Fates and Furies

By: Gracie Alexander and Andrew Carpenter

Fates

The Fates were three sisters. In some myths the parents of these creatures were Greek god Zeus and Titan goddess Themis. In other legends they were daughters of Ananke. The location in which the Fates resided is a controversial topic. Some people believed that they lived in the underworld with Hades, but others thought they stayed in Mount Olympus with Zeus. Their duty was to control the lives of people. Their main symbol is a piece of string. One sister spins the thread, another measures the length of it, and the last sister cuts the string and the person will then die. It was believed that the Morai or Fates could control the life span of any mortal or immortal person with the exception of Zeus. Some of their jobs included: deciding a mans destiny, and assigning one to be good or evil. These sisters decided the fate of a person as soon as they were born. Similar to the furies, fates would punish people for their transgressions without any guilt or sorrow (Brian).
Hercules - The Fates

Furies

The roman name for these deities was Erinyes. The Furies were deities that chased those who did wrong. They were born from the blood of the Greek god Uranus and in other legends they were born from from the goddess of the night, Nyx (Miriam). There were three main furies that kept order in the world. The furies lived in the underworld but went up to the Earth to haunt the evil. These evil creatures were female spirits of justice and revenge. Furies were extra vengeful towards the ones who had killed their relatives. These spirits went beyond just protecting humans. In Homer's poems the furies were known to have hair coiled with serpents. Several poets described the furies differently. Homer showed them as to be spirits that restored order in the world. (Furies). However, Ovid, mythology poet, wrote them to be evil creatures that wanted to create chaos. Most people saw them to be evil, but on the contrary they were known to be defenders of justice. ( If someone disrupted the natural order of things the Furies would punish them in return. The furies were mortal because they had died centuries ago. The Furies were different than many mythological creatures because they were not under the control of Zeus (Furies Greco).
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The story of Orestes

The story of Orestes was brought to attention by famous playwright, Aeschylus. Orestes did a terrible thing and killed his mother Clytemnestra (Karen). The furies did their duty and began to follow Orestes because of the wicked crime he had committed. At one point the furies attack Orestes to complete their task. Some say he was driven mad by the haunting, but his case was taken to trial by Athena. The furies did their job and spoke against him (Orestes).