Notes for a “Week”: Saturday

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Themes

The poem raises the theme of responsibility – here the persona loquens, Orestes, resists and revolts against his destiny. He protests against bloodshed.

Line 13

“Medea’s slaughtered children” (Tα σκοτωμένα παιδιά της Μήδειας). The reference alludes to Euripides’ Medea, where Medea kills her children in order to revenge Jason.

Line 21

Nessus’ shirt (Το πουκάμισο του Νέσσου). The reference alludes to Sophocles’ Trachiniae, where Deianeira unintentionally causes Heracles’ death through a robe that she sends him dyed with the poisoned blood of Centaur Nessus.

Lines 30-32

An allusion to Aeschylus’ Choephori , where Orestes is summoned by the god to commit matricide in order to revenge his father’s murder.

Language

 

Line 24

‘Enough of life! Io! Io! (Αρκείτω βίος. Ιώ! Ιώ!)

An allusion to Cassandra’s outcry in Aeschylus’ Agamemnon 1314.

[cf. Notes for a “Week”, Monday; The Last Dance]

 

Mythic Characters

Line 13: Medea

Line 17:  Eumenides

Line 21: Nessus (i.e. Centaur N.)

Line 26: Clytemestra (indirectly) “Here’s the trumpet that destroys the palace, revealing the queen in her iniquity”

 

Bibliography

Capri-Karka, C. 1985. War in the poetry of George Seferis, New York, at 33-34.

Ladia, E. 1983. ‘O μνησιπήμων πόνος μέσα από τα αρχαία αγάλματα’, in Ποιητές και αρχαία Ελλάδα, Athens, 76-85. 

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