On the main square of Argos there is a mosquito-stained statue of Jupiter, Waving off large fat flies, enters Orestes. Screams scream from the palace.
Fifteen years ago, Clytemnestra, the mother of Orestes and Elektra, and her lover Egiof killed their father Agamemnon. Aegisthus wanted to kill Orestes, but the boy managed to escape. And now, brought up in distant lands, Orestes with curiosity enters his hometown.
Included is a disguised city dweller Jupiter. He explains to Orestes that today is the day of the dead, and the screams mean that the ceremony has begun:
The inhabitants of the city, headed by the tsar and the queen, repent and pray their dead to forgive them.
There are rumors that Agamemnon’s son Orestes is alive, By the way, Jupiter notices that if he happened to meet Orestes, he would say to him: “The local inhabitants are great sinners, but they have embarked on the path of redemption, leave them alone, young man, leave them alone, treat them with respect for the pain that they have taken upon themselves, go away as you like, you are not involved in the crime and can not share their repentance. “Your impertinent innocence separates you from them like a deep ditch.”
Jupiter leaves. Orestes is at a loss: he does not know what to say to a stranger, a city where he could rightly be a king, alien to him, he does not have a place in it. Orestes decides to leave.
Electra appears. Orest talks to her, and she tells the stranger about her hatred of Clytemnestra and Egasfu. Electra is alone, she has no friends, no one likes her. But she lives in hope – she is waiting for one person…
The queen of Clytemnestra enters. She asks Electra to put on mourning: the official ceremony of repentance will begin soon. Noticing Orestes, Clytemnestra is surprised: travelers, as a rule, go around the city side, “for them our repentance is a plague, they are afraid of infection.”
Electra mockingly warns Oreste that publicly repenting is the national sport of the Argives, everyone already knows each other’s crimes by heart. And the crimes of the queen – “these are official crimes, lying, one might say, at the basis of the state system.” Every year on the day of the murder of Agamemnon, the people go to the cave, which is said to communicate with hell. The huge stone that closes the entrance to it, is thrown aside, and the dead, “they say,
rise from hell and diverge around the city.” And the inhabitants prepare tables and chairs for them, they make beds. However, she, Electra, is not going to take part in these stupid games. It’s not her dead.
Electra leaves. Following her, wishing Orestes to quickly get out of the city, Clytemnestra also leaves. Jupiter appears. Learning that Orest was going to leave, he offers him a pair of horses at a fair price. Orestes responds that he changed his mind.
The people crowd in front of a closed cave. Appear Aegisthus and Clytemnestra. A stone is tossed aside, and Aegisthus, standing in front of a black hole, turns to the dead with a penitential speech. Suddenly, Elektra appears in a blasphemous white dress. She calls residents to stop repenting and start living simple human joys. And the dead live in the hearts of those who loved them, but do not drag them to their graves. Here, a block that closed the entrance to the cave, rolls down with a crash. The crowd grows stiff with fear, and then rushes to deal with the outrageous tranquility. Aegisf stops the angry townspeople, reminding them that the law prohibits punishment on the day of the holiday.
Everyone leaves, on the stage only Orestes and Elektra, Elektra glows with thirst for revenge. Opening to her sister, Orestes begins to persuade her to refuse revenge and leave with him. However, Electra is adamant. Then, wanting to win the sister’s love and the right to citizenship through the smelly dead corpse of Argos, Orest agrees to “sow a heavy crime on his shoulders” and save the inhabitants from the tsar and tsarina who forcibly force people to remember all the crimes committed by them all the time.
In the throne room of the palace stands a terrible bloodstained statue of Jupiter. At her footstep are hidden Orestes and Elektra. Around fly flies. Clytemnestra and Aegisthf enter. Both were fatally tired of their own invention. The queen leaves, and Aegisthus turns to the statue of Jupiter with a request to grant him peace.
Out of the darkness, with a drawn sword, Orest jumps out. He offers Aegisfu to defend himself, but he refuses – he wants Orestes to become a murderer. Orestes kills the king, and then rushes into the queen’s room. Electra wants to keep him – “she can not hurt…”. Then Orestes himself.
Electra looks at the body of Aegisf and does not understand: did she really want this? He died, but with her, her hatred also died. There is a cry from Clytemnestra. “Well, my enemies are dead.” For many years I had been happy about this death beforehand, now the grip squeezed my heart: did I really deceive myself for fifteen years? ” Elektra asks. Orestes returns, his hands are bloody. Orestes feels free, he has done a good deed and is ready to bear the burden of murder, since in this burden is his freedom.
Swarms of fatty flies surround the brother and sister. This is Erinia, the goddess of remorse. Electra takes his brother to the sanctuary of Apollo, in order to protect him from people and flies.
Orestes and Electra sleep at the foot of the statue of Apollo. Around them, Erynius settled around them. Brother and sister are awakened. Like huge dung flies, begin to awaken erinia.
Looking at her sister, Orestes with horror discovers that during the night she became remarkably similar to Clytemnestra. And it is not surprising: she, like her mother, witnessed a terrible crime. Rubbing his paws, Erinia in a furious dance circling around Orestes and Elektra. Elektra regrets what she did, Orest persuades her sister not to repent; to feel completely free, he assumes all responsibility for himself.
The entered Jupiter pacifies Erinium. He is not going to punish Orestes and Electra, he just needs a “drop of remorse”. Jupiter convinces Elektra that she did not want to kill, just as a child she always played a murder, because in this game you can play alone. Elektra seems to be beginning to understand herself.
Jupiter asks Orestes and Electra to renounce the crime, and then he will put them on the throne of Argos. Orestes answers that he already has the right to this throne. Jupiter notices that now all the inhabitants of Argos are waiting for Orestes near the exit from the sanctuary with pitchforks and clubs, Orestes is lonely, like a leper. Jupiter requires Orestes to confess his guilt, but he refuses. Jupiter himself created man free. And if he did not want this crime, then why did he not stop the punishing hand at the time of the crime? Means, concludes Orestes, there is neither good nor evil in heaven, “there is no one there who can command me.”
Freedom of Oreste means expulsion. Orest agrees – everyone should find their way. Jupiter silently withdraws.
Electra leaves Orestes. As soon as she steps on the circle, Erinye pounce on her, and she calls to Jupiter. Electra repents, and Erinia backs away from her.
Erinia focused all their attention on Orestes. The doors to the sanctuary are swinging open, behind them is a furious crowd, ready to tear Orestes apart. Addressing the citizens, Orest proudly declares that she takes responsibility for the murder. He went to him for the sake of people: he took on the crime of a man who could not cope with his burden and shifted responsibility to all residents of the city. Flies must finally stop oppressing the Argives. Now it’s his flies, his dead. Let the citizens try to start anew. He leaves them and takes away all the flies.
Orest comes out of the circle and retires. Erinia rushes after him with screams.