Eumenides

Eumenides: Theme Analysis

Transformation of Ideas about Justice The main theme of The Eumenides can best be approached by reminding ourselves of the themes of the first two plays in the trilogy. The theme of the Agamemnon is a dilemma rather than any positive message: Justice will be done, those who transgress will suffer, but woe be to …

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Eumenides: Metaphor Analysis

The Gods The most powerful images in the play are the gods themselves, especially the Furies. Everything about them has a meaning beyond the literal meaning, and some of the most powerful metaphors and similes of the play are used to describe them. In the beginning they are utterly repellent. The Pythia compares them to …

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Eumenides: Lines 566-777

    Summary The scene shifts to the Hill of Ares, the Areopagus. Athena, Apollo, and Orestes enter, along with the silent actors who will represent a herald, the judges, and the audience. Athena bids the herald invite the people to take their places and bids the trumpet sound; now all are to be silent …

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Eumenides: Lines 778-1047

    Summary The Chorus of Furies sing and dance their anger and grief against the “younger gods” who have trampled on “the ancient laws” (778) and dishonored the Furies themselves. They threaten to blast the land with diseases that will kill crops and children. They see themselves as mocked and bemoan their fate. Athena …

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Eumenides: Lines 235-396

    Summary The scene is now Athens and the ancient temple of Athena. Orestes prays to Athena, with his arms around an image of Athena. Following Apollo’s orders, he has undergone various purifications, and now comes to Athena for help. The Chorus of Furies enter, and the Chorus Leader speaks. We are on his …

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Eumenides: Lines 397-565

    Summary Athena herself appears on stage; she describes her flight without wings over the sea from an area near Troy that the Greek leaders gave to her after the Trojan War. Seeing the Furies, she feels wonder, but not fear. She asks to know who they are, as well as who the stranger …

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Eumenides: Lines 1-139

  (in the Greek text—line numbers in the translations vary)   Summary The scene of the play is at first in front of the temple of Apollo in Delphi, the home of the Delphic oracle. The Pythia, the priestess of Apollo who delivers his oracles, prays before entering the shrine. First she names the gods …

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