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The Flies

The Flies


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.

Quote #1

You will observe that there's not a window anywhere. […] they turn their backsides to the streets. (1.1.6)

This self-imposed isolation is one of the symptoms of the shame and remorse that plague Argos.

Quote #2

Where can [these flies] come from? (1.1.26)

Good question – and the answer may change throughout the course of the play. From one perspective, the flies are sent by the gods to make a point. From another, they are self-imposed – a physical manifestation of the guilt shared by the townspeople of Argos.

Quote #3

[Hideous shrieks come from the palace.]
Listen to that! I don't know if you will agree with me, young master, but I think we'd do better to leave this place. (1.1.32)

The backdrop of the Ceremony of the Dead serves to provide the mood for The Flies. These shrieks coming from the backdrop are the perfect support for this atmosphere of dread and fear.

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