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Still feeling guilty for his mother’s murder, and still being pursued by the Erinyes, Orestes takes refuge in Apollo’s temple at Delphi, who tries to delay the Erinyes to find him. Meanwhile, the ghost of Clytemnestra urges them to continue searching for his son and they eventually find him.
At that moment, Athena intervenes and decides to settle the whole thing on a judgment, with Apollo acting as Orestes’ attorney, the Erinyes defending the ghost and Athena and others as the jury. Just as Athena predicted, it results in a tie, after which Orestes is acquitted, something the Erinyes have to accept eventually.
After this play there was originally a Satyr Play called Proteus, but save for a few fragments, it has not survived until today.
Eumenides provides examples of:
- Classical Mythology
- Greek Chorus: The Eumenides who, in fact, are the same Erinyes of the previous play.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Orestes’ defense.
- Karma Houdini: Not Orestes, curiously, since he has a BSOD and is being followed by the Erinyes, but rather Electra, who convinced Orestes of doing the killing. Of course, since Orestes was acquitted, you could argue that the acquittal was extended to anyone involved (including Apollo, who was also guilty to a point).
- The Nose Knows: The Erinyes find Orestes following the smell of his mother’s blood on his hands.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: Clytemnestra’s ghost appears more like a collection of dreams or thoughts than a singular being.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Athena, Apollo.
- These Hands Have Killed
- Winged Humanoid: The Erinyes.