Vol 9 (2019)
Articles

The oracle of Apollo in the Attic tragedies on the myth of Orestes

Maria Pia Pattoni
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano, sede di Brescia
Published October 1, 2020

Abstract

Peculiar aspects of the three great Attic tragedians’ approach to the divine can be interestingly brought to light through an analysis of their different adaptations of the Orestes myth. A key role in the relevant dramatic structures is played by the oracle of Apollo, unmentioned in the Homeric version of this myth but possibly already present in Stesichorus’ Oresteia. The article investigates how this element is dealt with in the extant corpus of Attic tragedy, focusing in particular on Aeschylus’ Libation Bearers and Eumenides, on Sophocles’ Electra, and on Euripides’ Electra and Orestes.