The Myth of Orestes and the Furies

Orestes was the grandson of Atreus, a man who had viciously attempted to prove himself more powerful than the gods. Because of his crime against them, the gods punished Atreus by placing a curse upon all his descendants. As part of the enactment of this curse upon the House of Atreus, Orestes’ mother, Clytemnestra murdered his father and her husband, Agamemnon. This crime in turn brought down the curse upon Orestes’ head, because by the Greek code of honour a son was obliged, above all else, to slay his father’s murderer. Yet the greatest sin a Greek could commit was the sin of matricide (killing one’s mother). Orestes agonised over his dilemma. Finally he did what he seemingly had to do and killed his mother. For this sin the gods then punished Orestes by visiting upon him the Furies, three ghastly harpies who could be seen and heard only by him and who tormented him night and day with their cackling criticism and frightening appearance.
Pursued wherever he went by the Furies, Orestes wandered about the land seeking to atone for his crime. After many years of lonely reflection and self-abrogation Orestes requested the gods relieve him of the curse on the House of Atreus and its visitations upon him through the Furies, stating his belief that he had succeeded in atoning for the murder of his mother. A trial was held by the gods. Speaking in Orestes defense, Apollo argued that he had engineered the whole situation that had placed Orestes in the position in which he had no choice but to kill his mother, and therefore Orestes really could not be held responsible.
At this point Orestes jumped up and contradicted his own defender, stating “It was I, not Apollo, that murdered my mother!” The gods were amazed. Never before had a member of the House of Atreus assumed such total responsibility for himself and not blamed the gods. Eventually the gods decided the trial in Orestes’ favour, and not only relieved him of the curse upon the House of Atreus but also transformed the Furies into the Eumenides, loving spirits who through their wise counsel enabled Orestes to obtain continuing good fortune.

Amrap 42

20 back squat
20 calories
15 front squat
25 calories
10 overhead squat
30 calories
100 front rack to back rack to front rack

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