Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Quotes

Quote #10

(Orestes): "It was an outrage: to be sold away, when I was a free man's son."
(Clytemnestra): "Then where was the price I got in exchange?"
(Orestes): "I feel shame at putting that reproach to you plainly."
(Clytemnestra): "Don't, unless you speak equally of your father's follies too."
(Orestes): "Don't find fault with the worker while you sit about indoors."
(Clytemnestra): "It is painful for wives to be kept from a husband, my child."
(Orestes): "But it is a husband's toil which maintains them while they sit indoors." (915-921)

Here, once again, we get the sexual double-standard. Orestes calls his mom a skank for (in his view) sending him away so she could carry on with Aegisthus. Clytemnestra defends herself by saying that Agamemnon had affairs too, and anyway life's tough for women who have to sit at home while their husbands are off fighting battles. In his response, however, Orestes shows that he thinks men have special rights: because men's fighting provides their wives with a livelihood, women should just put up with their affairs. Who do you think we are meant to feel more sympathy for in this exchange?

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