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by Sophocles

Electra Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Pylades never speaks or does anything except stand next to Orestes. What's the point of his character? Why have him in the play at all?
  2. Does Sophocles give enough time at the end of the play for his audience to consider the moral implications of the murders?
  3. What purpose do the choral songs have on our reading of the play?
  4. What does Electra being a woman have to do with Sophocles's treatment of her character? If she had been a man, could she have carried out the revenge herself?
  5. When Electra thinks Orestes is dead, she vows to do the deed on her own. Do you think she would have made good on this vow?
  6. Compare Sophocles's Electra to Aeschylus's and Euripides's renderings of the same myth. How do these differ, and how are they similar? Which version do you find the most compelling and why?
  7. Compare Sophocles's Electra to his play Antigone. What characteristics do these heroines share? Who is the more captivating character, Electra or Antigone?
  8. Do Electra's themes have any meaning in the world today? Does the text lend itself to any sort of modern reading? Or is this play completely anachronistic?

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