ELECTRA – Monologue (Electra – 3)

A monologue from the play by Sophocles

NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Dramas. Sophocles. London: J.M. Dent & Sons, 1906.


Holy Light, with Earth, and Sky,
Whom thou fillest equally,
An how many a note of woe,
Many a self-inflicted blow
On my scarred breast might’st thou mark,
Ever as recedes the dark;
Known, too, all my nightlong cheer
To bitter bed and chamber drear,
How I mourn my father lost,
Whom on no barbarian coast
Did red Ares greet amain,
But as woodmen cleave an oak
My mother’s axe dealt murderous stroke,
Backed by the partner of her bed,
Fell Ægisthus, on his head;
Whence no pity, save from me,
O my father, flows for thee,
So falsely, foully slain.
Yet I will not cease from sighing,
Cease to pour my bitter crying,
While I see this light of day,
Or the stars’ resplendent play,
Uttering forth a sound of wail,
Like the child-slayer, the nightingale,
Here before my father’s door
Crying to all men evermore.
O Furies dark, of birth divine!
O Hades wide, and Proserpine!
Thou nether Hermes! Ara great!
Ye who regard the untimely dead,
The dupes of an adulterous bed,
Come ye, help me, and require
The foul murder of our sire;
And send my brother back again;
Else I may no more sustain
Grief’s overmastering weight.

Read the play here

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