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Quotes

Quote #1

THE OLD SLAVE
whence my hand,
Thy murdered sire then lying in his gore,
Received thee from thy sister, and removed
Where I have kept thee safe and nourished thee
To this bright manhood (11-14)

This is a great example of Sophocles's technique; he uses dialogue to get his audience up to speed on the back story.

Quote #2

ORESTES
while we,
As Phoebus ordered, with luxuriant locks
Shorn from our brows, and fair libations, crown
My father's sepulcher (50-53)

In Ancient Greece, placing locks of hair on a grave was a way of paying respects to the dead.

Quote #3

THE OLD SLAVE
Hark! from the doors, my son, methought there came
A moaning cry, as of some maid within.
OR. Can it be poor Electra? Shall we stay,
And list again the lamentable sound?
OLD M. Not so. Before all else begin the attempt
To execute Apollo's sovereign will. (78-82)

Orestes puts duty to the gods before family. Does this mean that he carries out the double murder as a means of fulfilling a prophecy to the gods, and not as a means of honoring his father?

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