Oresteia pt 2

Oresteia pt 2

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  • Orestes pretends to be a traveler sent to inform Clytemnestra that Orestes is dead. Once in the palace, he kills Aegisthus. Clytemnestra runs in to investigate and Orestes hesitates; but Pylades reminds him to obey Apollo, so Orestes kills Clytemnestra as well.
  • The Erinyes arrive to avenge Clytemnestra. They torment Orestes and drive him mad. He flees towards Apollo’s temple at Delphi, pursued by the Erinyes.
  • Orestes arrives at the temple of Delphi and Apollo temporarily puts the Erinyes to sleep so he can rest. Apollo then tells Orestes to go to Athens and stand trial for his matricide. Hermes guides him there; meanwhile Clytemnestra’s ghost tries in vain to wake the Erinyes up.
  • Orestes arrives in Athens, but the Erinyes catch up to him. Luckily, Athena appears and decides to organize a murder trial for him where the Erinyes are his accusers and Apollo is his defender.
  • At the trial, the Erinyes argue Clytemnestra’s life was worth the same as Agamemnon’s, while Apollo argues that men’s lives are worth more than women’s. The jury is split perfectly in half with their votes. However, Athena agrees with Apollo, and casts the tie breaker vote acquitting Orestes.
  • The Erinyes are furious and begin to turn their anger towards the city of Athens. However, Athena successfully persuades them to bless Athens instead and make it their home in return for offerings and prayers from its residents. The Erinyes become the Eumenides, meaning “Kind Goddesses”, and the cycle of bloody retribution is finally ended.
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