Electra Historical Context

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Although the exact date of Sophocles' s Electra is not known, it was probably written and first performed around 409 B.C. (at that year's Dionysia), when the playwright was in his eighties. At this time, the Greek states were battling one another in the Peloponnesian War. The city-state of Athens had established itself as the dominant region m Greece, following its decisive role in the defeat of die Persians in the battle of Salamis in 480 B.C.

After the Persians were expelled from Greece, the city-states banded together to form the Delian League. This alliance ensured the mutual protection of each state and was ostensibly a confederacy of equals. Each city paid an annual tribute to maintain the strength of the alliance. However, Athens gradually became the leader of the Delian League, and Pericles, head of the Athenians, used the surplus tribute to rebuild...

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This section contains 923 words
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Buy the Electra Study Guide
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Electra from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.