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The expression for 'accuracy', etetumos, is a form of the word which gives us our term 'etymology' and implies a precise fixing through exactly the sort of original naming process implied in this passage. The importance of the right name is not merely one of social categorization; through the accuracy of 'using his tongue to the mark' an insight into the future is gained.


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The name gives access to 'foreknowledge of what must happen'. Predication is also prediction 24 On the protocols of using a woman's name, see Schaps On naming, adultery, and society in general, see Tanner The connection between the name and Helen's life turns out, however, to be a verbal play, a triple pun which I have attempted to capture in my adaptation of Lattimore's translation by the expressions 'hell for ships, hell for men, hell for cities'.

A closer translation of the Greek is 'shipdestroyer, man-destroyer, city-destroyer. Helen's name contains an indication of the destruction she will cause.

Fate, Family, and Oedipus Rex: Crash Course Literature 202

The shifting word play of a pun has significance. The meaning of the name is realized too late, however, to give the control that an earlier understanding may have provided. Helen's story indicates what's in a name. This passage is a good example of the search for control over events through the control of language. The accurate understanding and use of a name gives an understanding of what must happen. Here the origin, the etymon, of the name provides a model of comprehension as the chorus attempt to explain the Trojan war.

This ode will conclude with stanzas explaining the generation of sin and transgression through the imagery of childbirth and descent - another explanatory origin. These metaphors look forward to the outcome of the trial, which will also depend on relationships of origins and descent, that is, on what is the essential relation of Orestes to his two parents. It is evident in these different but connected searches for an explanation through an origin how closely intertwined in the texture of the play are the thematic concerns of language-control, control over the passage of events, and the sexual discourse which dominates so much of the action.

The sense of control offered by etymology and the right name is returned to at several important points in the narrative of the Oresteia. After Orestes has led his mother into the palace to kill her, an act depicted both as a god-ordered act of Justice and the most awful transgression of the dictates of Right, the chorus sing an ode attempting to explain the pattern of events leading to this paradoxical act.

As they turn to the matricide, they offer an explanatory etymology of the word for Justice, or Right, as Lattimore translates : but in thefightinghis hand was steered by the very daughter of Zeus : Right we call her, mortals who speak of her and name her well.

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That is the correct naming, the correct way to speak. The chorus attempt to control the narrative through the understanding of the word, and attempt to control the word by the explanatory origin of etymology. The sense of control sought for in etymology and correct naming is in reaction to the dangers of misusing and misunderstanding words. This danger of the miscomprehension or mishandling of language is seen most clearly in the language of prayer and the related notion of cledonomancy. Cledonomancy is a way of telling the future by turning a speaker's words against the user.

Here is an example : Aegisthus: I too am sword-handed against you.

Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides

I am not afraid of death. Chorus: Death you said and we accept the omen - we take up the word of fate. Aegisthus' bravado is turned to an unintended prophecy of his own death by the chorus' acceptance of his words as an omen. Words can determine as well as predict. Cledonomancy indicates the dangers of an inability to control language, which in eluding the speaker can lead him to an unwished end. The reduction of the aggressive role of Aegisthus in Aeschylus' version of this story is seen in his and Clytemnestra's respective powers of language, as well as his absence from the performance of the regicide.

These dangers in the use of language are nowhere more evident than in the religious circumstances of making a prayer. Greek religious ceremonies normally begin with an exhortation to beware an improper use of language; and, as with many religious cult attitudes, a rigour towards the suitable performance of prayers is demanded.

In the Oresteia, where there are numerous prayers to the gods as expressions of desire for control over events, numerous invocations for assistance towards particular ends, the correct language of prayer is constantly under question. Sometimes, it is as direct a request as the chorus' short prayer as Aegisthus enters the palace to the waiting Orestes : Zeus, Zeus, what shall I say, where make a beginning of prayer for the god's aid? My will is good but how shall I speak to match my need? Peradotto for this theme in the Oresteia. Especially when addressing a god, the power and risks of language require care.

Often, however, through more extended questioning of the language of prayer there develops a complex enquiry into the sense of important terms of the trilogy's discourse. When Electra is about to make offerings at Agamemnon's tomb, she carefully catechizes the chorus as to the correct vocabulary for such a dubious religious occasion. I quote here some lines from the end of their discussion : Chorus: Remember, too, those responsible for the murder. Electra: What shall I say? Guide and instruct my ignorance.

EL: Are you saying someone to judge or someone to punish? EL: I can ask this and not be wrong in the god's eyes? This is an important piece of dialogue with many strands. I wish to concentrate here mainly on Electra's penultimate question, where she introduces a distinction between 'someone to judge', and 'someone to punish'. The processes of revenge, punishment, and the lawcourt, however, as well as more abstract notions of Justice, are expressed through this complex term.

Through two words formed from this stem, Electra is introducing a distinction between two sorts of reaction to the problem of transgression. Through the first term, dikastes, 'someone who will judge', 'juror' she implies the process of legality, judgement of cases, but through the second term, dikephoros, 'one who brings justice', 'punisher', 'revenge-bringer' she implies a reciprocal act of punishment, retribution - as the chorus go on to demand 'someone who will kill in return'.

As Kitto has argued forcibly and as we will discuss in the next chapter this distinction has been regarded as essential to the trilogy as it moves from the destructive punishment of revenge to the institution of the lawcourt. Electra's question, then, about what the chorus means, is a subtle and important contribution to our understanding of the notions of sin, transgression and punishment. But the chorus ride roughshod over any possible distinction. Electra, however, questions this answer too: 26 These lines are discussed further in Chapter 2.

The chorus' simple desire for revenge is for Electra a more complex issue. This hesitation is important as Electra actually offers her prayer. Rather than praying 'simply' for someone to 'kill in return', her request is couched in the passive, that the murderess 'should die', and she qualifies this slightly less direct stance with the added adverbial expression 'with dike': this may indeed be translated as Lattimore does, that they should die 'as they deserve', but the word can also imply 'in a just way', or 'by revenge', or 'as punishment'.

Rather than 'simply saying' what the chorus advised, Electra prays that her mother's death should come about under the aegis of dike- a qualification which recalls precisely the ambiguous nature of the matricide as an act of Justice. Despite the lengthy passage of questioning to find the right words of prayer, Electra's address restresses her uncertainty and the uncertainty of her language.

Electra's prayer reflects well the need for obsessive care in religious invocation and also the developing discourse of transgression and punishment in the trilogy. The language of prayer, then, which runs through the Oresteia from the opening invocation of the watchman in the Agamemnon to the final extended prayers of the departing procession in the Eumenides, reflects the belief in the efficacy of words over events and people, and also the power of words to go beyond and elude their users.

Care, fear, piety 'fence' the use of language. It is against this background, too, that the brazen deceits and manipulations of Clytemnestra and her son must be viewed. One of the specific difficulties of any discussion of the themes of language in the Oresteia is the complex set of interrelations between the role of language and the discourse of sexuality which so dominates the text of the trilogy and which has been the focus of much modern criticism.

We have also seen how the narrative progresses through a series of scenes in which members of one sex use language to assert dominance over a member of the opposite sex, and how those exchanges are seen in terms of a sexual conflict. As Cassandra expresses the narrative in her true predictions: When falls for me, a woman slain, another woman and when a man dies for this wickedly mated man. Cassandra schematizes the passage of events in terms of sexual difference.

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Indeed, the difficulties of communication that I have been tracing seem often 27 See especially Zeitlin ; Winnington-Ingram ; Goldhill a. When Orestes approaches the palace for the first time, he requests that someone in authority should come out : the lady of the house or more appropriately its lord; for then no delicacy in speaking blurs the spoken word. A man takes courage and speaks out to another man, and makes clear everything he means. It is, of course, Clytemnestra who comes out to greet the stranger28 and, as we have already seen, the ironies and deceptions of the dialogue between mother and son seem to fulfil Orestes' expectations of a lack of clarity in communication between members of the opposite sex.

There are many further connections between the discourse of sexuality and the role of communication. In particular, it is possible to read a specific interrelation between Clytemnestra's sexual and verbal transgressions. Her adultery, like her sister Helen's, is a corruption of the bonds of marriage, and as Tanner has argued so convincingly, it is a corruption which threatens the whole of society.

As she distorts the exchange of words in her deceptive communication, in choosing her own sexual partner apart from the ties of matrimony Clytemnestra corrupts her position in the system of exchange through which marriage and society are constituted. The queen transgresses the boundaries of definition and social categorizations sexually and linguistically. Clytemnestra's sexual and verbal transgressions are linked in their parallel corruptions of the essential basis of society, the relations of exchange. Many of the ideas of the preceding paragraphs come together in the Cassandra scene of the Agamemnon, the longest scene of the play and one of corresponding importance.

After Clytemnestra has led Agamemnon into the palace, the chorus sing of their fear, and turn to pray against their uncertain foreboding. But Clytemnestra returns to invite Cassandra to join the sacrifice 28 29 30 On women coming out, see Foley a, which is discussed below in Chapter 4. On these lines, see Goldhill b. See the seminal work of L6vi-Strauss , discussed in Tanner , 79ff. But Cassandra persistently refuses to answer or even acknowledge Clytemnestra's questions, and as so often in verbal exchanges in this trilogy the exchange turns to consider the process of communication itself : Chorus: She's stopped speaking to you a clear expression.

Fenced in these fatal nets wherein you find yourself, you should be persuaded, if you can be persuaded; perhaps you cannot be persuaded. Clytemnestra: Unless she uses speech incomprehensible, barbarian, wild as the swallow's song, within her understanding I am speaking and I am persuading her with my speech But if in ignorance you do not receive my speech then make a sign, not by voice, but by foreign hand.

The silence of Cassandra forces explicit recognition of the process of the exchange of words signs that makes up communication. The chorus' triple repetition of the word for 'persuasion' in their third line - more clumsy in my English translation than in the Greek - places a strong stress on the force of Clytemnestra's language that the carpet scene has just demonstrated. Here the strength of persuasive rhetoric to dominate the listener appears to have no effect on the foreign girl. The remarks of Clytemnestra herself also emphasize the process of language exchange in the almost tautologous 'I am speaking and persuading her with my speech', as does the suggestion that Cassandra's language may not be Greek.

When the queen still receives no reply, she resorts to a signal without a voice: 'make with your barbarian hand some sign', as Lattimore translates. We have already seen in the beacon-speeches scene, and in the lines announcing the herald's arrival, how the opposition of a sign in language and a sign without language has been important to the understanding of the discourse of communication and interpretation in this trilogy.

The queen's expression 'if you do not receive my speech' points exactly to the model of language exchange I have been considering. The queen sends her utterance, her verbal message, but it is not received. There is a breakdown in communication, which emphasizes the gap between addressor and addressee. Clytemnestra's persuasion fails here to bridge the gap between speaker and listener. The interpreter is a figure who stands between addressor and addressee to facilitate communication.

This strong emphasis on the process of communication and language as a prelude to Cassandra's prophecies is particularly important. After the scenes dominated by Clytemnestra, in which we have considered the queen's manipulation of speech, where language was both the means and the matter of transgression, after the chorus' and others' repeatedly expressed hopes for a true and accurate language, now the stage will be dominated by Cassandra, the inspired princess, possessed of complete insight, an absolutely true and certain language.

But ironically enough, this is language which is incapable of being understood, incapable of being received. The speaker's utterance is true and accurate and predictive but cannot be received by the listener. As often as she tells the chorus of the plot in the palace, they maintain their incomprehension: 'I can make nothing of these prophecies. After the darkness of her speech I go bewildered in a mist of prophecies. Rather, it is a heightened, metaphoric language of man tic insight : Cassandra: What house is this?

Chorus: The house of the Atreidae. If you are not aware of this I tell you; and this you will not say is false. Cassandra's simple question as to where she is being led, receives the simple answer: 'the house of the Atreidae'; and the chorus go on to emphasize the process of exchange of language in their strangely periphrastic continuation. Their information is offered to the prophetess if she does not know - as we will see the status of Cassandra's knowledge is of importance to the whole scene and, they continue with an odd double negative, Cassandra will not say that this information is false.

This answer is, however, insufficient for the prophetess. She accepts but respecifies the answer as the Greek syntax makes clear31 ; it is not quite right to call it simply the house of the Atreidae; it is a god-hated, self-consuming butcher house. Cassandra's answer shows the significance of the chorus' previous remark: for she precisely does not accept their description as truth, even if it is not enough simply to call it false.

The chorus' remark can only partly be accepted. Goldhill b. Even when she announces that her prophecies will now be clear, the word for 'clear' is embedded in a complex structure of four similes for each of which it has a different connotation Lattimore translates it as 'bright and strong' in an attempt to capture this multivalency : No longer shall my prophecies like some young girl, new-married, glance from under veils but bright and strong as winds blow into morning and the sun's uprise shall wax along the swell like some great wave to burst at last upon the shining of this agony.

Lampros, the word translated 'bright and strong' applies to each of the phrases surrounding it: it applies to the girl's face shining from under the veil; it applies to the keenness of the blowing; it is used for the brightness of the sun; the strength of the wave; and finally it looks forward to the 'shining of this agony'. As Silk comments, 'this intense concentration seems not merely apt for a prophetess versed in oracular equivocations, but somehow suggestive of her unique access to the complexities of events'. It is, therefore, especially ironic that Cassandra's predictions merely lead her knowingly to her own murder.

As she affirms : Friends, there is no escape; not for any more time. Indeed, she throws down her prophetess's wreaths and staff in her anger at her approaching doom. For the chorus, the elusive power of language, their elusive uncertainty about the future, made them believe that control of language, control of prediction, might offer control and mastery over events; certainly their present incapacity to understand or order the world of words sufficiently and their uncertainty about what is happening and what will happen lead to their incapacity for action that is so forcefully dramatized in their ineffective measures in reaction to the death cry of Agamemnon : Yes, we should know what is true before we break our rage.

Here is sheer guessing - far different from sure knowledge. But for Cassandra her perfect knowledge of the future, her power to express it in language, merely lead to the inescapability of her fate. An absolute knowledge of the future means an absolutely determined world. Cassandra's 32 , As I have already mentioned, many of Cassandra's prophecies withhold the names of the characters that her narratives describe, but use rather a sexual determination - the male, the female, the man, the woman.

Even this sexually charged narrative escapes the chorus. Towards the end of the scene they can still ask : What man is it who brings about this woeful thing? Cassandra's reply can only recognize their incomprehension of her language and its sexual narrative : For certain, you have greatly mistaken my prophecies. The perfect language of Cassandra with its complex metaphoric truths and the extreme misunderstandings of the chorus dramatize in the starkest form the disjunctions and distortions of the exchange of language that constitute the view of communication in this trilogy.

The narrative of the Oresteia, with its prayers, projections, deceits and miscomprehensions, leads towards the trial of Orestes in the Areopagus. Before a jury of the elders of Athens, the justice of Orestes' action will be debated and determined in the newly constituted institution of justice, the lawcourt. The defence speaker will be Apollo; the prosecution, the Erinyes.

The grand scale of the work, performed before the whole city, continues. The oppositions of the trial have been discussed by many, and we will discuss them further in the next chapter. With Apollo are lined Orestes, Zeus, the claims of paternity, male control of the house with all that implies, and ultimately the goddess of Athens itself, Athene, the institutor of the trial. With the Erinyes are drawn up the claims of the mother, the devaluing of the ties of civic authority in favour of the ties of blood-kinship. This is their hymn to 'show forth the power and terror of our music' It is a spell to bind Orestes by the power of words, the incantation of song, to the altar at which he has taken refuge.

It is a song whose very constitution attests to the performative power of language, the religious force of words - which lies at the basis of curses, oaths, imprecations as well as prayers and blessing. With the powerful sense of composed structure we have already seen in the Oresteia's narrative, before the new institution of legal definition, before the new civic power of speech to designate formally, the chorus sing a lengthy poem about their ancient powers of revenge, a spell which asserts the religious power of language.

Athene: You wish to be called righteous rather than act right? Teach us. You are not poor of wit. Decide the case in a straight manner. The normal procedure of oath-giving is for the swearer to claim under oath that an action was or was not committed. Here the admission of matricide is freely given and the criterion of judgement that is being claimed is of a different order: the case will be conducted in terms of motivation and clashing claims of authority, not in terms of committing a particular deed.

Athene claims that the Erinyes wish merely to be called righteous, rather than to do right.

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She introduces a distinction between action and description which once again emphasizes the essential role of language in the debate and its work of definition. Indeed in this clash of authority and reasonings, the trial is to proceed to right action through the saying of what isright. The determination of Justice is an act of a legal discourse's definition. The trial constitutes a determination in language. That is the newly instituted legal power of language. The means of the goddess's persuasion of the Erinyes here to accept the institution of the lawcourt is, interestingly, based on a shift of words, a sort of inherent pun or verbal play, that is hard to capture in translation.

For the Erinyes in seeking Orestes' punishment dike - by which they mean the reciprocal revenge of his immediate death - cannot but concede to Athene's offer of dike a trial , which is also her acceptance of their willingness to see her decide the case dike or allot punishment dike rightly. And the goddess appoints in full solemnity people who will judge dikastai, the same term Electra had earlier used, the normal Greek for 'jurors' , citizens of Athens to perform the duties of the new institution.

Thus constituted, the lawcourt proceeds towards its definition of the justice dike of the case through the rhetorical opposition of the god of truth and the goddesses of punishment. It is notable that the decision which is reached is far from the end of the conflicts of the play.

The Erinyes turn in violent anger now to threaten Athens, the elders of which city have delivered the decision.

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The city before which the Oresteia wasfirstacted is thefinalstake in the conflicts of the drama. But it is the goddess of Athens, Athene, who persuades the Erinyes to cease from their wrath and take a part in the institution of the city. With a mixture of threats, blandishments and promises, the goddess of wisdom wins them over. Athene makes it clear what is the agency of reconciliation in this exchange :.

I admire the eyes of Persuasion, who guided the speech of my mouth towards these, when they were reluctant and wild. Zeus, who guides men's speech in councils was too strong for them; and my ambition for good wins out in the whole issue. The victory for good has come through the performative power of persuasive language and the force of Zeus as witnessed in the verbal exchanges of councils, linked to the aim of a good end.

The triumph of the city's vindication, the triumph of the institutions of Justice and the rehabilitation of the Erinyes, is the triumph of the power of language. The final scenes of the trilogy are once more demonstrative of the active force of language. After the chorus' binding-song and curses, now the scene shifts to their power of blessing. The Erinyes offer a series of glorious prayers and predictions for the future welfare of their adopted city, for the wealth of crops, children, livestock, soil.

These blessings bring the successes they promote : Athene: It is my glory to hear how their generosities are fulfilled for my land No sooner said, than fulfilled. In a trilogy which has turned so much on the fear and uncertainty, the dangers and misunderstandings, the aggression and powers of language, the final scenes turn to the restorative strength of the well-uttered, controlled prayer for goodness in the city. For all that the Oresteia seems to end in the triumph of the established civic discourse, it is also the case that the play performed before the city it lauds has depicted with immense force the internal tensions and difficulties of that discourse, not only in the clash of sexual and social interests but also in its challenge to the very security of the formulation of civic language.

The ability of humans to specify in language, to control the power of speech, to rely on the categorizations that form society's order, have been radically challenged in the view of communication put forward in this trilogy. The misunderstandings and deceits, manipulations and transgressions in and of language, that have made up the verbal exchanges of this play, challenge society's basis in the ordered exchange and agreed value in communication. Moreover, this undermining cannot be finally resolved by the legal institutions of the city: in fact, the human jurors in the trial cannot specify a decision to determine the justice of the case before them, but rather it is the divine casting vote of Athene which achieves Orestes' acquittal.

For Athene is an interesting figure in terms of the categorizations of social order in Athenian civic discourse. She is a female divinity, but as she says in her famous speech of support for Orestes, she is for the male with all her heart : There is no mother anywhere who gave me birth and but for marriage I am always for the male with all my heart, and strongly on my father's side.

Athene is a female who is a warrior; she rejects the female role in patriarchal society which is to be given and taken in marriage. She is a virgin. She has no mother. Unlike the rigid sexual difference in which the trilogy's confrontations have been constructed, she is a female who is descended solely from the male, who supports the male, who acts like a male. Athene transgresses the boundaries of sexual definition. Like Clytemnestra in her usurpation of power, Athene cannot be fitted into the norms of social definition of gender.

What is more, like Clytemnestra, Athene achieves her aim by the manipulation of language, by her persuasive rhetoric. In other words, the final reconciliation of divine and human forces in the city is achieved by a figure who transgresses the boundaries of definition and the definition of boundaries that make up the social order which the reconciliation is intended to achieve.

Paradoxically enough, the realignment of norms of sexual relations in the city is achieved through afigurewho breaks across those norms. The reassertion of the control and order of civic discourse is made by afigurewho demonstrates the uncertain power of persuasive rhetoric. As Winnington-Ingram writes of Athene's decisive role 'we may fall into error if we attempt to answer this question without reference to Clytemnestra'.

The final reconciled triumph of civic language develops also a powerful sense of its transgressions. The Oresteia's radical uncertainty with regard to the processes of communication, naming, categorization - the verbal basis of social order continue through the movement from conflict to reconciliation.

The Oresteia dramatizes a concern with the processes of communication and exchange, with language and its social role. It depicts the possibilities of violence and transgression in the language which strives to order the world. It asserts the dangers and risks in the necessary human exchanges of language and sexual relations.

As such, this trilogy offers a challenge not only to man's 33 , As literary critics, we too are involved in the enterprise of ordering through language, interpretation, categorization; we too search for clarity and accuracy in the vocabulary of vision and control; we too are involved in the institutionalized determination of meaning. We too are forced to face the critique of this work. The Oresteia provides an important opening study for this book not only because its concerns with language, sexuality and the city will return again and again in the tragedies I shall discuss in the following chapters, but also because it is a work which demands that a reader question and requestion his or her role in the processes of communication, interpretation, meaning that are involved in reading.

The Oresteia does not merely reflect these critical concerns but questions such attitudes to language. It is to this self-aware, self-questioning recognition of the active involvement of the reader in the processes of reading that I shall have cause to return also. For one of the major aims of this book is to reconsider tragedy's continuing ability to question man's place in language.

The questioning instigated in and by the text of the Oresteia will resurface throughout this book's consideration of the tragedies of ancient Athens. But 'fairness', 'equal rights' - men know them n o t. In this chapter, I intend to consider in more depth the notions surrounding this word and its cognates in the trilogy. This discussion is important for several reasons. First, after my investigation of the exchange of language with its focus on the process of interpretation and understanding, it is interesting to attempt to follow through the shifts and plays of meaning through which a word passes in the clashes of persuasive rhetoric and deceitful manipulation.

I discussed language's role in the ordering of social relations and language as the means and matter of social transgression. How does a prime term of social order, dike, relate to this discussion? Secondly, the concept of dike, few would disagree, is a major concern in the Oresteia. This concern has formed the basis for many literary critics' readings of the trilogy. As well as investigating the various influential views put forward on this topic, it is important to see in what ways the focus on language changes our appreciation of this debate.

This leads to my third reason: the different critics' attempts at interpreting the Oresteia in the light of this set of terms will offer an important insight into a major problem of reading Greek tragedy. First, I want briefly to develop some of the connotations of the term dike in a wider context, and explain why I call it a 'prime term of social order'. For dike is one of the dominant terms in the public discourse of fifth-century Athens.

The role of the lawcourts and the law nomos is regarded by the ancient writers as well as modern historians as essential to the development of the political system of democracy. Dike is used for the institution of the lawcourt itself which is so important to the civic life of Athens, and it forms the connection between that institution and the widest sense of a world-picture, the 'natural justice' to use our eighteenth-century term from which man's legality draws its descent and authorization.

The technical terms for prosecution, punishment and the procedures of court depend also on dike and its cognates. Moreover, as one might expect, the rhetoric of the lawcourt relies heavily on general appeals to what is dike, 'right', 'proper', 'legal', 'fair', and on the charged opposition of dike to hubris which means both 'excess', 'transgression', 'insolence', and also, in legal terminology, 'assault'. In the sphere of religion, too, the language of dike remains important not only as an expression of the ordered universe with the essential place of the divine in that order, but also as a moral criterion.

And it is particularly evident in the specific role of the gods as the preservers and implemented of dike in its sense of punishment and of justice. Indeed, the overlap and interrelations between religious, political, and legal aspects of public life that distinguish fifth-century Athenian citizens' involvement in their city's affairs are marked in the shared vocabulary and rhetoric of dike and its cognates, which constitute an essential dynamic of Athenian discourse.

The English word 'right' and its cognates 'to be right, righteous, 1 2 3 Cf. Ostwald ; or Ehrenberg i, , , Finley , I34 4 See e. MacDowell For one view of this material, see Lloyd-Jones It is a term regularly used in a similar range of legal, political and social issues. Human rights, the rights of man, the right to life, the right to work etc. It is used in more delimited legal language - 'rightful owner', 'right of way' etc. It is used in moral discussion from the conversational to the philosophical, and in religious language 'righteous' etc.

It is a general term of moral approbation as well as marking correctness with regard to a specific question's answer. In politics, 'right' as opposed to 'left' is used to designate a wide range of principles, beliefs and policies.


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It is this sort of complex interconnection of different areas of social relations, different connotations and attitudes, expressed through a shared vocabulary, that makes translation of a term like dike or 'right' so difficult. In the Oresteia, where legal, political, religious and moral discourses form a so closely intertwined network, the shared evaluative and normative vocabulary constitutes an essential articulation of the text. The roots of this fifth- and fourth-century emphasis on dike as a term essential to the definition and workings of social and moral order have been much discussed.

The Works and Days in particular is dominated by the rhetorical opposition of dike and hubris, an emphasis quite different from the Homeric texts. John Sallis - - University of Chicago Press. Staging Greek Tragedy S. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, ISBN Douglas Burnham - - Continuum. Robert S. Gall - - Continental Philosophy Review 36 2 The Birth of Tragedy; or, Hellenism and Pessimism. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche - - Gordon Press. Martin Thibodeau - - Philosophy and Theology 24 2 Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche - - Penguin Books. Greek Tragedy Greek Tragedy.

By Gilbert Norwood, M. Methuen and Co. Rose - - The Classical Review 35 Austin: University of Texas Press, Baldry - - The Classical Review 25 02 Tragedy and the Tragic below — Hall, E. Myth and Tragedy in Ancient Greece , trans. Lloyd New York Vickers, B. Shame and Necessity California Wilson, P. Nothing to Do with Dionysus? Princeton Zeitlin, F. Zimmermann, B. Greek Tragedy: an Introduction Baltimore Calame, C. Osborne eds. Easterling ed. Tragedy and the Tragic Gould, J. Tragedy and the Tragic Oxford Murnaghan, S.

Carter ed. Why Athens? Dithyramb, Tragedy, and Comedy , 2nd ed. Webster Oxford Conacher, D. Greek Tragedy Oxford Griffith, M. Lloyd ed. Aeschylus Yale Lesky, A. Aeschylus : a collection of critical essays Prentice Hall Meier, C. Studies in Aeschylus Cambridge