Revenge in "Medea", by Euripides, and "The House of the Spirits" by Isabel Allende

Topics: Isabel Allende, Ethics, Family Pages: 3 (1073 words) Published: January 7, 2012
Often, when someone commits evil deeds, it causes the victim to take action. This, however, may simply escalate the situation to the point where the characters forget about morals and beliefs for retribution. In the novel, The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende, and the play, Medea, by Euripides, the characters from both works react intensely to get revenge on others. Although Allende mainly uses effective diction, and Euripides the power of the chorus, both authors challenge the view that when faced with injustice, defiance is the solution.

In The House of the Spirits, Allende’s use of diction enhances the injustice that Esteban Garcia ll must confront, but also to emphasize the consequences of such confrontation. To begin, he loathes Esteban Trueba for raping his grandmother, Pancha, the cause for his revenge. During the death of Pedro Garcia, Allende details Esteban Garcia’s hatred for Esteban Trueba: “[h]e hated Esteban Trueba… Trueba had forgotten all about Pancha García and the fact that he had had a child with her… [Esteban García] would lie awake at night imagining all sorts of dreadful illnesses and accidents that could put an end to the life of [Esteban Trueba]… [Esteban García] always reproached Trueba for the dark existence he had forged for him, and he felt constantly punished” (Allende, 189). Evidently, Esteban García has passionate contempt for his grandfather, rooted by the transgression he commits by raping Garcías grandmother. Allende emphasizes his hatred by using harsh diction, such as: “dreadful, reproached, dark, forged, [and] punished”. This depicts the extent to which García regards such actions as injustice. Later in the novel, the consequences of getting revenge on Esteban Trueba are revealed. As Alba writes about her family history with Esteban Trueba, she discusses, “[Alba] wrote in [her] mind that one day Colonel García would stand before [her] in defeat and that [she] would avenge [her]self on all those who need to be...
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