Departmental Bulletin Paper 自刃、誅殺、人質殺し -- 『オレステス』という悪夢
The Nightmare of the Oreste: Self-slaughter, Judicial Execution and the Murder of a Hostage

吉武, 純夫

23pp.39 - 67 , 2015-07-31 , 京都大学西洋古典研究会
Towards the end of Euripides’ Orestes, when Orestes decides to kill the hostage Hermione after having failed to kill Helen, the situation has already been anticipated in the words (1147-52) with which Pylades had concluded his proposition that they should murder Helen or, in case of failure, kill themselves. The present paper explores the dramatic effect of this contrast by asking three questions: What was the purport of the puzzling earlier passage, 1147-52? What was Orestes’ stance when he accepted his friend's proposition? What does it mean for Orestes to kill Hermione? The investigation leads us to conclude that Orestes is so crazily determined to be paid recompense for his own death, rather than to revenge himself on Menelaos or anybody else, that, having lost concern for his own honour and the pursuit of justice, he determines to kill Hermione even after he has lost the opportunity of carrying out the allegedly legitimate murder of Helen. When, to our utter surprise, Apollo intervenes and returns us to the original state of affairs, we are obliged to examine by ourselves the problems provoked by Orestes' imprudent conduct.

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