Electra

by: Sophocles

Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained

And yet, It is true, Justice is not on my side. Your choice is the right one. On the other hand, If I want to live a free woman, There are masters who must be obeyed.

This quotation is spoken by Chrysothemis as she encounters Electra mourning in the streets. She has just chastised Electra for her stubborn grieving and urged her to continue on with life as usual; here, however, she interestingly admits that Electra is "right" in her position. It has been noted several times in this SparkNote that while Electra initially embodies the value of justice, Chrysothemis embodies the contrasting value of expedience; Electra is willing to forgo physical comforts for the sake of justice, and Chrysothemis is willing to act in whatever way will maximize her personal benefit, even at justice's expense. In this quotation, Chrysothemis succinctly and clearly exemplifies her adherence to expedience.

This quotation is important not only for its expression of a conflict of value systems (justice v. expedience) that recurs throughout the play, but also for what it suggests about the characters of the sisters. Chrysothemis's acknowledgment that Electra's choice is the "right" one and that Electra "has justice on her side" lends greater sanctity to Electra's increasingly questionable desire for revenge; Chrysothemis's statement thus lends strength to Electra's arguments and actions while at the same time demonstrating what might be considered either Chrysothemis's pragmatism or her weakness.