| Quote #1
(Chorus): "[Menelaus and Agamemnon's] loud and ringing cry was of war, from anger,
This is how the Chorus first describes the Trojan War, by comparing Menelaus and Agamemnon to vultures that are enraged because their chicks have been killed. Obviously, this isn't a very exact parallel, because what happened to Menelaus was that his wife, Helen, was kidnapped by (or maybe ran off with) Alexandros, a.k.a. Paris; nobody hurt Menelaus's children. As for Agamemnon, he's simply along for the ride, and, ironically enough, he is going to end up killing his own child, Iphigenia. Do you think the Chorus is acting with justice and exercising good judgment in making this comparison, then? How about this: the Chorus says that Zeus sent the sons of Atreus against the Trojans because he wanted to punish them for their violation of hospitality; does this mean they think the war is just? What kind of justice can be dealt out by a Fury, anyway? (Think of our modern legal system; does frenzied rage typically play a major role in this process?) Because it raises all these questions, the first Choral Ode really gets the ball rolling on play's theme of "Justice and Judgment."
| Quote #2
(Chorus): "I reverence great Zeus of Hospitality who has carried this through,
What does Chorus take Zeus for, some kind of idiot? We mean, we've heard of missing something by a long shot, but aiming your bow at somebody and shooting "beyond the stars"? That's pretty extreme. That said, it's important to remember that the Chorus is speaking metaphorically here. Once again, they're talking about the Trojan War; the arrow stands in for the Greek army, led by Agamemnon and Menelaus, that Zeus is shooting at the Trojans because Alexandros (a.k.a. Paris) stole Helen. How might the idea that Zeus aimed his bow correctly relate to the issue of whether the war was just?
| Quote #3
(Chorus): "Zeus' blow: they can speak of that;
Once again, the Chorus cites the punishment of the Trojans as an example of Zeus's justice. Here, they also argue that this is proof against people who claim that the gods don't care about punishing humans who violate justice. This theme will come up again in the speech of Aegisthus in lines 1577-1582.