The New International Encyclopædia/Electra
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|Edition of 1905. See also Electra on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.|
ELEC'TRA (Lat., from Gk. Ἠλέκτρα). In Greek legend: (1) The daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, and the sister of Orestes and Iphigenia. While Agamemnon was absent at the siege of Troy, his cousin Ægisthus corrupted Clytemnestra, and, on the great leader's return, shamefully assisted her in murdering him. Electra, alarmed for the safety of Orestes, and desiring to have in him an avenger, contrived to send him to his uncle Strophius, King of Phocis. There he met Pyladis, and formed with him the friendship so famed in story — an attachment further cemented by the marriage of his friend to his sister. There is a tradition that Ægisthus sought to humble her by forcing her to marry a peasant, but the fellow, mindful of the gods, duly restored her to Orestes. By Pylades she was mother of Strophius and Medon. Her experiences are recounted by Æschylus in the Choëphoi, by Sophocles in Electra, by Euripides in the three dramas Electra, Orestes, and Iphigenia Among the Tauri, by Racine in Electra, and by Goethe in Iphigenie auf Tauris. (2) Wife of Atlas, by Zeus, mother of Dardanus, and one of the Oceanides. (3) One of the Pleiades, daughter of Atlas and Pleione. See Agamemnon; Orestes; Iphigenia; and Ægisthus.