She is unsurprised to find Electra mourning as usual outside the palace gates, and scolds her for it, urging her to get on with her life. Chrysothemis then explains her purpose in carrying funeral offerings. The scepter grew branches from which leaves grew and overshadowed the land. Chrysothemis agrees and leaves to do so.
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Clytemnestra believes the murder was justified, since Agamemnon had sacrificed their daughter Iphigenia before the war, as commanded by the gods. Electra , daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, rescued her younger brother Orestes from her mother by sending him to Strophius of Phocis. The play begins years later when Orestes has returned as a grown man with a plot for revenge, as well as to claim the throne. Storyline[ edit ] Orestes arrives with his friend Pylades , son of Strophius, and a pedagogue, i.
Their plan is to have the tutor announce that Orestes has died in a chariot race, and that two men really Orestes and Pylades are arriving shortly to deliver an urn with his remains. Meanwhile, Electra continues to mourn the death of her father Agamemnon, holding her mother Clytemnestra responsible for his murder.
When Electra is told of the death of Orestes her grief is doubled, but is to be short-lived. After a choral ode Orestes arrives, carrying the urn supposedly containing his ashes. He does not recognize Electra, nor she him. He gives her the urn and she delivers a moving lament over it, unaware that her brother is in fact standing alive next to her.
Now realizing the truth, Orestes reveals his identity to his emotional sister. She is overjoyed that he is alive, but in their excitement they nearly reveal his identity, and the tutor comes out from the palace to urge them on.
Orestes and Pylades enter the house and slay Clytemnestra. As Aegisthus returns home, they quickly put her corpse under a sheet and present it to him as the body of Orestes.
He lifts the veil to discover who it really is, and Orestes then reveals himself. They escort Aegisthus off set to be killed at the hearth, the same location Agamemnon was slain.
The play ends here, before the death of Aegisthus is announced. There are surviving versions by all three of the great Athenian tragedians: The Libation Bearers BC , in the Oresteia Trilogy by Aeschylus Electra Euripides play , a play by Euripides , probably in the mid s BC, likely before BC, that tells a very different version of this same basic story from Sophocles.
Post noted that the play was "unique among Greek tragedies for its emphasis on action.
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