Three desperadoes try to get out of a life or death situation
The Furies torment Orestes for killing his mother, even though the murder was committed at Apollo’s command. Only his sister Electra can comfort him in his sickness. Orestes pleads with his uncle for help. His uncle declines – now Orestes and Electra must go before the citizens and argue their case. Alas, they lose and Orestes and Electra must now kill themselves. Orestes’s loyal friend Pylades arrives. The trio concocts a plan to free themselves, which involves killing Helen their aunt, and Hermione their cousin and foster sister. Luckily Apollo swings overhead from a crane, removes the death sentence and orders everybody to marry each other.
This Greek tragedy felt like a spaghetti western or like Bonnie and Clyde. Orestes and Electra have no compunction about murder – they are only interested in getting out of their death sentence. They try to reason with people. When people will have none of it, they enact their rescue plan. Orestes is persuasive at the beginning, as he suffers from guilt and madness. Electra’s devotion to him is touching. Their solution, however, is too cold blooded (perhaps only for modern readers.)