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Electra

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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  4,336 ratings  ·  58 reviews
"Electra recounts the murders of Clytemnestra and Aegisthus by Clytemnestra's son Orestes, to avenge their murder of his father Agamemnon, commander of the Greeks at Troy, upon his return home. Sophocles' version is presented from the viewpoint of Electra, Orestes' sister, who laments her father, bears witness to her mother's crime, and for years endures her mother's scorn...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published April 19th 2001 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published -420)
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Mark

All right, all right, I didn't read this, but I did see it performed last night at the Pittsburgh Public Theater, and as good as the acting was, I realized scarcely five minutes in that Greek tragedy is not my cup of tea.

I kept wanting to scream at Electra -- "All right already, you're upset, your grieving, you're angry -- get on with it."

If the point of these Greek dramas was that everyone already knew the plot and you were supposed to be dazzled by the oratory, I wasn't. There are only so many...more
Hesper
Anne Carson begins her translator's foreword by saying, “a translator is someone trying to get between a body and its shadow,” which is the best description I've ever heard of what it means to translate. Shadows are interesting things in folklore. To be separated from one's shadow is often a sentence to eternal soullessness, and that's exactly what too many translations do: divide the soul of a work from its body, condemning it to eternal indifference.

There is none of that here. Carson's languag...more
John Wiswell
May 19, 2008 John Wiswell rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Classics readers, play readers, mythology readers, family conflict readers
"by choosing good instead of right. That is exactly what 'dishonor' means!" Sophocles sure could turn a phrase, or at least he could through Derek Coltman. Coltman's is an immensely readable translation: easy to follow, beautifully written, and with plenty of repeatable lines. His version of Electra's "argument" for her mother's wrong-doing is as moving as any I've read.

Yet Sophocles shines through in the shape of the play. It isn't rigidly formal, soullessly following acts and traditional pro...more
Amr Hassan
(Sir George Young's Translation)
I must first thank a friend of mine who recommended reading this after reading ,The Oresteia :)
This is the fourth play I read from Sophocles' work, and I find it to be a great one. Electra is the center of this popular tragedy and in it, we see her mourning and aching through out the play until Orestes' return. Aeschylus' The Oresteia is a great tragedy and is concerned with a deep political struggle, a struggle between patriarchy and matriarchy and Aeschylus stay...more
Mikael
For years, Electra has suffered in the house of her mother Clytemnestra and her lover Aighistos, who murdered Electra’s father Agamemnon. She longs for the return of her brother Orestes and the revenge he will bring, but loses all hope when she is falsely informed that Orestes is dead.

One of the more popular Greek tragedies, Electra is gingerly poised between grief and whining on the part of its titular character. Yes, Electra has ample cause for her wailing, not only having had her father murde...more
Kristjhan
Judging from some of the reviews on here for Aeschylus' earlier depiction of Orestes' homecoming in The Libation Bearers, not many people have kind words for it, but I quite enjoyed it. I have to say that I liked Sophocles' depiction far more, though, particularly the emotional complexity that he gives to Electra's character, and the way he portrayed the myth as more or less a family drama. The interactions between Electra, her sister, Clytemnestra, Orestes, as well as all of Electra's speech re...more
Jeremy
I found this to be much more satisfying than Aeschylus's Libation Bearers. Focusing on Electrca offers a much more nuanced examination of bitterness and what it means to be exiled from those one loves. It also ties up some of the loose ends about the murder that Libation Bearers sort of glosses over. Euripides gives a real sense of the grave magnitude of these crimes. The speech where Electra condemns her mother is one of the most powerful statements of personal anger I've ever read.
Wael Mahmoud
I read E. F. Watling's translation.

This play contains one of the most beautiful dialogues in greek dramas - the dialogue between Electra and her sister Chtaemnestra after the news about their brother Orestes' death, Very smart and vital one.

In this play it's clear that Sophocles is superior to Aeschylus who in his play "The Libation Bearers" dealing with the same events, Here we can feel the chatacters feelings and understand it easily and in more powerful way.
M. Özgür
Elektra'yı ilk önce anlayamadım; kızkardeşi Iphigeneia'yı, Troya'ya sefere çıkmadan kurban eden babası Agamemnon'a hiç öfke duymuyor, öte yandan savaş bitiminde ülkesine dönen babasını, kızını kurban etmesi nedeniyle, öldüren annesine kin kusuyor. Kızkardeşinin ismini dahi hiç anmıyor, erkek kardeşi Orestes'i ise, kendi kurguladığı intikam planlarının baş aktörü olarak görüyor ve sabırla bekliyor yıllarca.

Ama sonra hatırladım "Elektra kompleksi" olarak bilinen olguyu :). Kitabı bu perspektifden...more
Namrirru
Why do reinterpretations of this work potray Electra as insane? She's not insane. She's highly emotional. But considering that she is an abused slave in the same home where her mother and her mother's lover killed her father, I would expect so!

I love this translation. I love the dialogue. It's feisty and poetic.
Rebekah
I liked this, it has been a while since I read any Sophocles and I'm always amazed by the passion and emotion he brings out in his language. He writes great female characters as well, and gives us ambiguous and conflicting moralities to chew on. Read this one aloud.

More of my thoughts: http://wp.me/pxrfL-9C
Alysse
Jan 08, 2012 Alysse rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Greek mythology
Currently comparing this play to Euripides' version in a college lit class, and I must say, I love this one so much more! I think Sophocles gave Electra and Orestes more enjoyable personalities, and the ending was much more satisfactory. An excellent read for anyone interested in mythology. :)
Teeuhh
This version provides a really great debate between Electra and Clytemnestra. It's great to see focus on a woman and especially to make her eloquent and passionate instead of merely angry. It's a great supplement to Aeschylus' Libation Bearers, that's for sure.
Christopher
Far less exhilarating than I anticipated; far less Freudian than I expected. As the Electra complex is the female equivalent of Oedipus, so I expected Electra to be that of Oedpius, but Electra, the play and the character, are vastly inferior creations.
Leilani
A fantastic adaptation of Electra, I love the way the language flows in it. It's simple and powerful Sophocles without the fuddy-duddy. If you need this play get this version. It's the best.
بسام عبد العزيز
قررت قراءة تلك المسرحيات الإغريقية الشهيرة.. ووجدت ترجمات لمسرحيات سوفوكليس الكبرى بقلم الدكتور طه حسين..

تشجعت و بدأت القراءة.. فلابد أن الدكتور سيترجم النص الأصلي بلغته الأدبية الرائعة..
للأسف لم يحدث..
ترجمة الدكتور كانت سيئة بما يكفي.. لا أعلم لماذا كتب الدكتور بهذه الطريقة التي تجعلني أشعر أنني أقرأ عربية القرن الأول الهجري! مما أفقدني استمتاعي بشدة..

أما عن المسرحية نفسها فلم أنسجم معها على الإطلاق..
جمل طويلة جزلة ذات كلمات ضخمة رنانة .. على طريقة يوسف وهبي!!
لا أحداث تقريبا.. لا يوجد سوى مش...more
Myownhideaway
"Electra" es un libro que he tenido que leer para latín, porque fuimos al anfiteatro romano de Santiponce (Sevilla) para ver la representación teatral de esta tragedia de Sófocles, escrita en torno al 418 a.C. He de decir que la puesta en escena fue increíble, y la actriz que hizo el papel de Electra era increíble.

Tiene una trama muy sencilla, repleta de asesinatos, rencor y venganzas. La tragedia trata de la venganza de Electra, cuyo padre fue asesinado por su propia madre tras su retorno de la...more
Cymru Roberts
In contrast to the Electra of Euripides, I find this version the inferior. Of all the commentaries I’ve read, this one always gets compared to the Oresteia, most likely because it is more similar in thematic purview than Euripides' faithless account of the fall of the Pelopidae. Euripides having written the Orestes probably doesn't facilitate matters, considering it’s one of his worst plays. Still, in comparison to either playwright, Sophocles’ version is by far the blandest.

In Sophocles’ plays...more
Jessica *Wise Owl*
This book was about a young woman named Electra and how she would do anything to get what she wants. What is it that she wants? She wants to be ruler of course. During the entire play she starts off seeming like a really cool girl but during the middle you find out that she is after something sinister. Through the course of the play she gets into multiple arguments with another character named Clythaemestra. Very quickly you can tell as the audience that they don’t like each other, but it’s not...more
David Sarkies
This is probably not my favourite Sophoclean play, but then again after reading the Ajax and discovering that Ajax demonstrates the classic symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, it is very hard to then jump into another play that pretty much has nothing to do with combat trauma. It is probably a good thing though because what it means is that we have a variety of plays to consider as opposed to a collection of plays that deal with trauma and its effects. However, that does not necessarily...more
Charles
'Electra' is not just about the continual antagonism between mother and daughter. Indeed, Sophocles was very careful not to pick sides to a certain extent (he neither approves nor condemns), leaving the interpretation to the audience instead.

It is also about standing up for yourself and for what you believe to be right. Even though Electra was subject in those times to her mother's and father's will, she never fails to make her point clear. If in nothing else, Sophocles gives Electra reason from...more
Maan Kawas
A great play by a master ancient Greek tragedian and dramatist! Although the main theme of the play is about revenge, avenging Agamemnon, by his two sons Orestes and Electra, but this dramatic play is full of underlying conflicts and contrasts of values and various meaning and questions. For instance, while Electra is consumed by the desire to avenge her father, mourning all the time, and looks like a widow, her own sister Chrysothemis is more reasonable, as she acts in way that can keep danger...more
علی
داستان الکترا (و برادرش اورسته) فرزندان آگاممنون را هر سه تراژدی نویس مشهور یونان باستان، هرکدام با نگاهی متفاوت، بازنویسی کرده اند. بازگشت اورسته به آرگوس برای انتقام از قاتلین پدرش، شباهت بسیاری به داستان هملت دارد. کلی تمنسترا با همدستی آئه جیستوس، شوهرش آگاممنون، پادشاه آرگوس را به قتل می رسانند، با هم ازدواج می کنند و آئه جیستوس به یاری زئوس پادشاه آرگوس می شود. اورسته به سرزمینی دیگر فرستاده می شود و الکترا از سر نامهربانی مادر، با کشاورزی ساده ازدواج می کند. تا آن که اورسته بزرگ می شود و...more
Fabiola
Aunque esta Electra resulta mucho más elaborada como personaje, debo decir que la tragedia, que encierra la dramática e intensa historia de los hijos de Agamenón, no alcanza el nivel y la calidad que posee Las Coéforas, de Esquilo. Básicamente tiene un declive hacia el final, a pesar de que el mensaje de la obra es claro; cabe destacar que el debate entre Clitemnestra y Electra es extraordinario, quizás lo mejor de la pieza y la razón de mis tres estrellas. Comparada con Edipo Rey y Antígona, es...more
Alp Turgut
Sophokles'in önceki tragedyalarından farklı olarak karakterin kendi ruhunda yaşananları yardımcı ama ana karakterlerle ortaya koyan "Elektra", Truva Savaşı dönüşü karısı tarafından hazırlanmış korkunç bir komploya kurban giden Agamemnon'un intikamının oğlu Orestes ve kızı Elektra tarafından alınışını işliyor. "İlyada"dan sonra geçen olay örgüsüyle "Odysseia" ile arasında köprü niteliği taşıyan oyunda Elektra'nın özellikle kendiyle olan diyalogları tek kelimeyle şaheser. Sophokles'in en olgun ve...more
Dara
This translation by Robert Bagg is not great. The language is clunky, and the claim that his translation is "Sophocles for a new generation" is a vast exaggeration. The power of Greek tragedy does, of course, still manage to sing through here, but not with any help from the translation.
Mike Jensen
A nice translation of Sopocles's play, despite spelling Elektra with a C in the middle. Like all Greek plays it is talky. You just have to give it that. Sophocles also added this strange twist that Orestes pretends to be dead, and Elektra believes it for half the play. Nothing is gained that is missing in Aeschelus or Euripides versions of the Elektra story, and it goes on and on and on. One of the funniest lines, to me, in the entire corpus of Greek tragedy is when the old man says, why are you...more
Garrett Cash
Behind Oedipus the King this is my favorite Greek tragedy. Much tighter and better written than Aeschylus' Oresteia, and much more enjoyable as well. Those Greeks were obsessed with justice, and this was even better than Sophocles' own Antigone that focuses on a similar subject. This comes with my highest recommendation.

I also feel like philosophically Sophocles and I would get along rather well. I haven't felt like I more fully agreed with the general ideas of an author since Flannery O'Connor...more
Kaethe
More fun to act than to read, I think, but obviously, many people feel otherwise.
Khaled Al-Bahnsawy
على الرغم من اعجابى السابق بمسرحيه اوديب لسوفوكليس
لكن لا انكر عدم اعجابى مطلقا بهذه المسرحبه المدعوه الكترا
هل السبب الترجمه التى قراتها بها لطه حسين وانا لست معجبا اصلا بكتاباته
لا اعلم
لكن حقيقه الامر المسرحيه كانت مفتقره جدا للاحداث من وجه نظرى
بالفعل المسرحيه تدعى الكترا (ابنه اجمانون ) فلابد من التركيز عليها لكن من الخطا ان تكمون المسرحيه والمسرحيه هيا فقرات طويله جدا لوصف ماساتها بشكل مبالغ فيه متواجده فى كل المشاهد بلا اسثناء تقريبا
اهمال لاهم ما بنيت عليه المسرحيه وهيا لحظه الانتقام
عمو...more
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Sophocles (Greek: Σοφοκλής; German editions: Sophokles, Russian: Софокл) was an ancient Greek tragedy playwright. Not many things are known about his life other than that he was wealthy, well educated and wrote about one hundred and twenty three plays (of which few are extant). One of his best known plays is 'Oedipus the King' (Oedipus Rex).
More about Sophocles...
Oedipus Rex Antigone The Oedipus Cycle: Oedipus Rex / Oedipus at Colonus / Antigone Antigone / Oedipus the King / Electra Oedipus at Colonus

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“Death is not the worst thing; rather, when one who craves death cannot attain even that wish.” 54 likes
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