Electra by Sophocles
(Greek Tragedy in New Translations)

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Synopsis

Masterpiece of drama concerns the revenge Electra takes on her mother for the murder of her father. One of the best-known heroines of all drama and a towering figure of Greek tragedy.
 

About Sophocles

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The Greek dramatist Sophocles, born to a wealthy family at Colonus, near Athens, was admired as a boy for his personal beauty and musical skill. He served faithfully as a treasurer and general for Athens when it was expanding its empire and influence. In the dramatic contests, he defeated Aeschylus in 468 b.c. for first prize in tragedy, wrote a poem to Herodotus (see Vol. 3), and led his chorus and actors in mourning for Euripides just a few months before his own death. He wrote approximately 123 plays, of which 7 tragedies are extant, as well as a fragment of his satiric play, Ichneutae (Hunters). His plays were produced in the following order: Ajax (c.450 b.c.), Antigone (441 b.c.), Oedipus Tyrannus (c.430 b.c.), Trachiniae (c.430 b.c.), Electra (between 418 and 410 b.c.), Philoctetes (409 b.c.), and Oedipus at Colonus (posthumously in 401 b.c.). With Sophocles, Greek tragedy reached its most characteristic form. He added a third actor, made each play independent---that is, not dependent on others in a trilogy---increased the numbers of the chorus, introduced the use of scenery, shifted the focus from religious to more philosophical issues, and brought language and characters, though still majestic, nearer to everyday life. His finely delineated characters are responsible for the tragedy that befalls them, and they accept it heroically. Aristotle (see Vols. 3, 4, and 5) states that Sophocles said he portrayed people as they ought to be; Euripides, as they are. His utter command of tragic speech in the simple grandeur of his choral odes, dialogues, and monologues encourages the English reader to compare him to Shakespeare (see Vol. 1).
 
Published December 14, 2009 by Digireads.com. 62 pages
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Publishers Weekly

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Every era needs the classics on its own terms, so Sophocles' Electra, translated by Anne Carson (The Beauty of the Husband; Forecasts, Dec. 18, 2000), should prove very popular among newcomers and sea

Apr 16 2001 | Read Full Review of Electra (Greek Tragedy in New...

The New York Times

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Sophocles’ play begins after the murder of Agamemnon by his wife, Clytemnestra, and her lover, Aegisthus, with Electra burning for revenge.

Jun 06 2007 | Read Full Review of Electra (Greek Tragedy in New...

Publishers Weekly

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Every era needs the classics on its own terms, so Sophocles' Electra, translated by Anne Carson (The Beauty of the Husband;

| Read Full Review of Electra (Greek Tragedy in New...

Project MUSE

Thus, although all three texts provide a generally clear indication of metrical responsion in the lyric passages, only Luschnig offers headings to indicate the standard Aristotelian division into prologue, parodos, episode, stasimon (Woodruff limits himself to labeling the parodos and stasima), w...

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