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Points of View Aeschylus faces off with Euripides in a dramatic contest and is declared the victor The decision is one of cosmetics more than substance Aeschylus wrote plays that appealed to the people of Athens The Oresteia is a story with strong characters faced with difficult decisions in which justice prevails On the other hand Euripides wrote plays that were more realistic such as The Electra which reveals the weakness of men and women That both authors wrote plays dealing with the same story helps us to see the differences in their opinions and styles The Oresteia probably was favoured more by the Athenian people because of some key factors One of these is character portrayal Aeschylus made his heroes strong minded and full of resolve whereas Euripides tended to show his characters shortcomings An example of this is the character of Orestes In The Libation Bearers Orestes comes upon the scene and makes himself known to his sister immediately and quickly reveals his plot to kill their fathers murderers He is in control of the situation and prepared to kill both his mother and her lover Our Fury who is never starved for blood shall drink for the third time a cupful of unwatered blood Libation Bearers Lines 577-578 Orestes would have appealed to the Athenian populace because of his strength and his desire to avenge the murder of his father and fulfill the oracle of Apollo In The Electra Euripides creates a very different personality for Orestes than does Aeschylus Orestes does not burst onto the scene and i mmediately make himself known to his sister He actually does not willingly reveal himself It is not until his old tutor comes and recognises him that he admits to Electra that he is her brother This must have distressed an Athenian audience to see the son of Agamemnon hiding his identity from his sister for quite a long tract of dialogue When
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