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Piety and Censorship

            Philosophers often struggle to define justice – what it is, who controls it, and who suffers or benefits from it. Aeschylus presents controversy about defining justice between different gods in the Eumenides. He expresses this through the magical features of the ancient world and through a trial of conflicting interpretations of justice that results in the first signs of democracy. There is an immediate transition from the main ideas of this compared to that of Plato's Euthyphro. Euthyphro clearly demonstrates that there is no place for piety to have an influence in justice. He establishes the extent to which we are responsible for our own actions and how we should go about correcting a wrong. This idea is furthered in Plato's Republic when he offers an alternative item that will influence justice – censorship. This proves that human knowledge and wisdom can serve as justice without the direct intervention of the gods. Ultimately, piety and censorship are both very influential in defining justice. Aeschylus represents a world filled with magic and divinities, something far from today's reality, creating the argument that while both Aeschylus and Plato demonstrate reasonable interpretations of justice, justice as explored through censorship and lies is much more convincing and relevant than justice explored through piety and ancient tradition as seen in the Eumenides. .
             The Eumenides is the last part of a trilogy that composes The Oresteia. The series tells the story of a household filled with deception and murder and ends with the beginning form of democracy and human entitlement. The world depicted in the stories is a world of many magical features. Beginning with Tantalus, the ancient household of Atreus had been under a curse. Tantalus was jealous of the gods he would interact with because they were immortal and he was not. In order to seek retribution for this, Tantalus killed his son Pelops and cooked his body into a stew that he then served to the gods.

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