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The Flies

The Flies

by Jean-Paul Sartre

Power Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

ZEUS
See that old creature over there, creeping away like a beetle on her little black feet, hugging the walls. Well, she's a good specimen of the squat black vermin that teem in every cranny of this town. Now watch me catch our specimen, it's well worth inspection. Here it is. A loathsome object, you'll agree. (1.1.46)

This is an important passage, because it's indicative of the way the gods view men in this play.

Quote #5

OLD WOMAN
Oh, Sir, I do repent, most heartily I repent. If you only knew how I repent, and my daughter too, and my son-in-law offers up a heifer every year, and my little grandson has been brought up in a spirit of repentance. He's a pretty lad, with flaxen hair, and he always behaves as good as gold. Though he's only seven, he never plays or laughs, for thinking of his original sin… (1.1.59)

This passage is a loaded one. "[O]riginal sin" refers not just to the town's shared crime against Agamemnon, but also to the Christian belief of original sin (which goes back to Adam's fall and the first sin shared by all men).

Quote #6

ZEUS
Good you old bitch, that's as it should be – and be sure you die in a nice bitchy odor of repentance. […] Unless I'm much mistaken, my masters, we have there the real thing, the good old piety of yore, rooted in terror. (1.1.60)

This might be representative of Sartre's view of organized religion in general – institutions which imprisons its members in fear and hides from them their own freedom.

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