We had an interesting discussion in one one of my classes on Aeschylus’ tragedy about the House of Atreus a while ago. What made it interesting was not the fact that it was written by a great tragedian or that the story was twisted in itself. It was interesting because of its moral undertones.True, morals and ethics are tricky business. But the fact that they are tricky make them all the more fun. It’s nice how ideas collide when your personal views are at stake.
Anyways, the subject of discussion was whether Clytemnestra’s murders are justifiable or not. Clytemnestra is, by the way, Agamemnon’s wife. Clytemnestra murders him because he’s such an ass — he used his own daughter Iphigenia as a sacrifice to the gods in order to have favorable winds for their journey during the Trojan War.
My partner (whose name I do not know) and I answered that whether her act was justifiable can be viewed using two perspectives. One, that as a mother, her act was, in some way, justifiable. Agamemnon murdered her own daughter. Clytemnestra acted out of vengeance for her only daughter who was innocent and had nothing to do with anything. Two, that in a general moral perspective, her actions are objectionable. Murder is still murder, whether it was for your daughter or otherwise.
Then, my professor kept on blabbing about how there are some murders that are justifiable in some contexts while there are some that are not. Take Achilles’ killing spree, for example. At this point, I spaced out. All I remember is that she kept on repeating our line ‘Murder is still murder’. I felt like she was testing me or something. Well, here’s what I have to say.
I still stick to my statement that murder is still murder, no matter what the reason behind it is. Sure, you may say it’s ‘justifiable’, but it’s still murder. You still robbed someone of their life. It’s like a swivel chair and an arm chair. True, they’re swivel chairs and arm chairs but they’re still chairs nonetheless. Whether a murder is justifiable or not doesn’t change the fact that it was still, after all, a murder. The fact that you killed someone is a burden to your conscience in itself, regardless of what your reasons may be.
On a lighter note, Lightning gave me this riddle. During her mother’s funeral, her daughter sees a guy among the visitors. She takes a fancy to this guy immediately. But she didn’t know his name or where he lived. In short, she knew nothing about him. A few days later, this daughter killed her sister. Why did she do that?
Now, why do you think she did that? Comment with your answers and I’ll give the correct one — which I got, yey — eventually.