Electra

by

Sophocles

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The Delphic Oracle Character Analysis

The high priestess of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi serves as the most important oracle in Greek mythology. The Delphic oracle is said to speak the words of Apollo, and she speaks only in rhyme and riddle. According to myth, questions presented to her must be phrased very carefully, because otherwise her prophecies are easily misinterpreted. In Electra, Orestes asks the Delphic oracle how he should exact revenge for his father’s death, not if he should exact revenge, and he takes the oracle’s prophecy as a direct order from Apollo himself to kill Clytemnestra for Agamemnon’s murder. Sophocles implies that matricide is never justified, not even in the name of revenge, and Orestes’s possible misinterpretation of the oracle’s prophecy supports that argument.
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The Delphic Oracle Character Timeline in Electra

The timeline below shows where the character The Delphic Oracle appears in Electra. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Lines 1-85
Deception, Falsehood, and Trust Theme Icon
...Then, Orestes tells the old slave and Pylades that he recently when to see the Delphic oracle to find out how he ought to get revenge on the people who murdered his... (full context)
Justice and Revenge Theme Icon
Orestes explains that the Delphic oracle told him that he would be victorious in revenge through using deceit and trickery. Accordingly,... (full context)