CR 100bw: Tragedy and Citizenship
Professor Julia Reinhard Lupton
Tuesday and Thursday, 11:00-12:20
Humanities Hall 142
AGAMEMNON: Epic Violence, Tragic Violence, and the Birth of Democracy
LIBATION RUNS THROUGH IT: Ritual and Violence in the Oresteia
JRL Teaching Tool / pdf file
SPECIAL TEACHING PAGE
MEET THE FURIES
SPECIAL TEACHING PAGE
JUSTICE IN THE ORESTEIA
NoteBoard Assignment #2
You are an attorney in early Athens. Write a speech in favor of either acquiting or condemning Orestes. Base your arguments on those made in the play. 100-200 words. Proofread carefully. Be prepared to share your speech in class.
Submit to the following noteboard:
PAPER #2: The Oresteia
Write a 3-5 page paper on ONE of the following topics:
1) Make an argument about the decisions made concerning traditional blood right and the rule of law at the end of the Oresteia. Are Athena's judgments "just"? If so, what are some the characteristics of justice revealed by the action of the trilogy? Is this the only model or definition of justice explored in the play? Your thesis should accomodate the ethical and dramatic attractiveness (and limitations) of both the Furies and Apollo as well as Athena. In your analysis, you may want to focus on a particular dilemma, scene, dramatic technique (such as the Chorus), or image pattern (such as dogs and snakes, libation and sacrifice, sex wars, etc. ). Although your essay will focus on the third play of the trilogy, Eumenides, your essay should show familiarity with the trilogy as a whole.
REVIEW: JUSTICE IN THE ORESTEIA
2) Make an argument about the different faces or facets of the Furies in the Oresteia, especially the Eumenides. In arriving at your own thesis, you may want to consider the following questions: How are they represented in the play(s), and by whom? What are their powers, and how and why do these powers change? What is at stake for Apollo in defeating the Furies in court? What is at stake for Athena in reaching a resolution with the Furies? How do the Furies function as a Chorus? Consider here their relation to primitive music and ritual, but also to the modern life of the city and the cohort of ephebes. What would the ephebes be expected to learn about the nature of the justice through the act of joining a Chorus of Furies?
Review MEET THE FURIES.
3) Compare the "exodes" or final speeches of the three plays. Who delivers the exode in each case? With what final thoughts, dilemmas, and/or resolutions does each play conclude? What argument concerning the founding of democratic institutions, the rule of law, and/or the nature of judgment and justice is made in the course of these three exodes (and the plays that they conclude)? Keep in mind that the exode is usually delivered by the Chorus; this is true for only one of the two plays in the Oresteia. Why might this be?
REVIEW: PLAY DIAGRAMS by Professor Robin Mitchel-Boyak, Temple University
chart and worksheet for Agamemnon
chart and worksheet for Libation Bearers
chart and worksheet for Eumenides
4) Compare the function of the Chorus in each of the three plays. Who makes up the chorus in each play? What relation to music and ritual, to the Athenian audience, and to democratic institutions does each chorus represent? What might it have meant for members of the cohort of ephebes to have played these roles during the performance of the trilogy? You may want to choose one choral ode from each play, or one major scene of interchange between Chorus and actors (e.g. the confrontation between Aegisthus and the Chorus at the end of the Agamemnon, the kommos or ritual lament in Libation Bearers, and the negotiated settlement between Athena and Furies at end of the Eumenides).
REVIEW: Play charts linked above
Successful essays will:
have a title that expresses your particular thesis
have an introduction and conclusion with a complex yet clearly stated thesis
use textual evidence in every paragraph
quote with care and precision from the Oresteia
cite all passages using correct punctuation and grammatical integration
aspire to excellence in spelling and grammar
Please submit essays electronically through the EEE site.