chapter  3
9 Pages

The 'Eumenides'

The first scene, laid before Apollo's temple in Delphi, establishes a mood of dignity, calm and beauty. The tradition was that Apollo took possessionof Delphi by force. In this play Aeschylus abolishes the force; all is order and peace. The first of many theatrical strokes is that the Priestess, having entered the holy shrine, comes out again in terror, on all fours; she has seen within such hideous monsters that she can hardly describe them. Next, we see Apollo himself, in all his majesty, the Apollo who has been aptly compared with the nearly contemporary Apollo in the pediment at Olympia, He assures Orestes ofhis protection, and delivershim for safe-keeping

into the hands of Hermes, the god to whom Orestes was praying at the begitming of the Choephori. The Erinyes, overcome by sleep, lie huddled on the floor. Apollo speaks of them just as the Priestess did: they are loathsome creatures from the lowest pit.