Past Paper question: How does Aeschylus make this passage dramatically effective?

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  • Created by: Meg8
  • Created on: 27-04-16 16:37


How does Aeschylus make this passage dramatically effective? Include situation on stage, language and imagery used.

Aeschylus creates a greatly dramatic presence within this passage displayed. This is firstly demonstrated through the stichomythia that is presented. The impact of the short sentences, broken up rapidly and unevenly through punctuation display a current urgency and panic that is emulated from the text into the audiences emotions. Sentences such as ‘the lord of your bed, you bathe him…his body glistens, then- how to tell the climax?’ exhibit this burst of desperation, creating a fast flowing passage that carries you along with the action. The use of dashes and ellipsis could portray a need for breathe due to a sudden panic, creating uneasiness. This emotion created sends a fear and sense of being uncomfortable into the audience for the foreshadowing of what could proceed. The clear absence of syntax in this passage helps to therefore make this passage dramatically effective by Aeschylus.

The dramatic irony within the passage plays a large factor in the effect of creating a tense, and real scene. ‘It’s growing, massing, deep in the house, a plot, a monstrous-thing, to crush the loved ones, no, there is no cure’ Through Cassandras curse and omniscience of what is to happen, but also her restriction for the chorus to interpret her words, a strong dramatic irony in created that produces a frustration for all involved; the chorus, Cassandra and the audience. Through this, the audience are therefore drawn further into this play through the ability to relate to Cassandras situation- knowing what is to come, but being incapable of doing anything about it. This dramatic irony, but also frustration…


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