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Libation Bearers

Libation Bearers

by Aeschylus

Exile Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #10

(Orestes): "And now you see me about to go in supplication, ready prepared with this wreathed and leafy branch, to the shrine at mid-earth's navel, Loxias' holy ground, and its bright fire called undying, as I flee pollution for this family blood; and it was Loxias' order to turn to no other hearth. I tell all Argives [to remember] for me in later time the evil dealt me here, and to be my witness [if] Menelaus [comes]. Myself a wanderer banished from this land [a line missing] living and dead with this fame left behind me." (1034-1042)

Here Orestes enters the most horrible phase of his exile; he is banished from the land he had hoped he was returning to. In fact, he's banished from all lands except for Delphi ("Loxias' holy ground") where he hopes he will be purified of the sin he has committed by murdering his mother. You could even say that he is exiled from his own senses, because the Furies are driving him insane. Why do you think Aeschylus wanted to end the play with Orestes plunged into a worse state of exile than he began with?

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