Euripides (c.480–c.406 BC), translated by Theodoridis, G., (contributor-contact-email)

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Orestes, a tragedy by Euripides, explores the tribulations of Orestes after he murders his mother, Clytemnestra, in retribution for his father, Agamemnon’s , death. The play is set in the aftermath of this matricide, where Orestes grapples with madness and persecution by the Furies.

In the play, Orestes and his sister Electra find themselves at the mercy of the Argive people, who seek to punish Orestes for his crime. Their hope for salvation rests with their uncle Menelaus, who returns from the Trojan War. However, Menelaus abandons them in preference of political influence. In a desperate bid for survival, Orestes and Electra, with their companion Pylades, hatch a plan to kill Helen, Menelaus’ wife, and take her daughter Hermione hostage. The plot, however, takes an unexpected turn when Helen disappears, supposedly taken by the gods. The play culminates with the deus ex machina appearance of Apollo, who resolves the situation. He orders Orestes to stand trial in Athens, where he is acquitted, and arranges the marriages of Orestes to Hermione and Electra to Pylades, restoring order from chaos.

Euripides’ Orestes delves into themes of justice, revenge, and the whims of the gods, reflecting on the complexities of human nature and divine intervention. It stands out in its critique of societal norms and the political landscape of ancient Greece.

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Theodoridis, G.,

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