Study Guide

Electra Scene Four

By Sophocles

Scene Four

  • Chrysothemis enters, boasting she has happy news for Electra: Orestes is back.
  • Needless to say, Electra is skeptical. But Chrysothemis explains that she went to Agamemnon's grave and found it adorned with fresh libations and a lock of hair. No one but Orestes would adorn the grave such – and besides, she recognized the hair as being their brother's.
  • Electra tells her sister that she's a fool, as Orestes is dead. Now that he's gone, Electra has to stop placing her hope for justice in him and take action into her own hands. She asks her sister to help her kill Aegisthus.
  • Electra temps Chrysothemis with a vision of how she will be revered if she goes through with it. As a daughter, Chrysothemis will have displayed the proper filial devotion, and can then take her rightful place in the palace. Electra urges her sister not to live in shame.
  • Chrysothemis reminds Electra that she's a woman, not a man, and therefore doesn't have the strength to conquer her foes. Chrysothemis then warns Electra to stop plotting to kill the King in a loud voice that is bound to attract some negative attention.
  • Though she wants no part in Electra's Chrysothemis, she does at least agree not to reveal her sister's plans.
  • We break from the action for the Chorus song. The Chorus describes Electra's plight and her decision to go forward with action.

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