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The New Agamemnon of Television

Analyze how a significant portion of the audience identifies with, and has a lot of sympathy for, the male lead in modern television shows such as Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, and Mad Men. Contrast this affection with the significant hatred of the wives of these leads. Explore the similarities between this relationship dynamic and the one between Agamemnon and his family, focusing primarily on the Oresteia by Aeschylus. Analyze how various people have developed an Orestes complex while watching these shows. Relate it to contemporary psychology and gender politics.

  • While I agree that all three of these shows seduce the viewer into sympathy with these questionable-moral-having main men via identification with an interesting (a generous way to describe D.D.) albeit flawed protagonist which places their wives at times as less-flushed out antagonists, I think it is an oversimplification and a large assumption to make that the audience ‘hates’ these wives. The gender of the audience member, as well as other factors, would, in my opinion, engender different feelings towards these wives. In the case of Breaking Bad and its protagonist’s steady but dramatic fall from grace, I would also argue that the viewer is encouraged to stop identifying or rooting for W.W. and instead to sympathize with Skyler and Walt Jr. by the show’s finale. – duronen 4 weeks ago
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