Why do the gods create evil? The Chorus, understanding now that Orestes has plotted to kill Neoptolemus by stirring up the people of Delphi against him, and that Orestes is relying on the help of Apollo himself to assist in the killing of Neoptolemus, ask how one can believe that Phoebus Apollo and Poseidon, both of whom were in very ancient times responsible for building the city of Troy itself with their own hands, can possibly have abandoned Troy, allowed its people to be slaughtered, its women to be taken into slavery, and its altars and shrines to be desecrated. Apollo also made Orestes into the killer of his mother. Both Greece and Troy suffered the affliction of the extended war. How can one believe that the god could be this cruel?
LYRICS: Phoebus, you built the towers transforming Ilion’s rocky heights to a beautiful walled citadel. Sea lord, I ask you too, you drive dark horses over the brine, how could you care so little for the work of your own hands, deliver it up to the war god’s spear, and abandon poor, poor Troy? Thousands of chariots beside the banks of the Simoïs River were equipped and yoked to beautiful horses; the two of you ordained a thousand murderous games whose winners received no garlands. Now the kings of Troy are dead and gone, now the altars no longer blaze for the gods with fragrant smoke. Gone is the son of Atreus by the handiwork of his own wife; and she made her own exchange: with Agamemnon’s slaughter, she bought death at her children’s hands. The god, he turned his back on her, and Agamemnon’s son, Orestes, went from Apollo’s holy sanctuary and became his mother’s killer. Thousands of chariots beside the banks of the Simoïs River were equipped and yoked to beautiful horses; the two of you ordained a thousand murderous games whose winners received no garlands. Now the unhappy children of Greece and Troy sang their songs of bereavement. Wives left their homes: we endured a plague, an affliction; beautiful fields were sparged with slaughter, and the altars no longer blaze for the gods with fragrant smoke.