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Electra - a Cycle of Violence

  • Date Submitted: 12/11/2012 11:59 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 61.2 
  • Words: 835
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Electra is known as one of the most famous Greek tragedy written by Sophocles. Based on the background of the city of Argos after the Trojan War, the play is all about the vengeance of Electra and Orestes, who are Agamemnon and Clytemnestra’s children. The tragedy starts when the King Agamemnon is killed by his wife Clytemnestra and his first cousin Aegisthus. As the hatred for her cruel mother has rising, Electra determines to take revenge for her dead father with help from Orestes. The play finally ends up in blood and deaths. Even though the vengeance is successfully completed, with the principle mentioned in the play which is “Blood in return for blood,” the cycle of tragic and cruel deaths will not ever stop. Sophocles does not give a proper solution to end this cycle of violence. Moreover, it is probably considered as an open ending for a new vengeance in the royal family.
The tragedy starts because of the death of Agamemnon. After returning from the Trojan War, Agamemnon is killed by his own wife Clytemnestra and her lover, Aegisthus, who is also Agamemnon’s first cousin. Clytemnestra thinks that the murder is definitely justice because Agamemnon sacrifices their daughter Iphigeneia to Artemis. “That he was killed by me. – By me! Of course; I know he was and I do not deny it – because his own crime killed him, and not I alone … This father of yours, whom you are always mourning, had killed your sister, sacrificing her to Artemis” (p. 119). Clytemnestra blames her daughter’s death on her husband and decides to take avenge. She and her lover then take over Agamemnon’s power and control the whole kingdom. The principle that “Blood in return for blood” brought to the play Electra leads to the unbreakable cycle of violence through many generations.
Based upon the rule which is “Blood in return for blood,” Agamemnon’s children have together decided to take revenge for him by killing their wicked mother and her lover. Electra saves her little brother from her...


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