The Eumenides ends on an exalted note of reconciliation and optimism. Orestes and his family have no part in the closing scene of the play. Their absence at the moment of resolution and the knowledge that the trial of Orestes was conducted on extraneous grounds and really solved nothing indicate that their role in the trilogy is symbolic. Aeschylus used the story of the family of Atreus to provide illustrative material for his analysis of the central issue of the trilogy — the nature of justice. At the conclusion of the trilogy, the Furies, who were originally the uncompromising agents of destiny and divine retribution, are mystically converted into benevolent spirits although their insistence that authority and discipline are essential components of society is heeded. A new social and moral dispensation is established by Zeus through his daughter Athene, the personification of wisdom. Justice will now be secured by an
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