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Menelaus and his retinue enter. Menelaus O my home, some joy I feel to see you again on my return from Troy, but I also grieve at the sight; for never have I seen another house more closely encircled by dire affliction. For I learned Agamemnon's fate and the death he died at his wife's hands, as I was trying to put in at Malea; when the sailors' prophet, the truthful god Glaucus, Nereus' seer, brought the news to me from the waves; he stationed himself in full view and told me this: “Menelau
they were doing well, when I heard from a sailor the unholy murder of Tyndareus' child.
And now tell me, young ladies, where to find the son of Agamemnon, who dared such evil. For he was a baby in Clytemnestra's arms when I left my home to go to Troy, so that I would not recognize him if I saw him.
staggering towards him from the couch.
Menelaus, I am Orestes, whom you are asking about. I will of my own accord inform you of my sufferings. But as my first portion, I clasp your knees a
Menelaus How do you stand in the city after that deed of yours? Orestes I am so hated that no one will speak to me. Menelaus Have your hands not even been cleaned of blood, according to custom? Orestes No, for wherever I go, the door is shut against me. Menelaus Which citizens are driving you from the land? Orestes Oeax, who refers to my father his reason for hating Troy. Menelaus I understand; he is avenging on you the blood of Palamedes. Orestes That was nothing to do with me; yet I am destroyed for three reasons. Menelaus Who else? Some of the friends of Aegisthus, I suppose? Orestes They insult me, and the city listens to them now. Menelaus Will the city allow you to keep the scepter of Agamemnon? Orestes How, seeing that they will not allow me to remain alive? Menelaus What is their method? Can you tell me plainly? Orestes A vote will be taken against us today. Menelaus To leave the city? Or to die, or not to die? Orestes Death by stoning at the hands of the ci
Chorus Oh, oh, friends! raise a din, a din and shouting before the house, that the murder when done may not inspire the Argives with wild alarm, to make them bring aid to the palace, before I see for certain that Helen's corpse lies bloody in the house, or hear the news from one of her attendants; for I know a part of the tragedy, of the rest I am not sure. In justice, retribution from the gods has come to Helen; for she filled all Hellas with tears, through that accursed, accursed Paris of Ida, who drew Hellas to Troy.