Ajax

Sophocles

Sophocles, creator; Sophocles the plays and fragments with critical notes, commentary, and translation in English prose Part 7 The Ajax; Jebb, Richard Claverhouse, Sir, 1841-1905, editor, translator. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1893.

  1. It is true: all is possible when a god contrives.
Athena
  1. Stand silent, then, and stay where you are.
Odysseus
  1. I must stay. But I would prefer to be far from here!
Athena
  1. You there, Ajax, once again I call you! Why do you show so little regard for your ally?
    Ajax
    1. Welcome, Athena! Welcome, daughter sprung from Zeus! How well have you stood by me! I will crown you with trophies of pure gold in gratitude for this quarry!
    Athena
    1. A fine pledge. But tell me this—have you dyed your sword well in the Greek army?
    Ajax
    1. I can make that boast. I do not deny it.
    Athena
    1. And have you launched your armed hand against the Atreidae?
    Ajax
    1. Yes, so that never again will they dishonor Ajax.
    Athena
    1. The men are dead, as I interpret your words.
    Ajax
    1. Dead they are. Now let them rob me of my arms!
    Athena
    1. I see. And the son of Laertes, how does his fortune with respect to you? Has he escaped you?
    Ajax
    1. That blasted fox! You ask me where he is?
    Athena
    1. Yes, I do. I mean Odysseus, your adversary.
    Ajax
    1. My most pleasing prisoner, mistress, he sits inside. I do not wish him to die just yet.
    Athena
    1. Until you do what? Or win what greater advantage?
    Ajax
    1. Until he be bound to a pillar beneath my roof—
    Athena
    1. What evil, then, will you inflict on the poor man?
    Ajax
    1. —and have his back crimsoned by the lash, before he dies.
    Athena
    1. Do not abuse the poor man so cruelly!