Electra (Murray Translation)

Written by:
Narrated by:

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
January 2017
1 hour 42 minutes
Electra (the Unmated One) is eaten up with hatred of her mother Clytemnestra and stepfather Aegisthus for their murder of her father Agamemnon. Married platonically to a good-hearted but poverty-stricken old peasant, she longs for the return of her brother Orestes to help her wreak vengeance. Orestes finally returns and together they carry out their fated work, but find the result to be as tragically meaningless as the lust for vengeance had been poisonous.

Strikingly different from Sophocles, who wrote his “Electra” with full sympathy for the divine ordinance of revenge, Euripides squarely blames the God Apollo for putting an evil commandment on the shoulders of the siblings. He also shows the tragic ambiguity of the entire situation, pleading a strong, emotional case for Clytemnestra and showing her vulnerable motherliness at the moment of her death.

Deeper, more human psychologically than Sophocles or Aeschylus, Euripides is compared with good reason in the translator’s introduction to modern playwrights such as Browning or Ibsen. ( Expatriate)
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P G.

The Libre Vox narrator, Expatriate, has a generally monotone and mono-speed voice with a strong nasal quality, and doesn't change it for different characters. He does read the name of each character before their lines, which makes it possible to know who's speaking. The translation is terrible. It sounds like one of those 19th-century translations, made to sound grandiloquent by 19th-century standards, which means throwing in a mess of techniques for "elevated diction" from throughout the ages: Old English alliteration, pseudo-Elizabethan screwed-up grammar, and occasional neo-classical rhymes. All this is pointless, doing nothing to elevate what is said, and making it all stilted and difficult to understand. The original text is not interesting to us today. The only point of interest is that Apollo has commanded Orestes to kill his mother, even though this is wicked. The message at the time was either that the gods are unjust, or that Athens should stop basing claims about justice on the actions or commands of the gods (which would most-notably include the oracle at Delphi, which was a powerful political force at the time). It holds no interest for us today.

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