Sacrifice, Politics and Animal Imagery in the Oresteia

  • Dimitrios Kanellakis


In this paper I explore how sacrifice and politics, two central aspects of the Oresteia, are presented through animal imagery and how they are indissolubly linked. In the first section I discuss how the animal imagery attributed to Cassandra constructs a semantic parallelism between her and Iphigenia, the two of them being the only innocent victims in the bloody circle of this trilogy. In the second section I examine how animals are linked to governments and how the quantitative, temporal, and spatial arrangement of animal imagery reveals their sequence.