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Word Count: 568
The Oresteia The chorus plays a central role in the development of The Oresteia It is a group of actors who respond to and comment on the main action of the play with song dance and recitation Bowras interpretation of the use of the chorus is difficult to refute since the basic roles of the chorus cannot be denied The first comment Bowra makes about the chorus is that is the mouthpiece of the inspired poet This is the most significant purpose of the chorus because through it the author can express his views and opinions about any aspect of life he pleases for example morals the nature of man and the most crucial theme of religion There are numerous instances in which the chorus simply makes a generalization about human nature When Cassandra foresees her own destruction the leader along with the chorus feels pity for her However the chorus goes to the root of the source by stating that all this action is taking place because mans lust for power never dies People cannot have enough of it 158 ll 1355-1356 In the beginning of The Libation Bearers there is dialogue between Electra and the chorus of slavewomen After the chorus relays Electras situation to the audience it states that Sorrow turns the secret heart to ice 180 l 82 This statement portrays the whole mood of the situation with Electra and Orestes grief over their fathers death The whole background to The Oresteia concerns the Greek religion There is hardly a place in which Fate and a prayer to the Gods is not mentioned It is the Gods who control the lives of the characters and it is to them that the chorus prays for help and retribution of other characters When the chorus sees Electra mourning it prays for some man to come and take revenge for Agamemnons death 184 ll 163-165 Lessons also come from the chorus
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