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The Flies

The Flies

by Jean-Paul Sartre

Guilt and Blame Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

CLYTEMNESTRA
Did they tell you that we bear the burden of an inexpiable crime, committed fifteen years ago? […] And that Queen Clytemnestra bears the heaviest load of guilt? (1.1.198)

Why is the Queen's burden of guilt heavier than everyone else's? She is guilty of both adultery and betrayal against her husband – but is this what Sartre is referring to?

Quote #8

ELECTRA
Note her words, Philebus. That's a rule of the game. People will beg you to condemn them, but you must be sure to judge them on the sins they own to; their other evil deeds are no one's business, and they wouldn't thank you for detecting them. (1.1.203)

This is interesting – it suggests that the Argives' confessions are not entirely genuine. That is, people confess only for the public image of being repentant.

Quote #9

CLYTEMNESTRA
But wait, my girl; one day you, too, will be trailing after you an inexpiable crime. At every step you will think that you are leaving it behind, but it will remain as heavy as before. (1.1.206)

Is this metaphorical weight a positive or a negative in The Flies? Clytemnestra resents the burden she carries, yet Orestes resents his "lightness."

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