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Elettra by Sophocles

Elettra (edition 1975)

by Sophocles

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470722,028 (3.59)22
Info:Milano, Dante Alighieri, 1975
Collections:Your library
Tags:vc5, theatre, ancient greece, greek

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Electra by Sophocles



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50. Electra by Sophocles, translated by Anne Carson
- introduction and notes by Michael Shaw
- editors’ forward by Peter Burian and Alan Shapiro

first performed: c. 405 bce
translation 2001 (Anne's introduction comes from a 1993 lecture)
format: 130 page Oxford University Press paperback
acquired: borrowed from my library
read: Aug 11-15
rating: 4 stars

Just another Greek Tragedy, but this was different in presentation. Anne Carson's translation was excellent and brought alive the tension in Electra's language in the first key first parts of this play. And the two introductions, one by Shaw and the other by Carson, pick apart the play and it's structure, revealing a lot more of what is there.

The play itself is a tragedy with a "happy" ending. Electra is trapped, living with her mother and her mother's lover, she is in serious danger, and cannot marry and bear any children. She can only cooperate. But, her brother Orestes will rescue her by killing their own mother, Clytemnestra, and her lover, Aegisthus, with the help of some clever word play.

(in front of a covered corpse, that Aegisthus does not know is Clytemnestra.)

This isn't my corpse—it's yours.
Yours to look at, yours to eulogize.

Yes good point. I have to agree.
You there—Clytemnestra must be about in the house—
call her for me.

She is right before you. No need to look elsewhere.

Clearly a happy play.

Electra, despite her trap, becomes a presence. She maintains pitiful public devotion to her father, living miserably in mourning, and, in doing so, skillfully wields some power and influence. At the heart of this play is Electra's language and how she works over the other characters. She becomes the fury who harasses the murderers.

"By dread things I am compelled. I know that.
I see the trap closing.
I know what I am. "
( )
  dchaikin | Aug 19, 2016 |
  kutheatre | Jun 7, 2015 |
Edition: Fifth Edition // Descr: xv, 216 p. 18 cm. // Series: Call No. { 882 S6 5 } With Notes by R.C. Jebb and R.H. Mather. // //
  ColgateClassics | Oct 26, 2012 |
Edition: Second Edition, Revised // Descr: xiv, 171 p. 19 cm. // Series: Catena Classicorum Call No. { 882 S6 6 } Series Edited by Arthur Holmes and Charles Bigg Edited by R.C. Jebb Contains Indices. // //
  ColgateClassics | Oct 26, 2012 |
Having read this play, I really want to see it live. Sophocles did a masterful job. Electra is vibrant and passionate; her emotions leap off the page. Her approach to life, her anger and refusal to cease mourning her murdered father, are a sharp contrast to the passive, adaptive perspective of Chrysothemis. The two of them represent the two ways people deal with life when dealt a painful blow; some people nurse the hurt and refuse to move on until vengeance is given, while others simply try to roll with the punches in order to avoid more.

Having read other tales of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, I truly felt sorry for the queen. The murder of her daughter for any reason would be horrible; knowing it's a reason Clytemnestra could never support must have made Agamemnon's decision into a true betrayal of their family and marriage. Yet, I cannot support her decision, because the cycle of vengeance she started could bring about no happy ending, no peace, and her children suffered for it. ( )
2 vote makaiju | Jan 28, 2008 |
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» Add other authors (51 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sophoclesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Crofts, ThomasEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koolschijn, GerardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Young, Sir GeorgeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0486284824, Paperback)

Masterpiece of drama concerns the revenge Electra takes on her mother for the murder of her father. One of the best-known heroines of all drama and a towering figure of Greek tragedy.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:11 -0400)

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