| Quote #4
(Chorus): "Well then, loyal servants of the house!
Lies and deceit will always be important weapons for the powerless to use against the powerful. In this case, the Chorus of slave-women call upon the gods to give them the power of persuasion. They hope to use this as their instrument of rebellion against Clytemnestra and Aegisthus. If you look at our treatment of the theme of "Language and Communication," you'll see that we talk a lot about how Hermes is the messenger god, who is also in charge of bringing souls down to the Underworld. Actually, though, Hermes isn't just the god in charge of delivering messages properly; he's also the god of delivering messages improperly. That is to say, Hermes is the god of trickery, deceit, and lies.
| Quote #5
(Nurse): "[Clytemnestra] made a melancholy face to the servants, but she was hiding her inner laughter at things which had worked out well for herself […]." (737-739)
The Nurse thinks that Clytemnestra was attempting to deceive the servants of the house when she acted sad at Orestes's death. How is the Nurse able to tell?
| Quote #6
(Chorus): "[Is Aegisthus] to come with bodyguards, or make his way alone?"
Here, we see the Chorus coming into their own as agents in the tragedy, by convincing the Nurse to alter her message to Aegisthus. In their view, deception doesn't depend on telling a plausible story. What counts is the way the message is delivered: the "messenger" is the one who can "make bent words succeed." That said, they make it easy for the messenger by not changing the story too much. The nurse is supposed to report a "bent" message to Aegisthus, not a broken and remade one.