The People vs. Orestes

The People vs. Orestes

Length: 730 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

The People v. Orestes

In the last portion of 'The Orestia';, titled 'The Euminides';, Aeschlyus describes the trial of Orestes, who is brought in front of a jury on the charge of matricide. The jury hands in a tied verdict and the goddess Athena casts the deciding vote in favor of Orestes. This of course begs the question: Was Athena's decision fair? I believe that this decision was in the best interest of fairness because Orestes was motivated by Apollo, enraged by the murder of his father, and aggrieved by the vicious cycle of antisocial behavior that was running rampant in his family.

Often, jurists, counselors, judges, politicians, and citizens alike are called upon to distinguish the difference (and subsequently choose) between the interests of fairness and justice. While Athena's decision might not have carried out the value of justice, it upheld the advantages of reasonable fairness.

The supporting rationalization, I listed above might not have been taken into Athena's consideration of this matter; however, one must consider the practical application of the verdict. This application ceased the Taleonic nature that had befitted the House of Atrius. Although it is difficult to imagine that this action was in the interest of fairness, the applied perspective that the outcome was more important the means, supplied the burden of proof for this acquittal.

Many parallels between modern American juris prudence and that applied in Orestes case can be illustrated, with a primary focus on circumstances creating a reasonable doubt. To better understand this concept one should apply the conditions of this case in a modern setting. If Orestes were called forward, on the same charges under the jurisdiction of a United States court of law, would he have been acquitted? Furthermore, would similar circumstances be sufficient to create a reasonable doubt? By my estimation, I would suggest so.
It is easy to assume that democratic legal standards (standards of law favored by most citizens) are involved in a constant evolutionary process. Subsequently, one is lead to the interpretation that ancient cultures would most likely subscribe to hedonistic principles; however, examination of 'The Orestia'; proves otherwise. Just like the final decree of Athena, most modern juries would see Clytaemnestra as a catalyst for Orestes homicide. This illustrates that while specific legislations evolve to mirror social change, the foundational essence of democratic trial-law remains unmolested.
Orestes was by no means innocent of matricide.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The People vs. Orestes." 15 Aug 2018

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Orestes An Innocent Hero Essay

- Orestes: An Innocent Hero Throughout time there has been a universal question that does not yet yield a universal answer. All people have a different view on whether or not it is right to avenge the killing of another, through the death of the killers. In America during this day and age, it is the obligation of the court system to decide whether or not a murderer should be put to death. Most of the time, the criminal is sentenced to a prison term, but when a judge decides to issue the death penalty there is usually an uproar among the people....   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
1145 words (3.3 pages)

Essay about Vengeance and Dramatic Conflict in Electra and Orestes

- Introduction:- Since Sophocles and Euripides’s tragedies Electra and Orestes got so much success, name and received great critical acclaim they have been extensively approached and discussed in terms of characterization, themes, symbols, plot, incestuous love, demolition, betrayal and especially lamentation. For instance, Vengeance is the soul of the both plays and it is largely discussed as major themes of the play. But its connection with the tragedy of characters is far away better to be discussed....   [tags: Sophocles and Euripides Greek tragedies]

Research Papers
1837 words (5.2 pages)

Justice In Orestes Essay

- Justice in Orestes Aeschylus is primarily concerned with the nature of justice. In the trilogy The Oresteia, the Akhaians evolve from an older, more primitive autocratic form of justice, to a new concept of civil justice devised by Athena. He confronts the contrast between the old and new orders, the lives of the members of the House of Atreus, and the serious moral questions that Orestes' crime presents. The case against Orestes is strong. The son admits to striking down his mother, in violation of the sacred tenant of kinship....   [tags: The Oresteia Equality Justice Essays]

Free Essays
1445 words (4.1 pages)

Good and Evil in Good Country People Essay example

- Good and Evil in Good Country People      In "Good Country People" by Flannery O'Connor, the masked truth is reflected unequivocally through the reality in the story, its equal counterpart. For every good or evil thing, there is an antagonist or opposing force. Each character has a duplicate personality mirrored in someone else in the story. In the story, the names and personalities of the characters clash. The name is the mask covering the personality, which is representative of the reality aspect of each character....   [tags: people]

Research Papers
1331 words (3.8 pages)

Good and Evil in Good Country People Essay examples

- Good and Evil in Good Country People   In her short story, Good Country People, Flannery O’Connor employs all the elements of humor, irony and, paradox intermingled within the system of Christian belief in evil and redemption. This is no more evident than in the character of Joy, the daughter, who had lost a leg in a hunting accident at the age of 12 and who now has a wooden leg in his place. Throughout the story, it becomes increasingly clear that Joy’s physical affliction is closely paralleled by a spiritual one as well....   [tags: people]

Research Papers
1741 words (5 pages)

Essay on The Anti-Federalists’ Representation of People

- The Anti-Federalists had many views that were different than those of the Federalists. One the differences that seems to be important, is who they view as “The people”. The Anti-Federalists believed that common people should be able to be active participants of their government; this involvement includes having a say in the laws that are made and the protection of everyday working class people. This common man involvement is reinforced by the fact that the Anti-Federalists wanted to keep government more local, by having strong state governments....   [tags: federal farmer letter, the people]

Research Papers
1391 words (4 pages)

An Enemy of the People Essay

- The play An Enemy of the People focuses on the truth and how different characters reveal their feelings about it. Each character is motivated by different things so act in a certain way. Therefore they end up in conflicts due to their opposing views about the truth of the Baths. For example, the Mayor acts the way he does because he’s motivated by money. Doctor Stockmann tries to expose the truth because of his concern of the public’s health and because he believes he’s doing the right thing. Katherine supports Doctor Stockmann because she’s motivated by family and loyalty towards her husband....   [tags: Enemy of the People Essays]

Free Essays
721 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on The Ego and Despair in Ordinary People

- The Ego and Despair in Ordinary People Ordinary People by Judith Guest is the story of a dysfunctional family who relate to one another through a series of extensive defense mechanisms, i.e. an unconscious process whereby reality is distorted to reduce or prevent anxiety. The book opens with seventeen year old Conrad, son of upper middle-class Beth and Calvin Jarrett, home after eight months in a psychiatric hospital, there because he had attempted suicide by slashing his wrists. His mother is a meticulously orderly person who, Jared, through projection, feels despises him....   [tags: Ordinary People]

Research Papers
1497 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on Striving for Emotional Perfection in Ordinary People

- Striving for Emotional Perfection in Ordinary People Throughout the life cycle, a person undergoes many changes.  One matures both physically and emotionally as time passes.  Emotional growth is quite often more difficult than physical growth.  A person must realize his faults and admit to them before he can develop emotionally, while one does not need any self-analyzation to develop physically.  In her book Ordinary People, Judith Guest depicts the struggles man must experience in order to reach his ideal emotional perfection.  Conrad, the book's protagonist, and his father Calvin, were both searching for higher levels of emotional health....   [tags: Ordinary People]

Research Papers
1856 words (5.3 pages)

Disposable People: Modern Day Slavery Essay

- I was in complete and utter shock when I began to read Disposable People. The heart-wrenching tale of Seba, a newly freed slave, shook my understanding of people in today’s society, as well as their interactions between each other. I sat in silence as I read Seba’s story. “There they [Seba’s French mistress and husband] stripped me naked, tied my hands behind my back, and began to whip me with a wire attached to a broomstick (Bales 2).” I tried to grasp the magnitude of the situation. I tried unsuccessfully to tell myself that this couldn’t happen in modern times, especially in a city such as Paris....   [tags: Disposable People]

Research Papers
1247 words (3.6 pages)

Related Searches

No person of reason would challenge the fact that his mother perished at the hands her son; however, most would not contest that Orestes was not of sound mind when he reconciled the death of his father. Apollo's overwhelming influence weighed over an already disturbed Orestes. This fact alone would have inspired the murder. Cast into exile, fatherless, and confused, Orestes was vulnerable to any outside interpretation. Apollo's advice sowed the seeds of extreme murderous contempt.

The murder of Agamemnon embittered Orestes. With his victorious father in the grave and his deceptive mother on the thrown of Argos, Orestes was filled with contempt. This contempt was fueled by the swank attitude displayed by Clytaemnestra, in respect to the murder of Agamemnon. Clytaemnestra remained a free citizen, allowed to set her husband into the grave and carry on with Aegisthus.

One might even be able to defend Orestes behavior on the destiny set forward by the curse placed on the house of Atrius. This curse seemed to have a profound effect on the longevity of the house's inhabitants. Whether or not one may place credence on a household curse, between the abandonment of Orestes and the caustic environment of the house, is undoubtably a negative environment.
Any of the aforementioned points, individually, could have driven the beleaguered Orestes to homicide; however, the justifiable nature of the crime would not have remained in tact. It is the combination of all the points listed that warranted acquittal.

The circumstances that Orestes found himself under were indeed grave ones. Much to his chagrin, he found himself caught up in a deceptive web of lies, betrayal, and murder. While it is impossible to exactly what he was thinking, Orestes was a reasonable man who fell victim to unreasonable circumstances.

Athena, while snubbing justice, smiled upon an act of fairness. The death of Orestes would not have accomplished anything, but to reinforce a long running pattern of death in the house of Atrius. The decision was fair.
Return to