Category: Writing & Reading | Type: Historical | Title: Frankenstein (in Context) | Author: Mary Shelley | Ch: Chapter 24

Sometimes capitalized. Originally, the Eumenides or Erinyes, the ancient Greek divinities who hunted down and took revenge upon those who had committed especially heinous crimes, as in Aeschylus's trilogy the Oresteia. They pursue the young Orestes for the revenge murder of his mother, Clytemnestra, because she and her lover murdered her husband and Orestes' father, Agamemnon, upon his victorious return from the Trojan war.

Athena will displace the Furies' blunt eye-for-an-eye justice with a more humane understanding of cause and mitigating conditions. Frankenstein's being possessed by the furies is an admission of his lack of compassionate understanding of the monster’s circumstances.

return to text