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Word Count: 894
In the Greek play the Oresteia gender is made explicit as a theme throughout the work a series of male-female conflicts and incorrectly gendered characters dominated by the figure of Clytemnestra a woman out of place In this essay I will analyze Clytemnestras role of gender in the Oresteia She is looked upon with revulsion because of the manly way she acts The chorus leader states in line 35 spoken like a man my lady loyal full of self-command Aeschylus 116 Her strong persona demands respect much like a mans does therefore giving Clytemnestra the appearance of manliness Aeschylus advocates the importance of the male role in society over that of the female The entire work can be seen as a subtle proclamation of the superiority of men over women Yet the women create the real interest in the play Chorus We marvel at your tongue at your bold mouth in vaunting such words over your husband Clytemnestra You test me like a witless woman but I speak with a fearless heart to those who know and whether you yourself wish to approve or to blame me its all the same This is Agamemnon my husband but a corpse the work of my right hand here a just architect This is how things are 1399-1406In this exchange the Chorus is still clearly dumbfounded that a woman could have carried out such a fearsome act as Clytemnestra did in killing her husband But by examining Clytemnestras words in response does she argue against these cultural assumptions or reinforce them Doesnt it kind of seem like Clytemnestra is saying Dont treat me like a woman She still wants to be recognized for being a woman even over such an incredible act of betrayal as to kill her own husband in cold blood In the Oresteia the play belongs to Clytemnestra and it is in her mouth that Aeschylus puts the greatest poetry he ever wrote She
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