Discuss "Mourning Becomes Electra" as a modern tragedy. How is this drama is different from a Greek tragedy?

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kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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This play is actually made up of 3 different plays, a trilogy:  The Homecoming, The Hunted, and The Haunted.  To begin, then, let's define "tragedy":  "a dramatic composition, often in verse, dealing with a serious or somber theme, typically that of a great person destined through a flaw of character or conflict with some overpowering force, as fate or society, to downfall or destruction" (www.dictionary.com).  In these 3 plays, we have characters that all deal with tragedy, including suicides and murder.  Tragic characters have one distinct flaw, and the characters in these 3 plays are no exception.  For example, Brant's tragic flaw is his obsession with revenge, which leads him to murder, so this play is definitely a modern tragedy.  Also, the play is based on a Greek tragedy.  eNotes states: "In the play, he adapts the Greek tragic myth Oresteia to nineteenth-century New England" (eNotes).

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