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Pylades Character Analysis

Pylades is Orestes’s close friend. Pylades accompanies Orestes to Mycenae with the old slave and, at the end of the play, he helps kill Clytemnestra and perhaps Aegisthus as well. Pylades personifies loyalty in Electra, but he never speaks a word throughout the play. Pylades’s silence reinforces Sophocles’s central argument that words are often deceptive; Pylades’s loyalty is demonstrated solely through actions.

Pylades Quotes in Electra

The Electra quotes below are all either spoken by Pylades or refer to Pylades. 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 1-85 Quotes

Our crafty tale will bring them the glad tidings
That my body has been cremated and now consists
Of nothing but charred remains. What harm does it do me
To say I’m dead? None, if the outcome proves
My real salvation and wins me a glorious prize.
In my opinion, no word can be a bad omen
If it leads to gain. A false report of death
Is a trick I’ve often seen used by clever philosophers.

Related Characters: Orestes (speaker), Clytemnestra, Agamemnon, Old Slave, Pylades, The Furies
Page Number: 56-63
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Electra LitChart as a printable PDF.
Electra PDF

Pylades Character Timeline in Electra

The timeline below shows where the character Pylades appears in Electra. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Lines 1-85
Justice and Revenge Theme Icon
Orestes, Pylades, and an old slave enter and look toward the palace of Mycenae. The old slave... (full context)
Deception, Falsehood, and Trust Theme Icon
The old slave encourages Orestes and his friend Pylades to put their plan into action now that a new day has dawned, saying that... (full context)
Lines 1098-1383
Grief, Mourning, and Morality Theme Icon
Deception, Falsehood, and Trust Theme Icon
Orestes enters with Pylades, carrying the small bronze urn. Orestes asks the chorus where he might find the house... (full context)
Justice and Revenge Theme Icon
...Clytemnestra is alone in the palace, and it is the perfect time to strike. Orestes, Pylades, and the old slave enter the palace, leaving Electra outside. Electra prays to Apollo for... (full context)
Lines 1398-1510
Justice and Revenge Theme Icon
The chorus sings that the curse is now taking effect. Then, Orestes and Pylades exit the palace, their hands dripping with blood. “All is well, indoors,” Orestes says. “If... (full context)
Deception, Falsehood, and Trust Theme Icon
...can see the remains of Orestes. As the doors open, Orestes exits the palace with Pylades, carrying Clytemnestra’s corpse covered with a shroud. Aegisthus says to remove the shroud, adding: “Kinship... (full context)