by Jean-Paul Sartre
The Flies Guilt and Blame Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue. We used the translation by S. Gilbert found in No Exit and Three Other Plays, published by Vintage Books in 1989.
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?
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.
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."