The Story of Orestes as a Reflection of the Transformations of Modern Society in Pylades by Pier Paolo Pasolini
In my paper I examine the presence of some mythical themes in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s artistic output. I focus mainly on his play Pylades, but I also make frequent references to Pasolini’s other works. In Pylades, Pasolini retells Orestes’ story after the events depicted in Oresteia. This text is not merely an adaptation of the myth but a comment on the contemporary social reality of post-war Italy, and a reflection of both social and psychological transformations which took place in Italy in the 1960s and 1970s. In Pylades Pasolini concentrates on the conflicts between the main characters, Orestes, Electra and Pylades, and uses them to stress the antithesis between the archaic culture, based on religion, and the new one, focused on democracy, rationality and individual responsibility. In this conflict the author tries to depict the contrasts of his own social and political reality. By retelling this mythical history Pasolini shows the impossibility of reconciling the past and the future, the two different ways of living, which, when pursued on their own, can became extreme and dangerous.
The aim of the following paper is to analyse Pier Paolo Pasolini’s reinterpretations of ancient myths, mainly of the story of Orestes, as well as to present new meanings which are attributed by the Italian author to the Aeschylus’ tragedies of the Oresteia.
Born in 1922 in Bologna, Pier Paolo Pasolini received a classical education, based not only on the knowledge of ancient literatures and art but also...
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