Aeschylus’ Eumenides and Political Impasse

Hewitt, Anne S. (2019) Aeschylus’ Eumenides and Political Impasse. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsacta/6185. In: Vol. 12/2019. A cura di: Faralli, Carla ; Mittica, M. Paola. Bologna: Italian Society for Law and Literature (ISLL), pp. 1-23. ISBN 9788898010929. In: ISLL Papers. The Online Collection of the Italian Society for Law and Literature A cura di: Faralli, Carla ; Mittica, M. Paola. ISSN 2035-553X.
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Abstract

What can we do in the face of irreconcilable conflict, when two opposing parties (be they individuals, groups, nations) have disagreements in which there seems to be no common ground, no hope for resolution? Further still, what do we do when both sides of an argument appear to be rational? In this paper, I explore this kind of ‘tragic’ im-passe through the lens of Aeschylus’ Eumenides. This play has been taken by some scholars to be the precursor of the Western legal system (establishing the jury trial and neutral, third-party judge). Others see it less optimistically, as a portrayal of a misogynistic abuse of power. I diverge from these lines of interpretation and suggest that the Eumenides offers a useful approach to disagreement, building on the idea that those bitter struggles that result in impasse can be resolved only through a deliberate reorientation of identity, guided by an engaged judge whose most important actions come after the trial.

Abstract
Document type
Book Section
Creators
CreatorsAffiliationORCID
Hewitt, Anne S.New York University
Keywords
Aeschylus, political impasse, judgement, identity
Subjects
ISSN
2035-553X
ISBN
9788898010929
DOI
Deposit date
25 Jun 2019 08:18
Last modified
25 Jun 2019 08:18
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