The Eumenides

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, since he has already cleansed Orestes of his sins. Apollo is a complicated figure: divine and noble, but also arrogant. Nevertheless, he (like Athena) stands for justice against the Furies’ older, bloodier form of vengeance.

Apollo Quotes in The Eumenides

The The Eumenides quotes below are all either spoken by Apollo or refer to Apollo. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Revenge vs. Justice Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Books edition of The Eumenides published in 1975.
Lines 64-234 Quotes

They disgust me.
These grey, ancient children never touched
By god, man, or beast—the eternal virgins.
Born for destruction only, the dark pit,
They range the bowels of Earth, the world of death,
Loathed by men and the gods who hold Olympus.

Related Characters: Apollo (speaker), The Furies
Page Number: 71-76
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lord Apollo, now it is your turn to listen.
You are no mere accomplice in this crime.
You did it all, and all the guilt is yours.

Related Characters: The Furies (speaker), Apollo
Page Number: 196-198
Explanation and Analysis:

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Marriage of man and wife is Fate itself,
Stronger than oaths, and Justice guards its life.

I say your manhunt of Orestes is unjust.
Some things stir your rage, I see. Others,
Atrocious crimes, lull your will to act.

Related Characters: Apollo (speaker), Orestes, The Furies, The ghost of Clytemnestra, Agamemnon
Page Number: 215-221
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lines 235-566 Quotes

Queen Athena,
Under Apollo’s orders I have come.
Receive me kindly. Curst and an outcast,
No suppliant for purging…my hands are clean.

Related Characters: Orestes (speaker), Athena, Apollo
Related Symbols: Blood
Page Number: 232-235
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lines 567-1043 Quotes

So
You’d force this man’s acquittal? Behold, Justice!
Can a son spill his mother’s blood on the ground,
Then settle into his father’s halls in Argos?

Related Characters: The Furies (speaker), Orestes, Apollo, The ghost of Clytemnestra, Agamemnon
Related Symbols: Blood
Page Number: 659-662
Explanation and Analysis:

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The woman you call the mother of the child
Is not the parent, just a nurse to the seed,
The new-sown seed that grows and swells inside her.
The man is the source of life—the one who mounts.

Related Characters: Apollo (speaker), Orestes, The ghost of Clytemnestra, Agamemnon
Page Number: 666-669
Explanation and Analysis:

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You, you younger gods!—
You have ridden down
The ancient laws, wrenched them from my grasp—
And I, robbed of my birthright, suffering, great with wrath,
I loose my poison over the soil, aieee!
Poison to match my grief comes pouring out my heart,
Cursing the land to burn it sterile and now
Rising up from its roots a cancer blasting leaf and child,
Now for Justice, Justice!—cross the face of the earth
The bloody tide comes hurling, all mankind destroyed.

Related Characters: The Furies (speaker), Athena, Apollo
Related Symbols: Blood
Page Number: 820-828
Explanation and Analysis:

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Apollo Character Timeline in The Eumenides

The timeline below shows where the character Apollo appears in The Eumenides. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Lines 1-63
The Power of the Gods Theme Icon
The Power of the Polis Theme Icon
Pythia, the priestess of the god Apollo at his temple in Delphi, enters and begins her morning prayer. She honors her patron... (full context)
Revenge vs. Justice Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
The Power of the Gods Theme Icon
...(the Furies) are sleeping, whose appearance drives Pythia to tears. She prays to the god Apollo to cleanse his house, and then exits. (full context)
Lines 64-234
Revenge vs. Justice Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
The Power of the Gods Theme Icon
The Power of the Polis Theme Icon
...temple open, revealing Orestes, who prays as the Furies sleep. The god Hermes watches as Apollo appears, swearing to protect Orestes and to destroy his enemies. Apollo curses the Furies, explaining... (full context)
Revenge vs. Justice Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
The Power of the Gods Theme Icon
...that they are suffering since their prey has escaped them, and go on to curse Apollo for allowing Orestes to escape. They ask why the god would help a criminal, and... (full context)
Revenge vs. Justice Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Familial Bonds Theme Icon
The Power of the Gods Theme Icon
Apollo emerges from his temple with his bow and arrow to drive back the Furies. He... (full context)
Lines 235-566
Revenge vs. Justice Theme Icon
The Power of the Gods Theme Icon
The Power of the Polis Theme Icon
...of Athena and prays for her to shield him from the Furies. He explains that Apollo has sent him to her, and says that he will await her decision in his... (full context)
Revenge vs. Justice Theme Icon
Familial Bonds Theme Icon
The Power of the Gods Theme Icon
In response, Orestes explains that suffering has made him wise. He describes how Apollo has purged him of his sins, and how he can feel his mother’s blood fading... (full context)
Revenge vs. Justice Theme Icon
Familial Bonds Theme Icon
The Power of the Gods Theme Icon
The leader of the Furies spits back that neither Apollo nor Athena will be able to save Orestes. She waits for him to reply, but... (full context)
Revenge vs. Justice Theme Icon
The Power of the Gods Theme Icon
...to be cleansed. He, however, asserts that he does not need to be purged, because Apollo has already forgiven him for his sin. Orestes then goes on to explain his history,... (full context)
Lines 567-1043
Revenge vs. Justice Theme Icon
Familial Bonds Theme Icon
The Power of the Gods Theme Icon
The Power of the Polis Theme Icon
Apollo enters, and Athena questions why he is there. Apollo responds that he has come as... (full context)
Revenge vs. Justice Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Familial Bonds Theme Icon
The Power of the Gods Theme Icon
...her, and he responds that he cut her throat at the urging of the god Apollo. The Furies are outraged that a god would condone a murder, but Orestes responds that... (full context)
Revenge vs. Justice Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Familial Bonds Theme Icon
The Power of the Gods Theme Icon
Orestes begs Apollo to explain to the jury why he killed Clytemnestra, adding that his murder was really... (full context)
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Familial Bonds Theme Icon
The Power of the Gods Theme Icon
...skeptical that Zeus would care more about a father’s murder than a mother’s. They remind Apollo and Athena that Zeus defeated his own father, Kronos, in order to gain control over... (full context)
Revenge vs. Justice Theme Icon
Familial Bonds Theme Icon
The Power of the Gods Theme Icon
Apollo, outraged by the Furies, insults them once again, hissing that the gods “detest” them, and... (full context)
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Familial Bonds Theme Icon
Apollo rebuts the Furies’ claim that mothers are as important as fathers. He claims that while... (full context)
Revenge vs. Justice Theme Icon
The Power of the Gods Theme Icon
The Power of the Polis Theme Icon
...Furies if they have anything else to say, and they respond that they do not. Apollo reminds the jury to be just and honest. Athena then explains to the jury that... (full context)
Revenge vs. Justice Theme Icon
The Power of the Gods Theme Icon
The Power of the Polis Theme Icon
...their ballots, the Furies grow anxious, threatening that they can curse Athens if they choose. Apollo shoots back that the Furies should fear the wrath of both himself and Zeus. The... (full context)
Revenge vs. Justice Theme Icon
The Power of the Gods Theme Icon
As the ballots are tallied up, Orestes prays to Apollo and wonders what will happen. The Furies, meanwhile, pray to their Mother Night. Apollo again... (full context)
Revenge vs. Justice Theme Icon
Familial Bonds Theme Icon
The Power of the Gods Theme Icon
The Power of the Polis Theme Icon
...and returned him from exile. He vows to honor her in Argos, as well as Apollo and Zeus, and swears that this decision has brought about a new era of friendship... (full context)