The Oresteia - Study Guide Play 3, Part 1 (p. 199-205) Summary & Analysis

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"The Eumenides" The first part of this play takes place at the Oracle of Delphi. The Oracle, a woman, invokes the presence and the power of all the gods, imploring their guidance as she issues her prophecies. She then speaks at poetic length of her wonder and fear at seeing "a man red-handed, with blood-dabbled blade ... [and] seated there before him ... a troop of women ... not women, nay ... they are dark of hue/and altogether hideous, breathing out/Their snorting breath in gusts not to be borne/Distilling from their eyelids drops of hate." After praying to Apollo for guidance in what's to follow, the source of her vision is revealed - Orestes and the Furies (in Greek, the Eumenides), collapsed in exhaustion before Apollo's altar.

Apollo himself appears, offering his support for Orestes even as he describes in a lengthy...

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