‘Electra’ is a Greek tragedy originally written by Sophocles around 415BC . It has been rewritten several times since then. In the story, Electra and her brother, Orestes, seek vengence for the murder of their father, Agamemnon by their mother, Clytemnestra, who wished to marry Aegisthus, and did so after her husband’s death. The following speech is from a modern rewrite of the play by Nick Payne. In it, Electra describes the loss of her father…

Often, before the sun’s up, when it’s like this, when it’s dark, like this, I often think that I can hear him. I think that I can hear him speaking to someone. I feel as is he’s home. Come back. It can feel as if he’s come, back, home, to me. I go into his room. Morning, I say. But it’s not him. It’s another man and for a moment I don’t know who. I don’t know who he is. In my father’s bed, head on my father’s pillow.
My mother crawls out from underneath my father’s sheets. She’s cradling the stranger’s hand in her own. They’re barely clothed, naked virtually. I stare at them, blank, not quite knowing what to say. What are you doing, my mother says. You shouldn’t be in here. This is our bedroom.
Electra, you need to calm down. No. No.
You need to wake up, I say. I return to my room and I crouch on my bed and I pull my knees to my chest. I know now where my father is. And I know that I cannot see him.
There is a mark on my floor, a mark on the floor of my bedroom. I tell myself not to look at it. Day after day after day. Don’t look at it, I say. This is the spot where your father died, I say to myself, do not glance at it again. Arm in arm, we struggled. From the bathroom to my bedroom. His entire body logged with water, wounded. His skin loose and thin. His feet, soaking wet, slapped upon the floor as we walked.
When we reached my bedroom, we fell to the floor. I picture him endlessly.