Orestes’s Trial

Orestes’s Trial



Course Number and Name



Orestes Trial

I agree with the Furies’ claim that Orestes should be punished for killing his mother. The main motive behind Orestes’s move to kill his mother to avenge his father is the notion that women are not as important as men. From Apollo’s argument, mothers have lesser claim over their children than fathers do (Ringer, 2020). This is not true since both parents share responsibilities of taking care of their children, both in the ancient and the contemporary world. Besides, children are a product of both the mother and father, and as such, it is not morally justified for Orestes to kill his mother with the claim that he is less related to her than he is to the father. Orestes also claimed that Apollo instructed him to avenge his father by killing his mother, which was the will of Zeus. However, it is evident that Apollo’s oracle does not reveal the will of Zeus instead what Zeus might command. This shows that Orestes acted on Apollo’s predictions of what Zeus might say but not what Zeus actually instructed. As such, the Furies were right to take action and take Orestes to face trial (Harvey, 2020).

Besides, avenging murder with murder cannot be justified since there are better avenues that Orestes could have explored to seek justice for his father. This, therefore, is in accordance with the position taken by the Furies which shows that Orestes’s crime cannot be justified as it hits at the moral base of the society. Orestes should be punished accordingly to demonstrate the severity of his actions and prevent future occurrences of such immoral actions (Sommerstein, 2020). However, the Furies’ suggestion that Orestes should pay the price of matricide with his life is extreme. This is because killing Orestes means repeating the same mistake of vengeance instead of pursuing legal justice.


Harvey, M. (2020). Power Struggles in Aeschylus’ Oresteia: ESP, Law and Literature and Greek Tragedy. ILCEA. Revue de l’Institut des langues et cultures d’Europe, Amérique, Afrique, Asie et Australie, (40).

Ringer, M. (2020). Orestes. In Brill’s Companion to Euripides (2 vols) (pp. 360-375). Brill.

Sommerstein, A. H. (2020). Aeschylus, Oresteia: Revenge, Justice, Gender, and Democracy. A Companion to World Literature, 1-11.