From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Flies

The Flies


by Jean-Paul Sartre

The Flies Power 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

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

A word, a single word, might have sufficed. But no one said it. […]
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

And I thought the gods were just!
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...