Justice in the Oresteia In today's society there are trials to insure that justice is done. But, that was not how justice was served in the past. In Aeschylus's Oresteia, The view of what is just is very different than today. Through the curse of the house of Atreus the different characters in the plays show the old view of "Blood for Blood", and how this old system can be altered into real justice. The troubles of the house of Atreus began long before, but in these plays, the killing begins with the sacrifice of Agamemnon's daughter Iphigenia. Her blood was spilt in order to placate the goddess Artemis and to change the winds so they could sail for Troy.
This action angers his wife Clytemnestra, and is the beginning of the resentment that develops for Agamemnon. While away in Troy, Agamemnon does other crimes to his marriage and the gods. Clytemnestra's justification for killing Agamemnon is that she is fulfilling his destiny and the will of the gods. Clytemnestra also has her owns reasons for wanting Agamemnon gone. She feels that he needs to die for his crimes, especially the death of Iphigenia. Once Agamemnon is gone she can rule Argos with her lover Aegisthus, who has reasons of his own to want him gone.
It is possible that the curse of the family began long ago with Agamemnon's father, Atreus. This man had killed two brothers of Aegisthus and fed them to Thyestes, their father. This created more than enough hatred towards Atreus and his family. Upon his arrival to his home Clytemnestra uses her tremendous power of cunning to get Agamemnon to walk on the tapestry, committing one final crime. The long list of the offenses of Agamemnon is Clytemnestra's justification for her ultimate motive, revenge. Revenge is popular in ancient times.