In the attempt to ascertain man's changes in world view, the Orestes stories of the Greek tragedians were compared with the Orestes stories of six 20th-century playwrights. The Orestes plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides were contrasted with the similar plays of Hofmannstahl, Jeffers, O'Neill, Giraudoux, Eliot, and Sartre. The Greek tragedians appear to terminate Orestes' retribution for inherited evil and a just crime by an actual, total, restorative redemption, divinely instigated. The 20th century playwrights portray only the potential termination of Orestes' retribution in a distant future, by means of a salvation that is self-instigated, costly, and completely non-restorative. This change is due, in part, to the disparity of the causes of justice and self-interest in the 20th century, while they were complementary in the 5th century B.C. More importantly, this change is due to the disappearance of the Greeks' benevolent, transcendent deities in the 20th century, while the spirit of retribution holds away. Redemption is no longer bestowed by gods who can restore the past, man must save himself in the future.
Master of Arts (MA)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Orestes (Greek mythology); Retribution in literature; Greek drama (Tragedy); Redemption
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This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Lantry, Kevin, "Orestes and Redemption in Two Different Ages" (1982). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 1083.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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