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The Flies

The Flies


by Jean-Paul Sartre

The Flies Man and the Natural World 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

Fifteen years ago, a mighty stench of carrion drew them to this city. (1.1.27)

It's interesting that Zeus uses the word "carrion" to describe the aftermath of Agamemnon's death. Again, the people of Argos – even its rightful king – are reduced to the state of mere animals.

Quote #2

The people of Argos saw their faces dyed red by the sunset, and they saw them leaning over the battlements, gazing for a long while seawards. And the people thought, "There's evil brewing." But they kept silence. (1.1.36)

Where else do we see a red sunset in the course of The Flies? And how does that scene compare to the one Zeus describes here?

Quote #3

For memories are reserved for people who own houses, cattle, fields, and servants. Whereas I–I am free as air, thank God! My mind's my own, gloriously aloof. (1.1.97)

Orestes can do nothing about his past – those are factual events he can't change. What he is free to do is interpret those events in his own mind and give meaning to them.

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