The chorus perks up at this, assuring Orestes that he has done the right thing, and pleading with him not to speak evil things. Orestes cannot hear them now, however, as he is possessed by a vision of the Furies. The chorus sees nothing, but Orestes assures them that for him, the Furies are real. The chorus claims that the blood on his hands is making him see visions, nothing more. Orestes cries out to Apollo, begging for release from the bloody troops of vengeful spirits.

Orestes rushes from the stage, leaving the chorus to sum up the woes of the house. They close the play with a question. When will this murderous hate of the Furies come to an end?


The chorus opens this scene by lamenting the fates of Clytamnestra and Aigisthos, but saying also that Justice necessitated their murder. Orestes has saved the house, and all should rejoice. Apollo himself willed it to be so, thus ensuring that there is no moral ambiguity surrounding the murder. They cry out that the light is breaking through the gloom now, and that the house is finally free of its sorrows.

The chorus clearly hopes that by saying all is well, they can make it so. However, we quickly learn that here are dire consequences for Orestes's actions. Now that he has fulfilled his mission, he is vulnerable to his mother's curse, which is indeed powerful. While Orestes at first stands triumphant over the bodies of his victims, he soon falls prey to chaotic madness and must flee from the stage. The cycle of misery is doomed to repeat itself, or so it seems.

The onset of Orestes's madness begins with his examination of the robes in which his father died, which are now wrapped around the bodies of Clytamnestra and Aigisthos. No explanation is given for why these bloody robes were preserved for many years, or how Orestes retrieved them in order to wrap his new victims. We must suspend our disbelief here and instead focus on the importance of the robes as symbols.

Agamemnon's robes function both as a physical link to his spirit, and as a metaphor made manifest. In the former sense, they provide a focal point upon which Orestes can focus his laments for his dead father. Orestes points to them as witness to the justice of his acts, calling upon the chorus and Zeus to observe the evidence of his mother's crimes.