Zeus relates to Athena the story of Aegisthus, who killed Agamemnon, the king of Mycenae, with the help of Agamemnon’s wife, Clytemnestra. Despite the gods warning Aegisthus that he should not kill Agamemnon, he chose to ignore the omens and killed the king upon his return from the Trojan War. As a result, Agamemnon’s son, Orestes, avenged his father by killing his mother when he reached adulthood. However, this led to the Furies haunting Orestes.
Athena’s role in the story comes in the form of her being part of the jury in Athens that decided Orestes’s fate. Despite the Furies’ haunting, Athena ultimately acquitted Orestes, showing that the gods do not always have control over humans’ actions. This decision also establishes that justified revenge can be acceptable.
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