chapter  1
11 Pages

The 'Electra'

I. The 'Electra' The Electra and the Orestes are of the same kind of drama as the tragi-comedies, though perhaps of a different species. That they are grim and not gay, and are based on character-drawing rather than on the excitements ofan intricate plot, are important differences; but what is common to them is much more fundamental, and that is the new attitude towards the dramatic art. These two plays are melodramatic, not tragic; like the four plays we have just considered (and the two that we shall consider next) they aim first and foremost at being theatrically effective, and it is this that gives them their character and explains their form.