Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version
The old man informs Orestes that he has seen Aegisthus who is preparing for a sacrificial feast. A bull is to be sacrificed. If Orestes goes there, he will not be recognized. Orestes decides to attend this feast. Clymenestra too is expected there. They plan to kill her. Electra sends the old man to her with the false news that she has given birth to a child-a son ten days ago. Electra is certain that her mother would come after hearing the news. She will weep at her grandsonís low birth. Then she would be killed. But before that she tells the old man to guide Orestes where he must go. The old man agrees. They all rise and pray. She assures her brother that if he is killed, she will not live.
As they go, Orestes and Phylades are greeted by Aegisthus. They tell him that they are from Thessaly, and are on their way to attend the sacrifice to Zeus. Aegisthus informs them that he is preparing for a sacrifice in honor of the Nymphs. He invites them to participate. They accept the invitation. Aegisthus kills a bull and tells them that he has heard that the Thessalians are experts at cutting the various parts of the bull. He thus tells them to do so. While Aegisthus examines the various parts of the bull, he finds that the liver-lobe is missing; and the portal vein and gall bladder portend evil visitations. The King is very frightened. He fears that Orestes may harm him or kill him.
With the help of Phylades, Orestes kills him with the cleaver by striking the joint of his neck and shattering his spine. Orestes then reveals his identity and tells the people that Aegisthus was the murderer of his father. The servants are very pleased to recognize the son of their former master.
Electra seeks permission to talk freely. Given that permission, she continues to taunt her mother. She asks her why she did not bring Orestes back from exile. Clymenestra says that she is afraid of him. She then asks why she allows Aegisthus to persecute her (Electra). Clymenestra advises her to put aside her anger. Then he will stop persecuting her. Then Electra tells Clymenestra to come into her house and offer the tenth-day sacrifice for her son, as she is not able to handle such matters since she has never had a child before. Clymenestra goes in. Shouting is heard from within. Clymenestra calls for pity from her children. But Orestes kills her with the help of Electra. They come out horrified. Attendants too come out carrying the body of Clymenestra.