Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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Human beings throughout time have struggled with the idea of justice. Justice may mean reward for a good deed or punishment for a bad one. Argument about justice generally centers on the latter. Should we pursue justice even when it is costly, tiring and painful? May innocents be sacrificed in the pursuit of justice? Does guilt, demanding justice, permeate whole groups (i.e. family, class, race) or just individuals? The pursuit of justice often leads to new wrong and further revenge in a vicious cycle. Is justice worth seeking? In Agamemnon and Medea, Aeschylus and Euripides give their answers to this question. Aeschylus seeks for redemption and true justice in Agamemnon; Euripides chooses to abandon the ideal of justice in Medea.

Man, in Aeschylus? work, is a fallen creature. His purpose is to enter into a community of other men and there to have joy. Because his characters are striving toward this goal they are likeable.

We sympathize with their motives even if we do not sympathize with their actions. Agamemnon and Clytemnestra both are portrayed as reasonable people who sincerely wish for justice but feel they have been forced to murder in its pursuit. They are presented with a terrible dilemma. Either they must ignore injustice or they must, in an attempt to rectify injustice, commit a new crime which will call for revenge. Agamemnon thinks that if only one more injustice can be borne ? the sacrifice of Iphigenia ? then Troy can be punished and the world can begin again with a clean slate. Clytemnestra believes the same. She is "ready to make contract/ With the Evil Genius of the House of Atreus/ To accept what has been till now, hard though it is./ But that for the future he shall leave this house/ And wear...