Electra Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 29 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Electra.
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Revenge

Revenge drives all of the action in Electra. The family history involves a horrific crime and most of the tragedies which follow are crimes committed to compensate for an earlier crime. Agamemnon sacrifices Iphigeneia, for which Clytemnestra kills him. For her crime, Orestes kills his mother, for which he is pursued by the Furies (although this aspect of the legend is not addressed in Sophocles's drama).

Guilt and Innocence

The issue of guilt in Electra depends on the perspective from which one evaluates the actions. Is Clytemnestra guilty of murdering Agamemnon for political/romantic reasons (so she may marry Aegisthos who will assume her dead husband's monarchy) or is she simply avenging her daughter's sacrifice? Is Orestes guilty of Clytemnestra's murder for similar political reasons or is he merely executing her for murdering his father, Agamemnon? Ultimately, guilt or innocence is central to the world of Greek tragedy...

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This section contains 357 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Electra Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Electra from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.