection to...

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