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"Tragedy, Prophecy, and Political Theory: A Study of Cassandra in Aeschylus' Oresteia Trilogy

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Abstract:

This paper uses the figure of Cassandra, a character from ancient Greek myth and tragedy, to frame an investigation into a range of interlocking issues of importance to political thought. It draws on the representation of Cassandra utilized by Aeschylus in his Oresteia trilogy, a work which presents a mythologized account of the establishment of democracy in the Athenian polis. Different readings of the Oresteia have been used by liberal, Marxist, feminist and post-modern theoretical positions in order to support particular claims about the theory and practice of politics. By revealing Cassandra as a figure who simultaneously defines and transgresses the boundaries of what is considered political, this paper demands that we re-examine our assumptions about both what constitutes the political realm, and who may take part in political conversation.

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cassandra (172), polit (122), oresteia (88), read (71), poli (53), agamemnon (52), greek (50), also (45), justic (44), tragedi (44), discours (42), aeschylus (42), knowledg (41), socrat (40), languag (37), clytemnestra (37), trilog (36), univers (35), press (34), interpret (34), one (34),

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Keywords: Greek tragedy, Ancient Greece, theory
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Name: American Political Science Association
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MLA Citation:

Durward, Barbara. ""Tragedy, Prophecy, and Political Theory: A Study of Cassandra in Aeschylus' Oresteia Trilogy" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Boston Marriott Copley Place, Sheraton Boston & Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Massachusetts, Aug 28, 2002 <Not Available>. 2009-05-27 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p66709_index.html>

APA Citation:

Durward, B. , 2002-08-28 ""Tragedy, Prophecy, and Political Theory: A Study of Cassandra in Aeschylus' Oresteia Trilogy" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Boston Marriott Copley Place, Sheraton Boston & Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Massachusetts Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-27 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p66709_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This paper uses the figure of Cassandra, a character from ancient Greek myth and tragedy, to frame an investigation into a range of interlocking issues of importance to political thought. It draws on the representation of Cassandra utilized by Aeschylus in his Oresteia trilogy, a work which presents a mythologized account of the establishment of democracy in the Athenian polis. Different readings of the Oresteia have been used by liberal, Marxist, feminist and post-modern theoretical positions in order to support particular claims about the theory and practice of politics. By revealing Cassandra as a figure who simultaneously defines and transgresses the boundaries of what is considered political, this paper demands that we re-examine our assumptions about both what constitutes the political realm, and who may take part in political conversation.

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Document Type: .pdf
Page count: 22
Word count: 15755
Text sample:
1 ``Tragedy Prophecy and Political Theory: A Study of Cassandra in Aeschylus' Oresteia Trilogy'' Barbara Durward University of California Santa Cruz ``Prepared for delivery at the 2002 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association August 29 -- September 1 2002. Copyright by the American Political Science Association.'' 2 ABSTRACT This paper uses the figure of Cassandra a character from ancient Greek myth and tragedy to frame an investigation into a range of interlocking issues of importance to political
human and the divine with Cassandra standing as a dramatic precursor t o Socrates. 109 The institutionalized uncertainty of life in a democracy means that we must fight our own battles and make our own mistakes in a world where all voices are voices of opinion. The lesson that we can perhaps draw from this exercise in trying t o listen to the voice of Cassandra is that although none of us can expect to set up a direct


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