Free Essay

Electra

In: English and Literature

Submitted By ketabug2
Words 879
Pages 4
Keyaundria Tate
Professor Jennifer Brewington
ENG 203 (H018)
Response Paper #2
11 March 2016
Electra by Sophocles is a play about a broken family. Clytemnestra who was the former wife of Agamemnon made the choice to murder Agamemnon when he came back from the Trojan War. Clytemnestra and Agamemnon had three living children name Orestes, Electra, and Chysothemis. After the murder of their father, Electra sent their brother away so that he can grow up in a safe place and come back and help avenge their dad. Electra stayed in town and spent almost her entire life dwelling on the past. Electra wanted justice for her father and would do almost anything to get it. Justice is an important theme in this story but trying but trying to get justice in the wrong way can often lead to revenge. Electra allowed her father’s death to take a toll on her life which stopped it completely. Most of her days were spent praying and grieving about Orestes returning home to Mycenae. Orestes and Chysothemis did not dwell much on the past but Electra took it to another level. Electra was trying to get justice for her father and then that turned into planning revenge. In the story Electra states “I know that my behavior is unseemly, and becomes me ill. But then the enmity on your part, and your treatment, compel me in my own despite to do thus; for base deeds are taught by base.”(Sophocles 328) This quote shows that Electra does not have any boundaries when it comes to mourning the death of her father. The author made her become so consumed with the situation that she started to become a bad person. She was very aware that the situation was changing her for the worst but she still carried out her plans. Electra wanted Clytemnestra and Aegishus to pay for murdering her father. She felt that they should suffer the same way. Electra stated “For if the hapless dead is to lie in dust and nothingness, while the slayers pay not with blood for blood, all regard for man, all fear of heaven will vanish from the earth.”(Sophocles 317) This quote shows that Electra is not sure what justice is but she knows that she wants them to pay by death. Her mother’s reason for killing her father was justice also. Her mother does not take blame for the murder of her husband because she said that it was for justice. The author is showing that Electra wants justice but it seems more like revenge. Electra’s mother killed their father because of something bad that he did which sent Iphigenia to her death. Iphigenia was their daughter who got sacrificed. Electra still did not care that this was her reason for killing their father. She was so into getting revenge that no one could stop her. Her life was driven by the murder of her father. Orestes came back to town to help her get justice for the killing of their father. The author showed that Electra convinced Orestes to carry out her plans for her. The author did not allow Electra to kill her mother but he allowed Orestes to do the work for her and kill their mother. Electra did not go by the right way to get justice. She could have made many different choices. Dwelling on the death of her father changed her character for the worst. Electra and her siblings all suffered from the same circumstances but she was the one who stopped her life to focus on it. The author was showing how different people react to the same situation. Electra was affected the most and her suffering affected Orestes so he felt that he had to do things to make her happy and feel like she is getting justice for her father. Orestes carried out murders for Electra. He did all the dirty work for her. This was definitely not justice this was murder and seemed more like revenge. She was happy and excited listening to Orestes kill their mother and this shows that she is no better person than they are. Their mother and her lover were both murdered by Orestes. This was their way of getting justice for their father by killing the people who killed him. Their justice turned into revenge because they actually killed people instead of taking a different route. Justice is not supposed to be violent but their actions were very violent.
Electra could have went on with her life but she chose to focus on something that would heal with time. Instead she brought more hurt to her family by allowing her brother to kill their mother. Two wrongs do not make a right but Electra thought it did. The author made some great choices with this play. Out of the three children he allowed Electra to be the most hung up on the father’s murder and he allowed Orestes to assist her in what was supposed to be justice but seemed more like revenge. Sometimes trying to receive justice while angry can turn into revenge. Electra allowed her emotions to take over her during her time of grieving.

Work Cited
Sophocles. Electra. New York: Oxford University Press, 1972. Print.…...

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