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The Flies

The Flies

by Jean-Paul Sartre

Transformation Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

CLYTEMNESTRA
If the doom I brought ton my life has taught me anything, it is that I have nothing left to fear… (1.1.188)

Is Clytemnestra bluffing here? Can she honestly claim she fears nothing at this point?

Quote #8

ORESTES
[Staring at the stone] So that is the Right Thing. […] That's what's wanted, eh? [He stares at the stone in silence for some moments.] The Right Thing. Their Right Thing. [Another silence.] Electra!
[…]
[Slowly, in a tone he has not used till now:] There is another way.
[…]
From now on I'll take no one's orders, neither man's nor god's. (2.1.157-161)

This is the moment of Orestes's epiphany. He realizes that the sign from the gods is just that – a sign, neither a command nor confining order. He realizes that he can choose how to interpret this sign for himself.

Quote #9

ORESTES
What a change has come over everything, and oh, how far away you seem! Until now I felt something warm and living around me, like a friendly presence. That something has just died. What emptiness! What endless emptiness, as far as the eye can reach! (2.1.163)

Orestes has discovered a key tenet of Sartre's existentialism: freedom is not meant to be fun. Yet he embraces the anguish that comes with his discovery. This is what makes him the hero – the positive example – of the play.

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