Study Guide

The Eumenides Section 2

By Aeschylus

Section 2

  • Then, who should come out of the temple but… Orestes himself. (Maybe the Prophetess woke him up when she entered the temple—we aren't told.)
  • But wait—there's someone else with him. It's—it's—the god Apollo!
  • Orestes says to Apollo, "Hey man, you're great with being just and all, but how's about standing up for your friends?"
  • Then Apollo tells him, "Hey, no worries, I've got your back. Oh yeah, one thing though, I forgot to mention: those crazy Fury ladies are going to condemn you to agony and madness."
  • At this point, Orestes has got to be rolling his eyes and saying, "Oh, perfect" to himself. But then Apollo comes to the point:
  • "So here's what you've got to do," says the god: "Go to Athens and throw yourself at the mercy of the goddess Athena. Then we'll have a nice little trial to clear up this whole problem. And don't forget: I'm the one who told you to kill your mom. If anyone's got a problem with that, they can talk to me."
  • That seems good enough for Orestes, because he runs offstage, on his way to Athens.
  • Then Apollo calls out to his brother, the god Hermes. Because Hermes is the god of travelers, Apollo asks him to watch over Orestes while he is on his journey to Athens. Then Apollo goes back into his temple.