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MonkeyNotes-Electra by Euripides
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CONFLICT

Protagonists

Electra is the protagonist of the play. As indicated by the title of the play, Electra is the main character. She plays the most important role in this tragedy. At first she is victimized by being made fatherless, due to the murder of her father by her mother and Aegisthus. Then she is married off to a humble peasant and has no choice but to live in poverty and hardship. She is thus full of hatred and revenge and instigates her brother, Orestes to kill their mother, Clymenestra. Yet deep within her, Electra loves her mother. The tragedy is intensified by the guilt which Electra and her brother suffers from after the murder of their mother.

Antagonist

The lower nature of Electra is antagonistic in the play. She is very revengeful. She thinks that nothing less than the murder of Clymenestra and Aegisthus would give justice to her dead father. She feels that after this is done she would be contended. She does not get any satisfaction or peace after the murder of Aegisthus and Clymenestra. On the contrary her tragic existence is intensified by the guilt she suffers from because of having instigated her brother to kill their mother, Clymenestra.

Climax

Climax is reached when Orestes kills his mother. The revengeful attitude of Electra and Orestes is seen from the beginning of the play. This is more particularly so in the case of Electra. She encourages Orestes to kill their mother and avenge their fatherís death. Moreover, he has been ordered by the oracle to do so. The play thus moves systematically towards the climatic moment.


Outcome

The outcome of the play is intense tragedy coupled with repentance because of the heinous crime of matricide. When the play begins we are told that Aegisthus and Clymenestra have killed Agamemnon. Then finally Aegisthus and Clymenestra are killed by Orestes. The sorrow and repentance felt by Electra and Orestes is very intense indeed. The tragedy is intensified by the fact that it is caused by their own action and they cannot do anything to repair it or undo what they have done.

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