Comparing Sophocles Electra And Lao-Te Ching

1116 Words5 Pages
The Tao is an ancient Chinese practice that focuses on the way and path of life without letting frivolous actions (such as desire) overwhelm such path. Electra is an ancient Greek play that focuses on Electra’s personal desire to avenge her father’s murder, regardless of how overwhelming or detrimental her desire is. While both Sophocles’ Electra and Lao-Tzu’s Tao Te Ching seem principled around desire, the texts disagree on the position taken when one is desirous of a certain outcome—the Tao generalizes any desire as negative, whereas Electra emphasizes desire as beneficial for necessary action. Electra’s bemoaning and desire for vengeance serve a purpose as she ultimately receives vengeance at the end of narrative whereas the Tao emphasizes…show more content…
Electra laments being “childless, / [with] no close husband to stand by my side” (Sophocles 33). Similarly, she laments the death of her brother when she states that “you’ve torn from my heart the last fond hope I had” (Sophocles 53). Electra expresses her discontent and sorrow regarding these subjects, however she does not actively try to alter anything that has happened to her. She only laments and bemoans, rather than accomplishing something such as physically murdering her mother or Aegisthus, or trying to find a husband, or ensuring that her brother is actually dead. The Tao states that one must “[endure] without desire”, however Electra doesn’t (Lao Tzu 34). She endures her pain and suffering by craving vengeance for her father’s death, by craving a husband and children, and by wishing that her brother were still alive. If she were to live closer to the Tao and “[endure] without desire”, she would accept everything that she bemoans and live without the inescapable pain and suffering that she has plagued herself with (Lao Tzu 34). If Electra were a Taoist, her endurance would translate to accepting the pain and suffering that has been placed upon her and focusing on steadily moving through the

    More about Comparing Sophocles Electra And Lao-Te Ching

      Open Document