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Summary & Analysis
Section three, Lines 692–1466
Section four, lines 1467–1859
Exodus, Lines 1860–2008
Important Quotations Explained
Full Book Quiz
Suggestions for Further Reading
How to Write Literary Analysis
Suggested Essay Topics
How to Cite This SparkNote
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1. Orestes seeks advice on how to avenge his father's death from the oracle of which god?
2. At what time of day does the play begin?
3. Where is the palace of Agamemnon located?
4. While standing outside the palace gates, Orestes, Pylades, and the Old Man hear Electra inside doing what?
Playing the lyre
5. Why does the Old Man prevent Orestes from greeting Electra immediately?
Because he is afraid that Orestes will fall in love with Electra's beauty and hence be distracted from carrying out the revenge
Because the next step in the plan, according to the oracle, is to make an offering at Agamemnon's grave
Because he doesn't like Electra, and he wants to let her suffer
Because he is afraid that Aegisthus might come home
6. What does Chrysothemis carry as she talks to Electra outside the palace gates?
Garlands for an offering
A basket of fruit
A bundle of clothing
A jug of wine
7. According to Chrysothemis, what does Aegisthus plan to do with Electra if she doesn't stop mourning?
Send her Africa
Lock her in a secluded room
8. In Clytemnestra's dream, Agamemnon's scepter turns into what?
9. What does Electra persuade her sister to do with Clytemnestra's offering for Agamemnon's grave?
Return it to Clytemnestra unoffered
Offer it at someone else's grave instead
Throw it away and replace it with their own offering
Sell it at the marketplace
10. What reason does Clytemnestra give for having killed Agamemnon?
Agamemnon made a sacrifice of their daughter, Iphigenia
Clytemnestra wanted to be able to marry Aegisthus
Agamemnon was having an affair with another woman
Agamemnon was secretly plotting to destroy the family
11. Clytemnestra makes a prayer at the altar to which god?
12. Clytemnestra prays for all of the following except:
That her way of life might continue on untroubled
That she might be forgiven for her sins
13. The Old Man claims to bring the news of Orestes's death from where?
14. According to the Old Man, how was Orestes killed?
He was killed in a chariot race
He was killed in a bullfight
He was killed in a military battle
He was lost at sea
15. Why does Chrysothemis believe that Orestes is alive and near at hand?
She saw his horse tied at a tree
She had a vision
She saw fresh offerings and a lock of hair at Agamemnon's grave
A messenger brought her the news
16. After informing Chrysothemis that Orestes is, in fact, dead, Electra suggests that the sisters do what?
Carry out revenge themselves
Perform a mourning ceremony to honor Orestes
17. What is Orestes carrying with him when he approaches Electra in front of the palace gates?
18. For what thing does Orestes ask Electra just before he reveals to her his true identity?
A vow of secrecy
A lock of her hair
19. Who is Old Man?
The former cook at the house of Agamemnon
Electra and Orestes' uncle
The faithful servant who smuggled Orestes away as a child
A messenger of the gods
20. Why does Electra wait outside while Orestes kills their mother?
She cannot bear to witness the violence
She is afraid that Orestes might kill her, too
She is talking to Chrysothemis
She is watching for Aegisthus so that he might not return unobserved
21. How does Electra respond the sounds of Clytemnestra's death?
She urges Orestes to hit her yet again
She is overcome by grief and guilt
She rushes inside to help Orestes kill her
22. What is the first thing Aegisthus asks Electra after he has returned home?
He asks why there is blood on her clothing
He asks where the Phocians are who brought news of Orestes' death
He asks where Clytemnestra is
He asks why she is standing outside
23. Why does Aegisthus want to place what he thinks is Orestes's corpse out in the open?
He thinks it might smell unless there is fresh air upon it
He wants dogs to devour it
He wants the townspeople to be able to see it as an emblem of his authority
He does not want Orestes' spirit to be trapped in the palace
24. What does Aegisthus ask to do before his murder that Electra denies him right?
Speak on his own behalf
Make a final prayer
Eat a final meal
25. What does Electra decide to do with Aegisthus' corpse?
Leave it out for scavengers
26. Where does Orestes want to kill Aegisthus?
In the garden
In the spot where Aegisthus murdered Agamemnon
On his and Clytemnestra's bed
On the hearth
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