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Fatal FictionsCrime and Investigation in Law and Literature$
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Alison L. LaCroix, Richard H. McAdams, and Martha C. Nussbaum

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190610784

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190610784.001.0001

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Mercy at the Areopagus

Mercy at the Areopagus

A Nietzschean Account of Justice and Joy in the Eumenides

Chapter:
(p.14) 2 Mercy at the Areopagus
Source:
Fatal Fictions
Author(s):

Daniel Telech

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190610784.003.0002

This essay focuses on the third play in the Oresteia trilogy, the Eumenides. Telech provides a compelling reinterpretation of Nietzsche’s reading of Aeschylus's masterpiece, saving the reading from the complaint that it oversimplifies and sentimentalizes the Oresteia by celebrating the triumph of a modern and liberal understanding of law's rationalist virtues over customary and traditional forms. Telech provides an alternative Nietzschean reading that is consistent with Nietzsche's own, that reintroduces passion and irrationality into the trial and sentencing of Orestes, refrains from romanticizing law, and along the way makes a case for institutionalizing a role for mercy in contemporary legal processes.

Keywords:   Oresteia, Eumenides, Aeschylus, Nietzsche, trials, mercy

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