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. then get yourself some other father, and be called my son no longer!
Hyllus
  1. Ah, me! What deeds you call on me to do, Father—that I should become your murderer, polluted with your blood!
Heracles
  1. Not so, in truth, but healer of my sufferings, sole physician of my pain!
Hyllus
  1. And how, by inflaming your body, shall I heal it?
Heracles
  1. If your fear keeps you from this one task, at least perform the rest.
Hyllus
  1. The service of carrying you will not be refused.
Heracles
  1. And the heaping of the pyre which I have ordered?
Hyllus
  1. Yes, except that I will not touch fire to it with my own hands.
  2. All else will I do, and you will have no hindrance on my part.
Heracles
  1. Well, that much will be enough—yet add one small favor to your large benefits.
Hyllus
  1. Even if it is tremendously large, it will be done.
Heracles
  1. Do you know, then, the maiden, daughter of Eurytus?
Hyllus
  1. You mean Iole, I would guess.
Heracles
  1. You know her. Just this is the command that I impose upon you, my son: when I am dead, if you wish to show your piety by remembrance of your oath to your father, make this woman your wife and do not disobey your father.
  2. Let no other but you take her who has lain close at my side. You, my son, make that marriage-bond your own. Obey; for although you were obedient in great affairs, your disobedience in small ones cancels the gratitude already won.
Hyllus
  1. Ah, me, it is wrong to be angry with a sick man, but who could bear to see him have thoughts like these?
Heracles
  1. Your words show no willingness to do as I say.
Hyllus
  1. Who on earth would, when she alone is to blame for my mother’s death, and for your present condition besides?
  2. Who would choose to do so, unless he were infected by avenging fiends? It would be better, Father, that I also die, rather than live united with those whom I most detest!
Heracles
  1. The man will render no due respect, it seems, to my dying prayer. No, be sure that the curse of the gods