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Myrtilus Character Analysis

Myrtilus was the charioteer of the king of Pisa, who, in a chariot race against Pelops, was bribed by Pelops to sabotage the king’s chariot. According to some versions of the myth, once Pelops won the race, he also won the king’s daughter’s hand in marriage, and when Myrtilus asked for a night with the princess in exchange for helping Pelops win the race, Pelops killed Myrtilus by throwing him from his chariot into the sea. Before Myrtilus fell into the sea, he cursed Pelops and all his descendants, and Sophocles refers to this curse several times in Electra.

Myrtilus Quotes in Electra

The Electra quotes below are all either spoken by Myrtilus or refer to Myrtilus. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Grief, Mourning, and Morality Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of Electra published in 2008.
Lines 473-515 Quotes

When Pelops in past ages
Won the race with his chariot,
What never-ending sorrow
Struck this land!
When Myrtilus, his helper,
Was drowned beneath the ocean
Tossed headlong from his chariot,
He cursed the race of Pelops
And died in great anguish.
Since that day
This palace has been haunted
By suffering and anguish.

Related Characters: The Chorus (speaker), Electra, Orestes, Agamemnon, Iphigenia , Atreus, Pelops, Myrtilus
Page Number: 504-515
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Electra LitChart as a printable PDF.
Electra PDF

Myrtilus Character Timeline in Electra

The timeline below shows where the character Myrtilus appears in Electra. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Lines 473-515
Justice and Revenge Theme Icon
...Argos has been struck with eternal misery ever since Pelops won his chariot race and Myrtilus cursed him. (full context)