More on Aeschylus’ Eumenides which is my current reading.
At the end of Eumenides, Athena has convinced the Furies to accept the Athenian court’s and her judgement to stop their pursuit of Orestes and to settle in Athens and become its protector. But it seems that although they are mollified they still retain their terrible primaeval nature. My impression at the end of the play is not that the Furies are tamed but their terrible force is channelled for the good of Athens.
τάδ᾽ ἐγὼ προφρόνως τοῖσδε πολίταις
πράσσω, μεγάλας καὶ δυσαρέστους
δαίμονας αὐτοῦ κατανασσαμένη.
πάντα γὰρ αὗται τὰ κατ᾽ ἀνθρώπους
ὁ δὲ μὴ κύρσας βαρεῶν τούτων
οὐκ οἶδεν ὅθεν πληγαὶ βιότου.
τὰ γὰρ ἐκ προτέρων ἀπλακήματά νιν
πρὸς τάσδ᾽ ἀπάγει, σιγῶν δ᾽ ὄλεθρος
καὶ μέγα φωνοῦντ᾽
ἐχθραῖς ὀργαῖς ἀμαθύνει.
This I do willingly for the citizens, settling these great and hard-to-please divine beings here. They have been given the office of governing all men’s affairs.
The man who has not met these terrible creatures does not where the blows of life come from. The sins of his fathers lead him to them and boast though he may, silent destruction with hostile anger lays him low.
Aesch. Eum. 927