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Articles and site update.

One of the great debates in mythology: Was Queen Clytemnestra of Mycenae an adulterous, murderous harpy, or a righteous angry woman avenging the murder of her daughter? I examine this two thousand year old issue a little bit in Character Analysis: Clytemnestra in Electra by Sophocles.

Are you a procrastinator? I sure am. That bad habit shows itself a lot when I'm writing on a deadline! But it's worst in college, when you have deadlines all over the place. Check out Strategies to avoid procrastinating on college term papers.

I also changed the format of my freelance links page. It was getting to the point that one long list of articles by publish date was making it difficult to find anything, so I set up a nice grid showing articles by topic area. Take a look, if you like: http://hafowler.host56.com/articles.htm.

You know, I keep saying that Sunday is going to be my day off, but I either have a deadline, or I just automatically start working without thinking about it. Is that good or bad? I suppose it's good for my career, not so good for my brain... fingers... shoulders...wrists... etc.

I just love it so much!

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Sep. 6th, 2011 02:24 am (UTC)
I've always favored Euripides' more sympathetic portrayal of Clytemnestra. He recounts that Agamemnon not only murdered her first husband to claim her as a spoil of war, but also murdered the son she'd borne her first husband, dashing out the toddler's brains in front of her eyes.

As for Aegisthus, he can't simply be reduced to an ambitious adulterer. You have to understand the family history, and that he was, in fact, begotten specifically to wreak vengeance on Agamemnon's father (Atreus) for the horrific deeds perpetrated on his own father (Thyestes) never mind that Atreus and Thyestes were brothers. Suffice it to say that Atreus and Theyestes both committed atrocities, and that Agamemnon and Aegisthus can be read as just continuing the bad behavior.

At all odds, there's never going to be a resolution to the debate about Clytemnestra, because there is no one Clytemnestra. She is depicted differently in the Iliad and Odyssey than she is in Aeschylus, than she is in Sophocles, than she is in Euripides. And that only those last two plays may contemporaneous with each other. Homer is 400-800 years earlier, and Aeschylus is 20-50 years earlier.

Beyond that, we're sitting here some 2,500 to 3,000 years after the fact (depending on which current scholarly theory about Homer you favor) evaluating the actions of a woman from an earlier culture by the ethics and standards of our own culture. That's always going to be a problematic task.

Thanks for posting a thought-provoking piece.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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