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MonkeyNotes-Electra by Euripides
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KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS

SETTING

The entire play is set in Argos, outside the house of a peasant. Electra and the peasant often go into the house. A slave comes out of the house. Towards the end of the play Clymenestra too enters the house and is killed. Her shrieks are heard while she is being killed by Orestes. In the course of the play, there is a reference to Agamemnonís grave and the palace in Argos wherein which Clymenestra and Aegisthus live. There is also reference to Phocis where Orestes has lived for his safety. Reference is also made to Troy, where King Agamemnon has been fighting the Trojan War for ten years. This play was first presented in 413 BC. The period referred to is the period soon after the battle of Troy and some years after that.

LIST OF CHARACTERS

Major

Electra

The daughter of Late King Agamemnon. She suffers. She is married off to a poor peasant. She burns with revenge against her mother and stepfather. Finally she helps her brother to kill their mother, Clymenestra.


Orestes

Brother of Electra and son of Late King Agamemnon. He is saved by a faithful servant after the death of his father. He kills his mother and is then very sorry and suffers immensely.

Minor

Clymenestra

The widow of Late King Agamemnon and the wife of Aegisthus. She is responsible for the death of her first husband, Agamemnon.

Aegisthus

The King of Argos and the husband of Queen Clymenestra. In collaboration with her, he has killed King Agamemnon. He is himself killed by Orestes.

Phylades

A friend of Orestes. He visits Electra along with him. Later he helps him to kill Aegisthus.

The Peasant

The husband of Electra. He respects her family, her ancestors and her. He is a virtuous and sincere man.

The old man

An old and faithful servant of Agamemnon. He helped to save Orestes during his childhood.

Strophius

The King of Phocis. He looks after Orestes after the death of King Agamemnon.

Chorus

A group of countrywomen from Mycenae.

Messenger

The person who brings information to Electra about the festival to be held in honor of goddess Hera.

The Dioscori

Castor and Polydeuces. They are sons of Zeus and brothers of Clymenestra.

Zeus

A Greek god, and the father of the Dioscuri and Clymenestra.

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