* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
Dismiss
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Flies

The Flies

by Jean-Paul Sartre

Power Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

ZEUS
They've been getting fatter and fatter. Give them another fifteen years, and they'll be as big as toads. (1.1.27)

If the flies are representative of the guilt and remorse plaguing Argos, then there isn't much hope for a future for these people. All the repentance in the world doesn't seem to be alleviating their guilt – rather it worsens it.

Quote #2

ZEUS
A word, a single word, might have sufficed. But no one said it. […]
ORESTES
And you, too, said nothing? (1.1.38-39)

It sounds as though Orestes realizes at this point that he's dealing with a god. If this is the case, then his question holds far more significance, as he's addressing issues of fate, free will, and divine intervention.

Quote #3

ORESTES
And I thought the gods were just!
ZEUS
Steady, my friend. Don't blame the gods too hastily. Must they always punish? Wouldn't it be better to use such breaches of the law to point a moral? (1.1.42)

The system Zeus condones seems to allow for free will more than that suggested by Orestes. Zeus seems to imply that men can be instructed, and still allowed to act as they choose.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Noodle's College Search
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement