As an Actor Preparing for the Role of Electra

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As an actor preparing for the role of Electra, what aspects of her character would you emphasise in creating the final performance? In your answer you should refer to three key scenes in which the character appears. Electra is an ancient Greek play by Sophocles. The play opens with Orestes, Electra’s brother, deciding to pretend he is dead in order to take revenge for his father, Agamemnon’s, death. Electra fights with her mother, Clytemnestra, and her mother’s lover, Aegisthus, because she feels betrayed by them as they killed her father. When Electra and Orestes are finally reunited, they plot against their fathers killers, and finally kill them. The play has several themes, such as vengeance and deception which are extenuated by the heightened realism style of the play. In Electra’s introductory speech, I would emphasises her agony of her father’s death, as this is the main reason the character is vengeful. To fit with the heightened realism of the play, I would exaggerate the mental pain that the character is going through by associating some lines with physical pain, such as ‘But my mother, and her bed mate Aegisthus, Split open his head with a murderous axe’. I would clutch my head as if it was giving me a migraine causing huge pain. I would also emphasise Electra’s vengefulness by raising my voice and becoming incredibly angry in the lines where she is praying to the gods for help ‘ Help me Hades and Persephone, Hermes of Hell and Lady Curse […] Come, help me avenge the murder of my father’. When Electra says’ ‘ the weight of grief crushes me down’ I would show this physically, by dropping down to the floor as if I had been crushed, as I think it would help to portray how Electra is beginning to break down. I feel that this would help to emphasis the characters desperation to the audience and helps the audience to empathise with the character. For this
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