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Imagery Of The Lion In Agamemnon

             In Aeschylus" Agamemnon, symbolism is prominent throughout the play, and it is used to represent the feelings of the characters. The Greeks concentrated heavily on symbolism in their everyday life. Worshippers of many gods, the Greeks obviously felt the need to allow one thing to represent another. Their gods were symbols of things on earth that they did not understand; using these gods enabled them to make sense of certain things and/or feelings. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Aeschylus, an obvious product of his idealistic time, would incorporate this belief of symbols into his writing. Agamemnon is overloaded with symbolism; on of the most prominent is the animal imagery. .
             Humans who cease to control themselves legitimately tend to be personified as animals. This statement is justly proven throughout Agamemnon through the use of several different animal symbolisms. One in particular is the lion. The lion can be seen as a powerful animal, as well as be noted for its slyness and deceitful tendencies. This "king of beasts" is known to be a bloodthirsty creature that is ruthless and threatening. Lions are also said to be protective, social beasts, and this seemingly contradictory trait is mirrored in some of the characters. In Agamemnon, Aeschylus makes known the similarities between many of the characters and this beast through their common lion-like qualities. In contrast to the play, another characteristic of the lion is that they will often abandon or leave their cubs to die of starvation for their own self-gain. This is ironic to the play because the character most referred to as a lion is Clytaemnestra, the mother. Her motivation for killing her husband is because he has sacrificed the daughter. This is one paradoxical trait that is not shared between Clytaemnestra and the lion. To the contrary, Agamemnon sacrificing his daughter is in concordance with the behavior of the lion.

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