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MonkeyNotes-Electra by Euripides
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PLOT (Structure)

The plot structure of Euripedesí plays is often considered defective because he often uses chorus separately from the main action of the drama. And also because his plays are made up of brilliantly detached episodes and do not form units from which the plot is developed. However, it is worthwhile to note that in plays like Medea and Electra, the plot is developed systematically from prologue to the climax. Euripedes is also criticized for his prologues in which he makes the spectators aware of the events that are to occur in the play. He has also been criticized for the long histories of dramatis personae (characters in the play).


Electra is a short play, which is not divided into acts or scenes. The success of the play is due to its main theme. The hatred of the daughter for the mother and the desire to eradicate her. This theme is relevant even today although this hateful attitude is rarely noticed or expressed, due to social strictures.

The drama is carefully constructed. In the exposition, (at the beginning of the play) we are introduced to the peasant and his wife Electra who is a major character in the play. We are told how cruelly Agamemnon was killed and Electra and her brother suffered injustice. We are gradually introduced to the other characters. Revenge and hatred pervade till the climax is reached. The climax is reached when Orestes finally kills his mother Clymenestra. Although Orestes is doubtful whether he should kill his mother he is persuaded by his sister and ordered by the oracle to do so. From the time the play begins, the plot moves systematically towards the climatic moment.

The outcome of the play is intense tragedy coupled with repentance because of the heinous crime of matricide. Electra and Orestes regret their action. Their sorrow and repentance is very intense. 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. To add to their sorrow Electra and Orestes are parted when only they could have consoled each other.

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