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by Sophocles

Chrysothemis Timeline and Summary

  • Chrysothemis comes onstage and converses with Electra. She explains that their mother had a bad dream about Agamemnon, and sent her with libations for his grave.
  • The two sisters argue about the best course of action with regard to their murderous mother. Chrysothemis makes it clear that she agrees with Electra – their mother and stepfather are guilty – but maintains that no good can come of snubbing them. She's a pragmatic gal, and she's trying to do what makes sense.
  • When Electra orders her to put a lock of her own hair on Agamemnon's grave instead of the libations her mother sent, Chrysothemis agrees to do so.
  • In other words, she's fine with rebellion, as long as she doesn't get caught.
  • Chrysothemis returns later to Electra with fantastic news – Orestes is back. Apparently, she saw libations on Agamemnon's grave that could have only come from him, including a lock of his hair that she recognized.
  • Chrysothemis is then distraught when Electra reveals that it couldn't have been Orestes, since he's dead.
  • When Electra asks her to help kill the King and Queen, Chrysothemis refuses; but she does promise that she won't reveal Electra's plan to murder the royal couple.