Heidegger and the Question of Freedom in The Eumenides

Bahee Hadaegh1 Mohsen Sohrabi2

1Assistant Professor, Shiraz University, Faculty of Letters and Humanities, Department of Foreign Languages & Linguistics, Department of Foreign Language and Linguistics. Email:

2M.A. Graduate of Shiraz University, Department of Foreign Languages & Linguistics. E-mail:


Volume 8, Number 4, 2016 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v8n4.07

Received August 13, 2016; Revised November 20, 2016; Accepted December  22, 2016; Published January 14, 2017


This paper first applies Heidegger’s notion of in/authenticity to Orestes in Aeschylus’ The Eumenides. The examination of authenticity is the departure point after which the question of freedom in this tragedy can be addressed mainly with Heidegger’s Being and Time in view. It then discusses a possible interpretation of the Greek god Apollo which frees and yet entangles Orestes in his course of decisions, which is also a harbinger of a new historical era in which the mythos for the historical Dasein brings it to the destiny of people. Heidegger’s understanding of tragedy brings the fate of historical man to the destiny of its people; therefore, in this reading of Aeschylus’ The Eumenides the individual—as in early Heidegger— transforms into a historical gestalt which is meaningful only with a look into the possibilities of future.

 Keywords: Authenticity, Being and Time, Freedom, History, The Eumenides

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