De karakterisering van Electra: een taalkundige benadering | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 50, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0165-8204
  • E-ISSN: 2667-1573



The aim of this article is to show that modern linguistic approaches may be used in the analysis of characterization in Greek tragedy, specifically that of Euripides’ version of Electra in the eponymous play. I analyse several of Electra’s interactions with other characters in the play’s early scenes, applying insights from linguistic politeness theory and conversation analysis, in order to show that Electra’s linguistic ‘behaviour’ is driven by her situation and her preoccupations. Her interactions with the Peasant and the Chorus are marked by consistent affection from all sides, but also by a fundamental inability to communicate effectively. In her long stichomythia with Orestes, disruptions of the conversational structure mark brief flares in Electra’s language at moments where issues that particularly vex her are discussed.


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