Introduction & Overview of Electra

This Study Guide consists of approximately 65 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Electra.
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Electra Summary & Study Guide Description

Electra Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading on Electra by Hugo von Hofmannsthal.

Hugo von Hofmannsthal's play Electra, which was first performed in Germany in 1903 (German title, Elektra) and published in English translation in 1908, is available in the volume, Hugo von Hofmannsthal: Three Plays, translated by Alfred Schwartz (Wayne State University Press, 1966). This volume is currently out of print.

Electra is a free adaptation of the play of the same name by the ancient Greek dramatist, Sophocles. The story focuses on the consequences of the murder of Agamemnon. Agamemnon was the king of Mycenae who was killed by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus upon his return from the Trojan War. The play takes place ten years after the slaying. Agamemnon's daughter Electra still mourns her beloved father's death and obsessively anticipates the moment when she will avenge him by killing her mother. The revenge comes when Electra's brother Orestes returns from exile and kills both Clytemnestra and Aegisthus.

Electra is a study in mental disturbance and obsession. It uses the psychoanalytic theories of Sigmund Freud, which had been published only a few years before von Hofmannsthal wrote the play. Electra also employs powerful, lurid imagery that gives vivid insight into the disturbed minds of Electra and Clytemnestra, and it moves singlemindedly to its violent conclusion. Although rarely performed today, the play has become famous because von Hofmannsthal adapted it as the libretto for German composer Richard Strauss's thrilling opera, Elektra (1909).

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This section contains 229 words
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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.