Ambiguity and insincerity in Clytemnestra

Ambiguity and insincerity in Clytemnestra

Ambiguity and insincerity in Clytemnestra Agamemnon and Clytemnestra are portrayed at the beginning of the play as equals. The start of the play states that Clytemnestra is faithful to her husband, though in the latter, Clytemnestra has an unusual influence in the public sphere, especially when criticizing Agamemnon, with the help of the chorus. There are many signals that Clytemnestra has sympathy for the victims of troy, as her daughter Iphigenia was a victim herself.

It is therefore clear that she wants Agamemnon to return home in order to kill him herself. The watchman neither speaks out the truth nor conceals it, but gives signs to be nterpreted. This means we must distinguish between what is said and what is meant. Clytemnestra gives evidence of Troy’s fall to the chorus in two separate speeches. The first is very descriptive in how the message travelled from Troy to Argos. Proving she is familiar with the geography.

She described herself as ‘a women faithful to the house’; in fact she was faithful to the house, but not to Agamemnon. This is shown “. more deaths for you than could be compassed in the hour that slept with me”. The second speech is full of vocabulary of rumors and false tales. It explains her hardship hroughout the 10 years, but the message is clear, she longs for Agamemnon to return in order to kill him. Clytemnestra has the ability to manipulate words in each context.

This makes her very ambiguous and insincere, it gives the audience an image of dishonesty. Clytemnestra uses the crimson silk as a metaphor for Agamemnon’s actions. Agamemnon refuses to walk on the tapestry, as he feared “the enw of the gods”. Clytemnestra uses this argument against him, if he feared the gods why would he have sacrificed Iphigenia. She then puts him in Priam’s place and he agrees that he would step on such an expensive tapestry in Priam’s position. This is another example of her manipulative skills.

Clytemnestra shows signs of both male and female characteristics; again this is proof of her ambiguity. The fact that she is sympathetic to the victims of troy shows a very female approach. Whereas when she greets Agamemnon a male tone and language is used. This is shown here “Greatness wins hate. Unenvied is unenviable”, Agamemnon replies ” it does not suit a women to be combative”. Clytemnestra was in fact extremely intelligent in her role, every action she made was in order to put forward and accomplish her own interests. By initinitinit