The son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, Orestes is in exile from his home city of Argos because he killed his mother (who herself killed his father). Pious and moral, Orestes is hounded by the… (read full character analysis)
The goddess of wisdom, civilization, justice, and skill, and a daughter of Zeus. Athena is the patron of Athens and the judge in Orestes’ trial. She strives for justice, but at the same time… (read full character analysis)
Ancient goddesses of vengeance, the Furies (or Erinyes) pursue and punish those who have sworn false oaths or betrayed sacred laws. In The Eumenides, they seek to punish Orestes for having killed his mother… (read full character analysis)
The god of light, prophecy, and music, Apollo is Orestes’ patron and has vowed to protect him. He despises the Furies, and believes that they have no right to seek vengeance against Orestes… (read full character analysis)
Another Olympian god, Hermes is called upon by his half-brother, Apollo, to guide Orestes to Athens. Hermes is the messenger of the gods, a trickster, and the guide who brings dead souls down to the Underworld.
The priestess of Apollo, she is horrified to discover both Orestes and the Furies at her temple, where Orestes is waiting to be cleansed.
Ten honorable men whom Athena chooses to serve as Orestes’ jury.
Athena summons these women to honor the Furies after she has converted the Furies into the “Eumenides,” goddesses of Athens.
The daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, and sister to Orestes. She doesn’t appear in The Eumenides, but played a major role in The Libation Bearers. Electra is pious and loyal to her father’s memory, but unforgiving and merciless towards her mother.
A daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, whom Agamemnon sacrificed to the gods in exchange for safe passage during the Trojan War. Iphigenia’s murder incites Clytemnestra to avenge her by killing Agamemnon in the first play of the cycle, Agamemnon.
Clytemnestra’s lover, and her accomplice in murdering Agamemnon. Aegisthus is also Agamemnon’s cousin, and hates the House of Atreus, which was responsible for his own family’s ruin. Orestes murders Aegisthus alongside Clytemnestra in The Libation Bearers.
Agamemnon’s father, and the patriarch of the cursed “House of Atreus.” Atreus brought down the curse of the gods when he punished his brother (who had stolen Atreus’s wife and, briefly, his kingdom) by killing his brother’s children, cooking them, and feeding them to him.