Argue in my lectures that the Oresteia is an origin myth that the Greeks had for recounting how the Furies – the spirit of vengeance that drives enmity – came to reside in the courts, how law became the venue for vengeance. A number of questions follow from this point of departure that we will pursue for the rest of the course: what changes need to be made to law to provide an alternative to blood feuds and enmity? What moral values or principles would provide an alternative to the spirit of enmity? The answer to these questions will push us to new problems and through centuries of struggle and thinking about law and morality. On page vii of the Oresteia you will find the translator’s brief summary of the plot. The questions will need one-paragraph answers each for the most part, but depending on what you decide to write you many need more than one paragraph. Altogether the answers should add up to something in the neighbourhood of 4-5 pages double spaced. Agamemnon 1. What sentiments (feelings and values) drove Agamemnon to seek revenge against Troy? What do the people of Argos think of him? See A:40-80, 105-159, 184-247, 355-435, 448-455, 799-829. 2. How does Clytemnestra describe her act of revenge and the sentiments (feelings and values) that motivated her? See A:1372-1447. 3. How does Aegisthus describe his act of revenge and the sentiments (feelings and values) that motivated him? What does his interaction with the chorus tell us about what his revenge involves? See A:1577-1611. The Libation Bearers 4. How does Orestes describe his act of revenge and the sentiments (feelings and values) that motivated him? See LB:18-19, 246-263, 382-383, 893-931,1021-1043 5. How do you interpret Electra’s role in the play? See LB:89-93, 119-151. Questions on Aeschylus II Aeschylus: Oresteia II The Furies(Eumenide) A = Agamemnon LB = The Libation Bearers F = The Furies 6. How are the “Furies” described in the play before the trial? What specific images are used, and what do these images imply about the nature of vengeance? 7. What is the relationship between Apollo and the Furies? How do they view each other? What is your analysis of their interaction given that the Furies are Apollo’s “oracle” (see F:269-305, when Orestes refers to them). 8. Summarize and evaluate the arguments and judgment at the trial of Orestes in Athens. 9. What happens to the Furies after the trial? How do you interpret Athena’s declaration that “no house will prosper without your help” (F:895)? Is there any evidence in the play to support the view that the nature of the Furies has changed?