Athene enters, having heard Orestes' prayer in far-off Troy, where she was taking possession of land allotted to Athens by the victorious Greek chieftains. She is not frightened by the Furies despite their horrible appearance and asks them and the stranger kneeling before her statue to explain their presence outside her temple. She reminds them all that her sacred precinct is a place of justice. The Furies explain that Orestes is guilty of matricide. After questioning them further, Athene remarks that they seem more concerned with the forms of justice than with justice itself. The Furies invite her to interrogate Orestes and decide for herself about his guilt. Athene agrees but insists that the final authority of judgment in the case be given to her. The chorus confidently accepts her proposal. Athene turns to Orestes and asks for his side of the story. He states again that he is no
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