Freedom, Authenticity and Responsibility: An Existentialist Study of Aeschylus’ The Oresteia
Keywords:Authentic Life, Essence, Existence, Fatalism, Freedom, Personal
Greek drama is commonly believed to be the tragedy of fate and Aeschylean trilogy is, likewise, studied from Fatalistic perspectives most of the time. However, Aeschylus's vision has mostly been partially understood. This research aims to explore certain Existentialist elements in The Oresteia trilogy by Aeschylus. Since it is qualitative research, Textual Analysis has been employed to collect and analyse data. An in depth and close study of the characters has been made in the light of Sartre’s concepts of ‘freedom’, ‘responsibility’ and ‘existence precedes essence’. The analysis of each character reveals that Aeschylus has not presented his characters as mere puppets in the hands of fate. Instead, he has demonstrated that they are free to make their personal choices with full responsibility to build their own essence and try to lead an authentic life. The trilogy may, further, be studied in the light of other elements of existentialism.
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