Tug Of War


Tug Of War Essay, Research Paper

Erin Gardner


A Tug of War

If the two women of Agamemnon, Clytaemnestra and Cassandra, were put to the test of Tug of War, would there be a winner or would neither win? A game of Tug of war meaning, a pull from each side of the rope until one side with out a doubt crosses a drawn line. There are similarities between the two ladies as well as several differences. The actions of the ladies and confrontations lead the town to have confused thought of each woman. Both women are strong characters having strong pulls on the rope but each shows their weaknesses and tends to lose grip. A kid s game of Tug of War places these characters in a situation of face-to-face competition. As the chorus exclaims before Agamemnon arrives, the good wins out, no pain can tip the scales, not now.

There are few similarities amongst Clytaemnestra and Cassandra. Both ladies share an intimate relationship with Agamemnon and each relationship gives each woman a hard pull on each side of the rope. On Cassandra s side of the rope she pulls for Agamemnon as his prize won after her husband Eurypylus, was killed in the Trojan War. Cassandra bore Agamemnon a set of twins as they took their journey back home to Troy. The tear in the rope did not develop until Agamemnon showed up at Troy to present his wife, Clytaemnestra, with his mistress Cassandra after his long awaited homecoming. Clytaemnestra also bore Agamemnon children, is the wife of this prideful man. In the Greek society it is believed that when married it cuts off all ties to family and friends except that of the new marriage. Not only can Clytaemnestra pull for adultery, but also for hatred of removing her form her family. Each woman now have been defied, has an even pull on the Tug of War rope at this point.

Would the chorus have help on either side for a certain character? Clytaemnestra boast in the beginning about the fires and how she traveled with them bringing the fire back to claim Troy. The town people respect her, We respect your power..But why these fires? Good news or more good hope? This is where her pull on the rope is tending to become lose. The town people do not believe this woman s intuitions, And who on earth could run the news so fast , the leader of Troy explains to Clytaemnestra. What makes her story different from anyone else in the town? Cassandra has the same problem on her side of the rope. When she foresees the future of herself as well as that of the king of Troy Agamemnon, the town people have no reason or proof to believe this mistress of the King. The god Apollo gave her a mixture of blessing and curse of prophecy. As much and she tried to warn the town the less of a grip she could make on the rope. Her tales as the town knew them, of the murder of Agamemnon their King and also that of her own, became a crazy woman s plea for help. All she could do was tell them of her knowledge and ask for them to believe. After her proclamations of the fall of Troy the town still could not develop a belief for her story. Cassandra was nobody to the town people, just a trophy for Agamemnon. Cassandra is a trophy that the town could not take pride in. Both Clytaemnestra and Cassandra have lost grip on the rope. With both women pulling a strong game, it leaves the score at an even point.

The treatment given to each of the individual characters does help the force that is pulled on the rope. The first arrival of Agamemnon displays such pride that he fails to invite his mistress (that bore him a set of twins) into the palace. Clytaemnestra, Let the red stream flow and bear him home. She gives, the great victor treatment fit for a king. This allows Clytaemnestra a large pull on the rope. As Agamemnon reveals Cassandra s presence, he claims she followed him home leaving Cassandra hopeless in this pull on the rope. Clytaemnestra has a definite lead on the Tug of War.

Although the chorus finds both women hard to believe they accept them as valiant characters. The leader of the chorus can only give encouragement to Cassandra for being brave enough to face her own death. The leader exalts, You re brave, believe me, full of gallant heart. This brings her extra pull on her side of the rope. As she faces her death knowing Agamemnon will be murdered also she still cries out for help. This leaves her rope for the town to pull against Clytaemnestra. A coward chorus cannot hold the end of the bargain for Cassandra and does not defend their king. Clytaemnestra gets the final yank on the rope as she runs out of the palace with the blood of the town king and his mistress on her hands. Does this yank claim a winner or is the end of the rope left behind that pronounces a winner? Clytaemnestra gives great justice for her doing, claiming Agamemnon not being the saint the town believes. The town still has no grip on the rope but keeps the torn strings on their side as the leader exiles Clytaemnestra.

Undecided and unexplainable creates confusion as to whom the winner is proclaimed. Or does death claim a winner. If it is death that claims the winner is it the woman who died knowingly or the woman who slain the victim? Both Clytaemnestra and Cassandra hold strong sides to the war but with a rope lying in the wrong hands can only plummet to a failure to pronounce a winner. The town never reveals liking to either woman and Agamemnon pulled both sides evenly leaving the inner being of each woman to carry on the Tug of War. This is a Tug of War that places each character even knowing neither wins and everybody loses.

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