Fate In Oresteia And Hamlet

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The unpredictable nature of fate illuminates the unrighteous corruption that is rampant throughout society. In Aeschylus’s The Oresteia, Orestes is forced upon the actions of his sudden fate, ultimately exposing the deformity of justice. Similarly, in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the young prince Hamlet cannot escape his fate, leading towards his undeserved death. Each piece of literature indicates the unstable attribute fate lends with the occurrence of anagnorisis. The ever changing destiny experienced by both characters illustrates the insanity found when attempting to discover the sanity within society. A comparable essence intertwined into both the Oresteia and Hamlet is the entrapment from a constantly shifting fate. If fate is to be…show more content…
In the Oresteia, the fate of Orestes’s demise is also his pathway towards the discovery of the corruption from injustice. As Orestes is prosecuted and chased down by the Furies, it is Apollo, Orestes’s ally, who realizes the incompetence involved in the justice provided. He elucidates that breaking the “marriage of man and wife,” of which is “Fate itself,” is of greater abuse, rendering the “manhunt of Orestes” as “unjust” (The Eumenides 215, 219). Not only does Apollo indicate the importance of Fate in the process of societal acceptance, but he also demonstrates the defect in society discovered through Orestes’s moria. As a matter of fact, it is this anagnorisis that causes Athena to push forward in her attempt towards the creation of the judicial court. This concept showcases the value found in an anagnorisis for the development of the character’s recognition of the world. For both these characters, life has been independent without any responsibilities. As fate is trusted upon them, they are obligated to reach out to the world and understand it. Consequently, this reveals the insanity and twisted notions of a societal norm. For Orestes, society would alienate him, “either as a man who has killed, or a son who has not avenged his father” (Kott & Taborski 312). His encounter with this agon causes his to simply comply with the injustice that is occurring. This provides another example for Orestes’s hamartia; he willingly accepts his fate without questioning it. Even though at the conclusion of the play, a judicial system is established, none of it can be credited to Orestes. He just committed the crime which Athena, goddess of wisdom, justified with moral justice. This being said, the peripetia was the transition “from the traditional system…to the judicial processes of the polis” (Markovits 431). Although this transition wasn’t unblemished, it was able to provide for a way to repair

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