Saturday, October 02, 2004

Persians comment

It seems that the Persian struggle against the Greeks is futile from the start. Throughout the text the Persians acknowledge the power of the Greek gods and their tremendous ability to contribute to the Greek cause: "Something not human- whose weight tipped the scales of luck and cut our forces down. God keep Athens safe for her goddess," (567-571) "...for after some god had handed Greeks the glory in the seafight..." (736-737). As the story progresses the Persians become increasingly aware of the fact that the scales are tipped against them, particularly when the messenger arrives on the scene and informs Atossa of the tremendous loss of life to the Babylonian armies in Greece. Meanwhile, the Persians' only god seems to be incapable of protecting its people as the Greek gods protect their citizens with a mighty hand. In another Greek play- "The Odyssey," the Goddess Athena watches over Odysseus (the protagonist) and periodically keeps him out of danger/helps him fight off his enemies. Clearly, the Greek gods of Classical literature take on a powerful "guardian angel" role. It may also be that Aeschylus is exaggerating the power of the Gods of Greece, seeing that this play was to be formed for the Greeks with the intention of praising their tremendous victory over the Persian empire. What do you all think?


Blogger gienuinbas said...

I think you're right about how the play shows the Persian struggle to be a lost cause from the start. Aeschylus definitely uses the divine framework to the Greeks' advantage (as you'd expect). I guess it's on other levels that the Persians are somewhat sympathetic--or maybe it's because they suffer under the same divine framework that applies to Greeks too?

October 8, 2004 at 9:33 PM


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