Two or three Cassandras and what i know about them. Some observations Cover Image

Dwie lub trzy Kasandry i co o nich wiem. Kilka uwag
Two or three Cassandras and what i know about them. Some observations

Author(s): Elżbieta Wesołowska
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Wydział Polonistyki Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Keywords: Homer; Ajschylos; Eurypides; Seneka; wieszczenie; wykluczenie; Homer; Aeschylus; Euripides; Seneca; foretelling; isolation

Summary/Abstract: Cassandra is a peculiar female character in Ancient mythology and literature. She appears as early as Homer’s epic, and then incidentally in {Aeneid}. A would-be lover of Apollo, seer, doomed to disbelief, concubine of Agamemnon, and killed with him on their arrival to Mycenae, she is tragic and it is the tragedy, where she is presented most fully, i.e. in plays by Aeschylus, Euripides and Seneca. However, her personality traits are so poorly determined that it leaves room for the authors’ actions organising her profile anew. And so, in Aeschylus she is a prophetess of her impending death, but she does not try to defend herself. In Seneca, she relates what is covered from spectators’ eyes. She happens to be the symbol of reconciliation, but in Euripides’ {Helen} she personifies the element of revenge. She is Apollo’s medium, and at the same time she apparently discredits his prophetic power since she was able to cheat him on some occasions. Her attitude towards Agamemnon is vague, because she bemoans his death the same way Helen, whom she hates, mourns Hector’s death. Only the Greek {Troades} provides an opinion on the beauty of the prophetess. After all, Helen and Cassandra’s fates are mysteriously intertwined. We have the right to suppose that Clytaemestra’s calling Cassandra a female swan is not accidental, although it formally seems to refer to her stage “muteness”.

  • Issue Year: 2014
  • Issue No: 4 (7)
  • Page Range: 35-46
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: Polish