Study Guide

Orestes

  • Profile

    When he killed his mom Clytemnestra, Orestes became the most notorious mother killer of all time. Before you go thinking he was just a psycho, though, you ought to know that Orestes committed matricide because Clytemnestra murdered Agamemnon, her husband and Orestes' father. Also, Orestes was ordered to avenge his father's death by Apollo himself. What's a guy to do? After the murder, Orestes was plagued by the furious Furies, until Athena finally stepped in and acquitted him in one of the first court cases ever. Extenuating circumstances comin' at ya.

    Basic Information

    Name

    Orestes

    Nickname

    Mother Killer (not particularly fond of this nickname)

    Sex

    Male

    Current city

    Elysium

    Work & Education

    Occupation

    King of Mycenae (a.k.a. Argos)

    Education

    The Furies' School of Retribution (forced attendance)
    Athena's Academy of Justice (a happy graduate to say the least)

    Beliefs

    Political views

    The court case in which I was acquitted is widely considered to have created the idea of democracy, so I have to say I'm pretty into it.

    Family & Friends (& Enemies)

    Parents

    Agamemnon (Dad) (who was killed by my mom)
    Clytemnestra (Mom) (who I killed for killing my dad)

    Siblings

    Iphigenia (my sister who my father sacrificed—the reason my mom killed him)
    Electra (my sister who helped me kill our mom)
    Chrysothemis (didn't kill anybody—bo-ring)

    Children

    Tisamenus

    Friends

    Pylades (total BFFs)
    Apollo (who stood beside me through the scandal)
    Athena (who absolved me of my crimes)

    Relationships

    Relationship status

    Married to Hermione (no, not Hermione Granger)

    Interested in

    My wife's okay
    A lot of people say I have a thing with Pylades, my BFF, but I neither confirm nor deny

    Favorites

    TV Shows

    Family Guy 
    Law and Order 
    Judge Judy (She totally reminds me of Athena who saved me from those Furies.)

    Quotations


    "What I need is a good defense
    'Cause I'm feelin' like a criminal
    And I need to be redeemed
    To the one I've sinned against"
    – from "Criminal" by Fiona Apple

    "Mama, [I] just killed a man..."
    – from "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen (I change this to "Oh man, I just killed Mama" when I sing it in the shower)

    "You were a child,
    crawlin' on your knees toward it.
    Makin' Mama so proud,
    but your voice was too loud."
    – from "Kids" by MGMT

    "Every whisper,
    Every waking hour I'm
    Choosing my confessions
    Trying to keep an eye on you
    Like a hurt, lost and blinded fool, fool"
    – from "Losing My Religion" by REM

    "Forgiveness doesn't change the past, but it does enlarge the future."
    – Paul Boese

    Books

    Agamemnon 
    Libation Bearers
    The Eumenides
    Hamlet by William Shakespeare (A lot of people say Hamlet was inspired by my life story.) 
    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee 
    The Flies by Jean-Paul Sartre (I wish I were really as smart as this guy makes me out to be.) 
    On the Road by Jack Kerouac (Totally reminds me of Pylades and my adventuring days.)
    In Cold Blood by Truman Capote  
    Long Day's Journey Into Night by Eugene O'Neill (This messed-up family almost seems happy compared to mine.) 
    Electra by Sophocles (Clearly this should be named after me and not my sis, but whatevs.) 

    Music

    Some Nights by Fun. 
    Too Close by Alex Clare 
    Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen 
    Criminal by Fiona Apple (Me too, Fiona...me too.) 
    Elephant Gun by Beirut 
    Hey Jude by the Beatles (I used to sing this to try and cheer up Electra.) 
    Kids by MGMT 
    Losing My Religion by REM 

    Movies

    Psycho (At least I'm not nearly as bad as Norman Bates. Right...RIGHT?) 
    Misery (This crazy lady ought to get a job as a Fury.) 
    Throw Mamma from the Train (Yeah, that would've been easier.) 
    A Time to Kill 
    The Dark Knight (Sometimes justice gets dark.) 
    A Few Good Men (My life was saved in court, so I have a thing for courtroom dramas.) 
    To Kill a Mockingbird 
    Mommie Dearest (This lady is nowhere near as bad as my Mom.) 

    Activities & Interests

    Likes

    Ping pong
    Fury repellent
    Court TV

    Interests

    Psychiatry
    Law
    Democracy

    Groups

    Union of Kings
    Mother Killer Support Group
    The Anti-Fury League
    Ping Pong Experts

  • Spotter's Guide

    Back in the day, it would've been super easy to spot Orestes. After he killed his mother, the Furies tortured him until he went totally nuts, so he tended to make a spectacle of himself. He spent a lot of time stumbling around Greece, frothing at the mouth and screaming, so he kind of stood out. After Athena convinced the Furies to chill about the whole matricide thing, though, Orestes got a lot more chill. These days, he spends his time relaxing in Elysium with his BFF Pylades, where they engage in an eternal game of ping pong.

    Sex: Male
    Age: 20s-30s
    Build: Toned
    Complexion: Tan
    Hair Color: Blonde
    Facial Hair: Clean shaven
    Scars/marks/tattoos: Tons of battle scars
    Jewelry and accessories: Crown of Mycenae/Argos
    Clothing: Robes
    Armor: Shiny
    Type of Weapon: Sword, dagger

    Typical Companions:

    Pylades
    Electra

    Known Hangouts:

    Mycenae
    Mt. Parnassus
    Athens

  • Sightings

    Dec 20, 2019

    The Oresteia by Aeschylus

    In this tragic trilogy, Agamemnon's murder sets off a horrific chain of events. First, Agamemnon makes it home from the war, but gets murdered in a bathtub by his wife, Clytemnestra. Second, Orestes, Agamemnon's son, returns home, and with the encouragement of his sister, Electra, avenges his father's death by killing Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus. Finally, the Furies plague Orestes for killing his mother, but the cycle of violence is put to rest in a trial hosted by Athena. Whew.

    Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

    Iphigenia in Tauris by Euripides

    In this tragedy, Orestes and Pylades go on a quest to rescue a statue of Artemis, and find out that Iphigenia is alive and working as a priestess of Artemis.

    Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

    Electra by Euripides

    Check out Euripides' take on Orestes murdering his mother.

    Dec 20, 2019

    Electra by Sophocles

    Aaaaaand here's yet another version of the most famous matricide of all times.

    Dec 20, 2019

    Orestes by Euripides

    Orestes and Electra are sentenced to death by Menelaus for killing Clytemnestra in this tragedy.

    Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

    Iphigenia in Aulis by Euripides

    Orestes appears as a baby in Clytemnestra's arms in this tragedy that tells the tale of Agamemnon deciding to sacrifice his daughter, Iphigenia.

    Dec 20, 2019

    The Flies by Jean-Paul Sartre

    Orestes gets existential in this modern play that re-imagines the classic Greek takes on the myth.

    Dec 20, 2019

    These Seven Sicknesses by Sean Graney

    In this modernized marathon of all of Sophocles' extant plays, Orestes and Electra get pretty friendly with each other as they plot to kill Clytemnestra.