Sophocles: Electra

BookSophocles: Electra

Sophocles: Electra

Aris & Phillips Classical Texts


December 31st, 2001



Other Formats



King Agamemnon is long dead and his murderers rule at Argos. His son Orestes returns from exile to kill themuhis own mother Clytemnestra and her seducer Aegisthus. Thus he will release his sister Electra from oppression and reclaim his home and kingdom. This is the only episode from Greek legend treated in surviving plays by all three of the great Athenian tragedians of the fifth century B.C.uAeschylus in his Libation-bearers (part of the Oresteia trilogy), Sophocles and Euripides each in plays called Electra. Together these plays give us a unique opportunity to compare and contrast the very different treatments by the three playwrights of a central Greek legend. In SophoclesÆ hands the focus of the play is on Electra herself: her endurance and loyalty to the dead Agamemnon while oppressed and persecuted by Clytemnestra and Aegistus; her intense grief when she believes Orestes dead; her equally intense joy when she discovers him actually at her side; her final deliverance through his triumphant execution of vengeance on the murderers. But is there more to the play than this story of triumphant revenge and restorations? The introduction of this book includes a survey of the main interpretative issues, as well as a summary of other treatments of the myth and a discussion of the problematic question of dating. The commentary, which is based on the translation, elucidates the action.

this is a splendid edition, a good read for anyone interested in the play and a good text for students at any level.'

Author Information

Dr Jenny March has taught at London, Reading and Southampton universities, was a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University College London, and is attached to Corpus Christi College, Oxford. The founder and editor of the Classical Association's journal CA News for twenty years, she has dedicated her career to making Classics accessible to a wide audience. Her previous books include the award-winning Dictionary of Classical Mythology (new edition Oxbow 2014), The Penguin Book of Classical Myths (2009), and Sophocles Electra (2001) in this series.

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
Preface Introduction
I: The myth
II: The play
III: This edition
Electra: Dramatis personae, text and translation