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by Sophocles

Orestes Timeline and Summary

  • Orestes is back in town with Pylades and the old slave. They recount, for the audience's benefit, the past action: Agamemnon was killed and Orestes was smuggled out of town by his sister Electra and the old slave.
  • Orestes declares that he's ready for action; he sends the old slave to the palace with a faulty story about his own death, and heads to Agamemnon's grave to pay his respects to Dad.
  • Orestes comes on stage with Pylades; he's carrying a small urn, which supposedly hold his (Orestes's) ashes. When he realizes that he's conversing with Electra, he reveals his true identity. Together, they plot to kill the royal couple.
  • Orestes goes inside with Pylades and kills Clytemnestra.
  • He comes outside with the covered body and converses with Aegisthus. During the conversation, Orestes reveals his identity.
  • Orestes ushers the Aegisthus inside, where he plans to murder the King.