Euripides' play, Orestes, transcends the Greecian categories of tragedy and comedy at the time of 408 B.C. Orestes; his sister, Electra; and his friend, Pylades, had committed matricide, after Oreste's mother, Clytaemnestra, took her husband's life. They are descended from a royal family with a similar history of atrocious crimes committed against one another. Orestes himself is sick with madness, and the other two support him dutifully. They all wait anxiously on the vote of the council who will decide whether they live or die. Most of their family - which includes the famous Helen of Troy, their uncle, and their grandfather - wish to see them dead. The vote goes against them, influenced by the paramour of Oreste's mother. Instead of resigning themselves to their fate, they suddenly choose instead to take vengeance on the villified Helen and kill her, and then take her daughter, Hermione, hostage to try to sway their uncle from claiming their familial heritage. Orestes and Pylades try to murder Helen, but she disappears at the last moment. They quickly move to take Hermione hostage, but Apollo appears in the nick on time in the classic deus ex machina fashion. He reveals their true fates to them: Helen was taken by the gods to live with them on Mount Olympus, Hermione will be betrothed to Orestes, Orestes must be exiled and the gods will rig the case so he is free, and their uncle will allow Orestes to rule part of the land and he the other peacefully. They all accept this without question. Far from being erroneously written, the characters are deliberately exaggerated to become something of a tragic comedy before the official genre arose.

I would like to thank for supplying the translation.