Mourning Becomes Electra Peter Niles Character:



Peter is the cousin and lover of Lavinia. Though she hardly likes him yet she had promised him of marriage when he returns from war. After returning from the war, he again proposes her and reminds her of her promise which she refutes saying she is needed the most by her father. Peter, aware of the psychologically degraded condition of Lavinia, remains resolute and steadfast in his love for Lavinia. He even faces the opposition of his family just for Lavinia. Probably, Peter is the only character that a normal human bent of emotions with cleanliness and purity.

Lavinia is also attached to Peter. After the death of her mother, she is mentally prepared to be Peter's bride:

"I want the house to be full of flowers. Peter is coming, and I want everything to be pretty and cheerful".

We find Peter always ready, almost at the beck and call of Lavinia, to do anything that Lavinia may order him. She is near goddess to him. His love remains blind till the last moment of the play. After the suicide of Orin, she is in a deep stress and wants Peter immediately. When Lavinia wants him to marry her urgently:

"I want to get married right away, Peter! I'm afraid! Would you marry me now--this evening? We can find a minister to do it. I can change my clothes in a second and put on the color you like! Marry me today, Peter! I'm afraid to wait!"

Response of Peter is no other than agreeing to the orders and instructions of her but his love cannot win her for him. So, the lover remains devoid of his love till the end of the play. Peter goes away when Lavinia wants him to leave her:

"I can't marry you, Peter. You mustn't ever see me again. "



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