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The Oresteia

             In the trilogy Oresteia, the issues concerned are the transformation from vengeance to law, from chaos to peace, from dependence to independence, and from old to new. These four significant changes all take place throughout the play and are somewhat parallel to the transformations that were going on in Ancient Greece. In Aeschylus" trilogy, the Greeks" justice system went through a transformation from old to new ways. In the beginning of the trilogy, the characters settle their matters, both personal and professional, with vengeance. Vengeance is when someone is harmed or killed, and either the victim, or someone close to them takes revenge on the criminal. This matter is proven in the trilogy numerous times. For example, Clytemnestra murders Agamemnon as revenge for his sacrifice of their daughter Iphigeneia. Along those same lines, in the second part of the trilogy, Choephoroe, Orestes, who is Agamemnon son, murders Clytemnestra and Aegisthus. He does this in order to gain revenge on them for killing his father. It was by this way that people would deal with conflict, and it was thought to be not only a justice system, but also a honorable and fair. In fact, one of the principal purposes of the first play of the trilogy is to force us to recognize that justice based on revenge creates special difficulties, which in turn cannot be solved. It does not solve the problems that it is meant to, but only causes more problems that are even larger. As the third and last part of the trilogy begins, the system begins to evolve and change from vengeance to genuine justice. Instead of getting revenge on Orestes and killing him, they decide to put him on trial and have a jury decide whether or not he should be put to death. Although the jury ends up in a tie, and Athena has the final say in the matter, it still shows that the justice system has evolved and transformed as the book moves along. Another way that transformation is shown in the trilogy is the way that it goes from chaos to harmony.

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