By Jill Scott (auth.)
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Additional info for A Poetics of Forgiveness: Cultural Responses to Loss and Wrongdoing
In an incredible about-face, Achilles is able to drop his anger and exhibit tenderness, compassion and pity. Similarly, Orestes demonstrates a range of emotional responses, including love, fear, remorse and, finally, gratitude for his release from the consequences of matricide. Even the Bride cannot be described as a thoroughly evil person; during the scenes with her mentors, Bill, Hanzo¯ Hattori and Pai Mei, she exhibits respect and discipline. And once she has crossed every name off her list, she shows both relief that it is over and gratitude for her peaceful life with her young daughter.
The Bride tells Bill about the momentous shift in her consciousness: Before that strip turned blue, I was a woman. I was a killer, who killed for you . . Not anymore. Because now I was a mother. A mother who had one thought on her mind. Please don’t harm my baby. Can you understand that? 40 A Poetics of Forgiveness In addition to her desire to nurture and protect the fetus growing inside her, the Bride now has the greater responsibility of mothering the film itself, to become the matriarch of the screen.
Even if the votes are equal, Orestes wins. (750–756) The Furies are outraged at the disregard for the ancient laws. They curse the land with poison, sterility, and cancer, but there is no question now that they have been demoted and they have no choice but to acquiesce to Athena’s rule. The goddess of wisdom and war has brought restraint and measure to a world, in which brawn and brutality once ruled. Anger-fueled revenge is the modus operandi in the Iliad, and the Oresteia champions justified revenge in the name of civic order, but can we read this trajectory as an overall shift to peace, laying the groundwork for forgiveness and reconciliation?