Trachiniae

Sophocles

Sophocles, creator; Sophocles the plays and fragments with critical notes, commentary, and translation in English prose, Part 5 The Trachiniae; Jebb, Richard Claverhouse, Sir, 1841-1905, editor, translator; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1892.

  1. you, on your part, must fight on my behalf. You must not delay, and so sharpen my tongue, but give your consent to work with me, like one who has discovered that best of laws, the law of obedience to your father.
Hyllus
  1. Yes, Father—though in coming to this point in our talk
  2. I begin to have some fear—I will obey you in all your decrees.
Heracles
  1. First of all, put your right hand in mine.
Hyllus
  1. With what purpose in mind do you so strongly urge this pledge on me?
Heracles
  1. Give your hand at once—do not disobey me!
Hyllus
  1. Here, I hold it out to you. Nothing will be denied you.
Heracles
  1. Now, swear by the head of Zeus my begetter!
Hyllus
  1. To do what deed? May this also be revealed?
Heracles
  1. To perform for me the task that I shall impose.
Hyllus
  1. I swear it with Zeus for witness of the oath.
Heracles
  1. And pray that, if you break this oath, you may suffer.
Hyllus
  1. I shall not suffer, since I will keep it. Yet so I pray.
Heracles
  1. Good, then do you know the summit of Oeta, Zeus’s sacred mountain?
Hyllus
  1. I know it. I have often stood on that height to sacrifice.
Heracles
  1. Then, you must carry my body there after raising it up in your own hands, aided by as many of our friends as you require;
  2. and when you have cut many a branch from the deep-rooted oak and chopped down many a sturdy wild-olive, you must lay my body on them and with a flaming pine-torch burn it. And let no tear of mourning show itself there.
  3. No, do this without laments or tears, if you are indeed my son. But if you fail to do this, even from the world below my curse and my wrath shall await you for ever.
Hyllus
  1. Ah, Father, what have you said? What you have done to me!
Heracles
  1. I have spoken that which you must perform. If you refuse,