Electra and Other Plays
Sophocles' innovative plays transformed Greek myths into dramas with complex human characters, through which he explored profound moral issues. Electraportrays the grief of a young woman for her father Agamemnon, who has been killed by her mother's lover. Aeschylus and Euripides also dramatized this story, but the objectivity and humanity of Sophocles' version provide a new perspective. Depicting the fall of a great hero, Ajax examines the enigma of power and weakness combined in one being, while the Woman of Trachisportrays the tragic love and error of Heracles' deserted wife Deianeira, and Philoctetesdeals with the conflict between physical force and moral strength.
E. F. Watling's vivid translation is accompanied by an introduction in which he discusses Sophocles' use of a third actor to create new dramatic situations and compares the different treatments of the Electra myth by the three great tragic poets of classical Athens.