Line 177- “Or take the flash and stab this, this flying viper whipped from the

golden cord that strings my bow.”Apollo says this to the Furies while defending Orestes. Apollo has just helped Orestes escape and wants the Furies out of his home. By saying that he, Apollo, has “whipped Orestes from his golden chord”, he is taking some credit for the murder of Clytemnestra. He makes sure not to say he himself was not completely to blame by calling Orestes a viper. A viper can be compared to a serpent which is considered a sly and evil creature. On the other hand, he includes the word “flying” which implies that Orestes has the characteristics of an eagle, which represents braveness and virtue. Orestes is considered an eagle and serpent in this play and others, so the comparison almost deficiently is referring to this. Line 155- “Guilt both ways, and who can call it justice?” The Furies say this to Apollo right after helps Orestes Escape. This quote by the furies basically means that two wrongs don’t make a right. They still want to catch Orestes so they can kill him, so in a way this statement is overflowing irony. Because of the irony, one can assume that the furies treasure the life of a woman over that of a man. They want to kill a man for killing a woman, even though she killed a man. With their philosophy stated in the quote it seems as though the killing of a man does not apply. Their feminism also contributes to the fact that they like Athena and not Apollo. Feminism has a major part in this play. Line 215- “Marriage of a man and wife is fate itself, stronger than oaths, and justice guards its life.” Apollo says this to the Furies right after they claim that a mother’s bond has more value than that of marriage because of blood. Apollo is claiming that nothing is stronger than fate and marriage is brought about by fate. Also, by saying that justice guards its life, he is claiming that if someone breaks a marriage, they will have to face justice. Because Clytemnestra broke her marriage by killing her husband, someone should kill her. Apollo uses his gift of exceptional language to defend Orestes, but the Furies will not give in. This again brings up the idea of feminism. Athena’s language has a strong hold over the furies, yet Apollo has no such success. Line 243- “He wants to go on trial for his crimes-never.” The Furies say this to Apollo after finding Orestes. This shows that they have not changed their minds after speaking to Apollo. Right before the Furies caught Orestes, he was praying for Athena to appear and defend him. Athena has not appeared, so her effect on the Furies is yet to take place. Line 449- “Certainly. We respect you. You Show us Respect.” - The Furies tell Athena this after she asks if she, Athena, can decide Orestes’ fate. This is not only a turning point in “The Eumenides”, but in the entire “Oresteia” and especially in the “house of Atreus.” Before this point revenge was used to punish anyone who had committed a crime, and now the justice system is put in place. The chain of murder in the house of Atreus broke and the crime will actually be taken into consideration. In addition, the Furies have considered even considering Orestes’ innocence. Athena used her power of language to persuade the Furies and they listened for the first time, because they like women and see their young selves in her.

Line 278- “The blood sleeps, it is fading on my hands the stain of mother’s murder washed clean.” - Orestes says this while praying for Athena to appear and defend him against the Furies. Had Orestes not killed his Mother, Apollo would probably have struck him dead. This means that even if they decide to punish him for the murder, and he believes that they should not, Apollo purged his hands. This leaves Orestes with two defenses. If everyone decides to punish him, then he can say that he had no choice because Apollo forced him to do it and cleaned him of any guilt. Orestes chose these words carefully and consequently Athena came to help him. This play shows that persuasion and linguistic skill can work just as well as weapons do. Line 753- “Yes, with all my heart I am my father’s child.” Athena says this to those attending Orestes’ trial. She is explaining why she would cast her vote in favor of Orestes. She was born from Zeus and Zeus only. She never had a mother and therefore does not feel that the killing of a mother does not equal the injustice of the murdering of the man of a house. She was raised to respect men and she uses her father as a model for all men. Because of this special bond with Zeus, Athena casts her vote for the freeing of Orestes; consequently he is freed. Had Athena been born to only a woman she would have almost defiantly convicted Orestes or would not even have tried to hold a trial in the first place. Of all the goddesses Orestes could have called upon, he picked the best for his case. Line 837- “I am the only god who knows the keys to the armoury where his lightningbolt is sealed.” Athena says this to the Furies while trying to clam them after they lose the trial. She uses many peaceful approaches, but she also throws in a hint of force. This shows them that she does respect them but that she will protect her land if they try to harm it. By adding this little bit of forceful language she widens the gap between deciding whether to let the whole thing go. If they decide to stay with Athena, no harm will be brought to them, but if they do decide to poison the earth, Athena will strike them with Zeus’s lightning. Athena’s skill with language and persuasion tops even Clytemnestra’s in this play. 876- “This is the life I offer, it is yours to take.” – Athena says this to the Furies to after offering them a home in Athens. She did this so that she could keep an eye on the furies. They were threatening to destroy the land and she obviously did not want this to happen. Also, Athena could not stop the Furies from destroying the earth, but could only punish them for doing so. If they lived close to Athena, she could watch them and see if they were up to anything. The Furies have already been frightened by the rising power of the younger gods and all it could take is one thing to set them off again. If they were in “alien land” then Athena would not have any control over the situation, yet Athena’s land could still be. All this was going through Athena’s head, but she managed to disguise it as an act of respect. As before, the Furies bought it and decided to stay with Athena.

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