This essay compares Aeschylus’ use of the myth of the House of Atreus in the Oresteia with Sartre’s use of it in The Flies. Aeschylus chose and changed details from among extant versions to make a drama which glorified Athenian achievements in its new democratic organization and its jury system. Sartre used Orestes’ murder of Clytemnestra as the defining act of the existentialist hero that made him a free man. Implicit in his version was a call for the French people to resist their Nazi occupiers. In post-war Germany, the play was performed with new interpretations by the Western and Soviet occupiers.