Greek mythology, Pylades (IPAEng|ˈpɪlədiːz, Gk. Πυλάδης) is the son of King Strophiusof Phocisand is mostly known for his strong friend- or homosexual relationship with Orestes.
Orestes and Pylades
Orestes had been sent to Phocis during his mother
Clytemnestra's affair with Aegisthus. There he was raised with Pylades, and so considered him to be like a brother. While Orestes was away, Clytemnestra killed her husband and Orestes' father Agamemnon.
Death of Aegisthus and Clytemnestra
Orestes returned to
Mycenae/ Argosseeking revenge, and with his friend Pylades's assistance, they slew his mother and Aegisthus. When Orestes begins to feel pity for his mother and falter it is Pylades who encourages him. This story is directly from the first remaining trilogy of Greek Tragedy The Oresteiaby Aeschylus, namely the second play Libation Bearers. In this play, Pylades speaks only once.
In alternate versions of Orestes revenge, Pylades accompanies Orestes, but says nothing. This is from two plays, Sophocles' Electra and Euripides' Electra. In Sophocles' version Orestes is pretending to be dead and Pylades carries the urn supposedly holding his friend's remains.
Attempted murder of Helen
Pylades returned to his homeland, but was exiled by his father for taking part in the crime. He then went back to Orestes' side, where he helped him to come up with a plan to avoid getting executed. They attempted to murder
Helen, wife of Orestes' uncle Menelaus, after he proved to be of no help in protecting Orestes. However, their attempt failed through the intervention of the Gods. They then took hostage Hermione, daughter of Helen and Menelaus. Apollo arrived to settle the situation and gave them all instructions, including one for Pylades to marry Orestes' sister Electra.
Pylades played a big role in another of Euripides' plays, "
Iphigeneia in Tauris". In order to escape the persecutions of the Erinyes, Orestes had been ordered by Apollo to go to Tauris, carry off the statue of Artemiswhich had fallen from heaven, and bring it to Athens. He went to Tauris with Pylades and the pair were at once imprisoned by the people, among whom the custom was to sacrifice all strangers to Artemis. The priestess of Artemis, whose duty it was to perform the sacrifice, was Orestes' sister Iphigeneia. She offered to release Orestes if he would carry home a letter from her to Greece; he refused to go, but bid Pylades take the letter while he himself will stay and be slain. After a conflict of mutual affection, Pylades at last yields, but the letter brought about a recognition between brother and sister, and all three escaped together, carrying with them the image of Artemis.
Return to Greece and Death
After his return to Greece, Orestes took possession of his father's kingdom of Mycenae, to which were added
Argosand Laconia. He is said to have died of the bite of a snake in Arcadia. His body was conveyed to Spartafor burial (where he was the object of a cult), or, according to an Italian legend, to Aricia, whence it was removed to Rome( Serviuson " Aeneid," ii. 116).
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