The Arbitrary and Contradicting Nature of Mythological Justice

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The workings of justice and what falls under it have been debated for a very long time, ever since men started to interact with one another. Some say justice is based on what is fair, lawful, or moral, but that only depends on what someone sees as fair, lawful, or moral. During the time of Aeschylus, justice was all three of them as well as none of them. Justice in itself was contradictory, and was subject to follow the whims of both man and god. This is seen especially in Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and The Furies, where from story to story someone’s views on justice were different than that of the person before them. However, they all did have one key component that they followed. This component was an edited version of Hammurabi’s …show more content…
I will arrange everything else, my mind never sleeps, and with the help of the gods I will set things right.” (Agamemnon; 909-913). With this statement, we can infer that she has thought about revenge endlessly while Agamemnon was gone, and that shows us another side of ancient justice. It was not just about getting revenge or doing what they felt was lawful, but it was also a way to give the victims of a crime an ease of mind. It allowed them to release the anger they have built up after the loss of their loved ones, and finally move on. Furthermore, even though Agamemnon was Clytemnestra’s husband, the minute she discovered he sacrificed their daughter she no longer saw him as such. So, with the belief that the gods were behind her, she committed her own personal type of justice in the form of revenge. However as stated earlier in the paper, justice is contradictory in mythological times, and so are the gods’ views on it. In The Libation Bearers, we see that Apollo is angered over Clytemnestra’s actions and thus decides that she needs to be punished for what she has done. Although, where was Apollo whenever Agamemnon killed his daughter, and why did he now decide that godly intervention was needed in this deadly family debacle? This gives us evidence that the gods’ views on justice are severely out of line and completely intertwined with their mood and personal views.

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