Clytemnestra after the murder, John Collier, 1882 by Real Distan on Flickr.

Before this moment I said many things to suit my purposes. I’m not ashamed to contradict them now. How else could I act on my hate for such a hateful man, who feigned his love, how else prepare my nets of agony so high no one could jump them? I’ve brooded on this struggle many years, the old blood feud. My moment’s come at last, though long delayed. I stand now where I struck, where I achieved what I set out to do. I did all this. I won’t deny the fact. Round this man I cast my all-embracing net, rich robes of evil, as if catching fish— he had no way out, no eluding fate. I stabbed him twice. He gave out two groans. Then as his limbs went limp, I hit again, a third blow, my prayerful dedication to Zeus, underground protector of the dead. He collapsed, snorting his life away, 1640 spitting great gobs of blood all over me, drenching me in showers of his dark blood. And I rejoiced—just as the fecund earth rejoices when the heavens send spring rains, and new-born flower buds burst into bloom. That’s how things stand, old men of Argos. Be joyful, if that’s how you feel. For me, this is my triumph. If it were fitting to pour libations on this corpse, I’d pour my curses out—that would be just. He filled the mixing bowls in his own house with such destructive misery, and now he drinks it to the dregs. He’s home at last.

Clytemnestra after the murder, John Collier, 1882 by Real Distan on Flickr.

Before this moment I said many things to suit my purposes. I’m not ashamed to contradict them now. How else could I act on my hate for such a hateful man, who feigned his love, how else prepare my nets of agony so high no one could jump them? I’ve brooded on this struggle many years, the old blood feud. My moment’s come at last, though long delayed. I stand now where I struck, where I achieved what I set out to do. I did all this. I won’t deny the fact. Round this man I cast my all-embracing net, rich robes of evil, as if catching fish— he had no way out, no eluding fate. I stabbed him twice. He gave out two groans. Then as his limbs went limp, I hit again, a third blow, my prayerful dedication to Zeus, underground protector of the dead. He collapsed, snorting his life away, 1640 spitting great gobs of blood all over me, drenching me in showers of his dark blood. And I rejoiced—just as the fecund earth rejoices when the heavens send spring rains, and new-born flower buds burst into bloom. That’s how things stand, old men of Argos. Be joyful, if that’s how you feel. For me, this is my triumph. If it were fitting to pour libations on this corpse, I’d pour my curses out—that would be just. He filled the mixing bowls in his own house with such destructive misery, and now he drinks it to the dregs. He’s home at last.