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Libation Bearers

Libation Bearers


by Aeschylus

Libation Bearers Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. There is a lot of ambiguity in the play over whether Orestes is carrying out the will of Fate, or whether his freely chosen actions are what makes Apollo's oracle come true, not divine power. What difference (if any) does it make?
  2. Orestes is fixated on killing his mother, but sometimes treats killing Aegisthus as almost unimportant. (Of course, he still kills him.) Why do you think there is this imbalance in his attitude?
  3. When the Furies appear at the end of the play, do you think they are real, or are they figments of Orestes's imagination? Does it make a difference either way?
  4. Which god is most important for Orestes: Hermes, Apollo, or Zeus? What importance does Orestes's allegiance have, given these gods differing areas of expertise?
  5. Why do you think Aeschylus makes Pylades stay silent for so long?

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