In desperation, Clytamnestra bares her breast to Orestes and asks whether or not he has respect for that which gave him life as an infant. This visual, emotional gesture stops Orestes in his tracks. While he is well prepared to counter any logical argument, he is rendered powerless by this visceral sign of motherhood. He falters, and calls to Pylades for help. Pylades then speaks his only lines of the play, reminding him of Apollo's commands. Apollo is the god of light and civilization, whom we could call the representation of patriarchal society. Pylades's words break the spell of the primitive maternal bond, and free Orestes to follow through on his action.

After this critical moment of doubt, Orestes proceeds wholeheartedly towards his goal. Clytamnestra tries to persuade him by appealing to the filial bond, justifying her murder of Agamemnon, her treatment of Orestes as a child, and her adultery. But, while Agamemnon proved easy prey to her arguments and fell into a death trap, Orestes is immune to their manipulative powers.

One of his fiercest statements is that Clytamnestra has no right to judge Agamemnon, for she sat at home while he went to war. Here we see that all justice is not equal, for women are in no position to hold men accountable for their acts. Women do not contribute to society, and should sit in grateful silence rather than criticizing their husbands for murdering their children.

One could argue that Orestes kills her as much for violating what the Greeks considered to be the natural order of things as he does out in vengeance for his father. In ancient Greece, women were not even considered citizens. They were considered to be flaky, hysterical and untrustworthy. Naturally, Clytamnestra was in no position to judge her regal husband.

Finally, we must note that Orestes pays no attention to Clytamnestra's warnings that her curse will hunt him down after her death. Either he is resigned to his fate, does not recognize the full meaning of her words, or trusts that he will evade this punishment somehow. Or, perhaps he is too caught up in the passion of the moment to delay over small matters like curses. Whatever the reason for his lack of reaction to Clytamnestra's warnings, Orestes will soon pay the price for his bloody act.