The Flies Essay, Research Paper
Title: “The Flies” (Les Mouches)
Author: Jean-Paul Sartre
Publisher: Vintage International Edition, October 1989
Genre: Dramatic play
Setting: City of Argos, Greece
Aegistheus- He overthrows Agamemnon, makes Clytemnestra his wife and takes rule of Argos. He invents lies in order to make his people fear him. This only proofs that he is poor when it comes to having an actual strong character. A king shouldn’t have to create lies. His people should both respect and fear him for his authority, but due to his lack of authority he takes it upon himself to create these conditions so that he may get what he wants from his people.
Tutor- He is Orestes’ advisor who is basically responsible for Orestes education and practically raised and nurtured him. He is wise and seems to be logical. The Tutor in my opinion is of importance to the play because he offers Orestes with support and logical advice.
Electra- Daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra. When she was young Clytemnestra and her stepfather Aegistheus murdered her father. She grows to become a rebel. For fifteen years all she dreamt of was murder and revenge.
When she is reunited with her long lost brother Orestes, she persuades him to avenge the murder of their father. Once this is accomplished she can’t confront the consequences of her actions. She takes side with Zeus and takes his words as her excuse (“It was committed by someone else; one could hardly say even that you were his accomplice” –pg.114). Electra is a vital contribution to this play because she plays and fits the role of “The Stone”.
Orestes, son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra was to be executed as an infant but instead he escaped and was raised by good-natured people. Years later while he was still young, he returns to his native homeland Argos. His sister Electra persuades him to avenge their father’s death by killing his mother and stepfather.
One of Orestes main conflict or problem was actually killing Aegistheus and his mother. This is a not a big conflict for him. He is destined to do this no matter what may result out of it.
One can say the solution to his problem was the actual action of killing both his mother and stepfather, which he does surprisingly with no remorse. We can see this because he puts it best: “Remorse? Why should I feel remorse? I am only doing what is right”(-pg.102), “The most cowardly of murders is he who feels remorse”(-pg.116).
Orestes is the true hero of the play because he did what he had to. Not only that, but he did it so that he may win the name of “guilt-stealer”; casting all his people’s remorse on himself so that he can earn the freedom of Argos (-pg.91).
At the end of the play Orestes is persuaded by the furies. This could imply that he suffers, but yet he is still the hero and he does accomplish what he was destined to do.