“Orestes”: justice of men, justice of gods
This paper analyses Euripides’ Orestes, with particular attention to what kind of justice the tragedy portrays. The core of Euripides’ Orestes is not a conflict between values (like in Antigone), or a mystery to solve (like in Oedipus the King), or a turning point in civilization (like in Eumenides). Orestes’ life is distraught by matricide, and fluctuates between two different forms of justice: that of men and that of gods. Orestes himself is no hero, and does not defend a moral principle. The tragedy, thus, ends up illustrating the unreliability of popular justice.