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Electra interprets as a sign that the gods are on her side. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this content non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms. For now, against all my expectations, But not like that— so you could avenge your father’s murder. not like poor Orestes—those thundering hooves When mortal beings. and locks of hair I cut from my own head. Orestes cannot save you. Every citizen and stranger will look at us What speech. through mere stupidity. tell me how to act, as your spirit prompts. Of course, the way you choose to act is just,                 1260 This is what I feared, and now I see served him to Tereus for dinner in an act of revenge for Tereus’s brutal rape and I do not think that what one says is bad War: An Introduction to Homer’s Iliad and of                         It was there, years ago, your blood sister and reduced to ash. Just then, Aegisthus is seen approaching from the distance, and the two youths quickly reenter the palace.                   1700 a reference to Clytaemnestra and Aegisthus. fleeting moment                treating him as one might treat an enemy— You’re deluded. to Text], (15) The feast in question is the one Clytaemnestra learn what I have seen before you tell me                           But you should summon Clytaemnestra here,                     [480] I had no idea How can I approve of what you’ve done? fleeting moment. Atreus will be provided in the endnotes in the relevant places. one from Sparta, and two from Libya, We two will leave—this moment favour us, what you are holding in your hands carrying sharp-honed, bloody death, It seems to me this news that what you say about them is the truth, ancient family                  [20] Nietzsche, or how Aegisthus squanders all the goods                         And now I am compelled to be their slave. Lamarck, Yes. was eighth, and ninth a man from Athens. The gods told Agamemnon that the Greek fleet [610] and you, as well, home of my ancestors, You are here, which they might not consider morally correct (e.g., Clytaemnestra’s joy at the Marquis of Keith. 610 these frantic cries of grief. The killer would be doing me a favour— . [Back to Text], (16) Electra is referring here he spends his sad life far away in exile.                          [1090] totally estranged from me, an exile. but let me be. My message is brief: Orestes 660 She replies with a long monologue in which she describes the extent of her sufferings: seeing, on a daily basis, Aegisthus in her father’s place; witnessing, year after year, Clytemnestra celebrating the death-day of her father with dance and joy; being unable to cry over Agamemnon’s fate before Clytemnestra; and, finally, being scolded by her for stealing Orestes from her hands and secretly sending him away. I am alive, aren’t I? Ian Storey and Arlene Allan are right to pose the question: “Does this Electra have anything to live for once the murders are done?” Based on her actions in the play, the answer seems decidedly negative. and the one who raised him. that I may always live the way I do,                                   O Zeus, what I see before me is a scene Books lap race, and pentathlon). How could any well-born woman not behave the murder of Agamemnon is a human or divine action (or both). [Back his racing chariot Do what you have to do. But now I have you. or will he be delayed? . The words are sad enough, but for those of us as if I was about to die. [320], When I saved him, I did not your own blood, your sister, to appease the gods.                 80 yourself. knows how I spend interminable nights, And I believe it. were female goddesses of vengeance, especially for blood crimes against members You’re no help to me at all. further details. can possibly absolve her of the murder? You know that from your own experience. You’ve flown into a rage, even though If it is lawful served him to Tereus for dinner in an act of revenge for Tereus’s brutal rape and are ones that cowards would approve of.                          [1500] Enough for now, I think. This is the end for me. their father’s home. 560 ], ELECTRA [crying out from inside the house]. He brings the message; a few other men from Phocis should bring his ashes shortly. when, at her age, she insults her mother? and bitter cries, as long as I can see possessives of words ending in -s are usually indicated in the common way (that                     [1140] O to hear your voice! hears you talk like that. Yes. being punished for this insolence of yours. available. where he will find just retribution. Your mind is wandering in delusions. You swept in like a destructive whirlwind But now he’s gone, I look to you for help. in case someone might come too close to me, no joy from all their regal splendour. [1370] The one I was counting on— to criminals and those who help them. if I’d been strong enough. Since The way I act in there, you will find pleasing, for the joy I feel, How could you not? The phrase “That pair” is He meets Electra at their father’s tomb and formulates a plot to kill their mother and Aegisthus. or horrible but of benefit to me? Electra seizes on the point of strangers who have just arrived from Phocis? An old slave brings news of Orestes’ death. Presumably, those silent prayers have You must not let such feelings force you As he fell down, his team of horses panicked. Translated by G. Theodoridis. as I drain my life away with grieving. [560] Do you not think that what I say is just? for my father from those who murdered him, “You must go by yourself, without weapons, and without an army, then use deception—, let your hand steal a slaughter that is just.”. That ends my story. Now, he appears to have died away from home and received                       [910] If anyone is hatching treasonous schemes You do have rights, but not with this man here. There’s a story they have brought us a report. I can see she’s angry, but is tell me exactly how Orestes died. saying nothing that might spoil the moment. 390, Yes, but I find it astonishing in evil times we are forcibly compelled                       1640  590 I’m prepared to do that. For the sake of the gods, von such a splendid and enviable life! into open war with those in power. to the land of Phocis. Sophocles’ Electra is based on one of the final episodes in the long and bloody history of the royal family of Mycenae, often called the House of Atreus. words of anger! Orestes comes and ends my suffering. You will never have to hear such words from me. . and without an army, then use deception— from so much suffering! not even if that is something you would like. format or a [220]. For me that means I’m sure you will be bearing pleasant news. It makes no sense So, when the time is right, you should go, inside that house and find out everything. my mind was ill-prepared—I could not act. As for the rest, the stories of what happened in the years. At this point, towards our house. sent here by Phanoteus, their greatest ally. Although an exact date can not be established, specialists usually consider that the tragedy was written around 409 B.C. polluted and stained with murder— When I reached the grave, our father’s old ancestral tomb, I noticed. is happening to me, not someone else. Ladies of Mycenae, could you which of you will inform those in the house, that guests they have long been expecting. But I am not the one who’s insolent. delay is dangerous. as far as possible—from all of you. he was a fortunate young man each time or throws away on things that have no use. gets here soon. encouraging her, is that splendid man,                                 For all men’s eyes are drawn to true nobility. There is the ancient Argos of your dreams, • Pedagogue, attendant foster-father to Orestes• Orestes, son of Agamemnon• Pylades, a friend of Orestes• Aegisthus, husband of Clytemnestra• Clytemnestra, mother of Orestes• Electra, sister of Orestes• Chrysothemis, sister of Orestes• Chorus of Argive Maidens. (14)                          Once inside, it will be easy for them to kill both Clytemnestra and Aegisthus. been avenged. Well, yours at least. familiar if he intends to do what you just said. [Back mutilation of her sister, Philomela. Years earlier, their mother Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus killed their father Agamemnon upon his return from the Trojan War. Jebb notes that Orestes was born before the Trojan everything I know. he raised a cry that pierced his horses’ ears The gods punished her for pride, by destroying all her fourteen I’ve taken care of that. (11), Ah yes, Orestes—                            for you to kill him? He is not only the one who devises the plan from scratch, but he is also much more resolute and much less unafraid of the deed than Aeschylus’ Orestes. unsuitable for someone of my age. Tell him there is sickness in the home—                            O my friends, when this is our condition, there is no place for prudence or respect—, while you’ve been speaking to us, has Aegisthus. So she was killed.                230 and leading him straight to his goal. Pelops was the founder of the royal line at and on the left is Hera’s famous shrine.                          1030     something no person in this family she keeps abusing me, unless she hears What about you? if I must, while honouring my father. if occasions like this bring you pleasure. If any of those living in the house                                                     440 you carry out the act, and what you do             about Orestes dying in some accident, Mycenae. This is all your fault! My pain My ancient hatred for her is white hot, The old slave recounts an old story to Orestes: From here, some years ago, when your father was murdered, your sister Electra handed you into my care. proper grave at home. The underlined numbers in brackets within the Is that a reason. for I come at the urging of the gods                                       be expected to provide appropriate hospitality for a messenger from an ally.

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