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Euripidesí Electra is a provocative retelling of one of the most popular and enduring Greek legends, the revenge of Electra and Orestes for the murder of their father, Agamemnon, an action that requires the brother and sister to kill their mother, Clytaemnestra, and her lover, Aegisthus. In his play, Euripides deliberately takes issue with the earlier version of this story by his famous predecessor Aeschylus (in The Libation Bearers) in order to challenge what he obviously considers an inadequate or outdated treatment of a complex human drama. He does this by dismissing conventional pieties celebrated in the traditional myth, by mocking the fairy-tale elements of old-fashioned storytelling, and by focusing instead on the real and frequently cruel psychological conflicts the characters experience. The result is a radically different depiction of Orestes and Electra (and to a lesser extent of Clytaemnestra). The portrayal of Electra herself is especially complicated psychologically, one of the most fascinating character studies in all of classical Greek drama.

This new translation by Ian Johnston is an accurate and fluent rendition of Euripidesí text, particularly well suited to dramatic presentation.

 

 

 

 Electra

Classics/  ISBN: 978-1-63464-040-4
eISBN 978-1-63464-041-1