Electra

Sophocles

Sophocles, creator; Sophocles the plays and fragments with critical notes, commentary, and translation in English prose Part 6 The Electra; Jebb, Richard Claverhouse, Sir, 1841-1905, editor, translator. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1894.

  1. Is this true? You will not reconsider your plan?
Electra
  1. No, for no enemy is more damaging than bad advice.
Chrysothemis
  1. You seem to agree with nothing that I say.
Electra
  1. My resolve is not new, but long since fixed.
Chrysothemis
  1. Then I will go. You cannot be brought to approve my words, nor I your conduct.
Electra
  1. No, go inside. I will never come after you, even though you may strongly desire it, since it is great folly even to attempt a useless quest.
Chrysothemis
  1. Well, if you seem to think straight in your own eyes, may you go on thinking so. Eventually, when you have fallen into trouble, you will approve my advice.Exit Chrysothemis into the house.
Chorus
  1. Why, though we see the birds above, most thoughtful creatures, taking care for the sustenance
  2. of those from whom they derived life and enjoyment, why do we not pay these debts in like measure? No, by the lightning-flash of Zeus, by Themis throned in the sky,
  3. we are not long unpunished. O Voice of the underworld that reaches to mortals, shout for me a piteous cry to the sons of Atreus below. Carry the reproaches not appropriate to my dancing!
Chorus
  1. Tell them the affairs of their house, how it is now diseased; how among his children, double-sided strife has overwhelmed their loving manner.
  2. Electra, betrayed, braves the storm alone. In misery she bewails her father’s fate without pause, like the all-grieving nightingale. She cares not at all about death, but is ready for that eternal blindness,
  3. could she but subdue the double Erinys of her house. Who could grow to be so noble a daughter of so noble a father?
Chorus
  1. None of the good willingly clouds his fair repute and becomes nameless by leading a corrupt life, my child.
  2. Similarly, you, too, have chosen a lifetime of shared mourning and have armed against dishonor, so that you might win in one breath a twofold praise as wise, and as the best of daughters.
Chorus
  1. May I yet see you live exalted in might and wealth above your enemies by as much as you now dwell beneath their hand! For I have found you enjoying no prosperous estate, yet
  2. for observance of nature’s highest laws you win the noblest prize by your reverence toward Zeus.
Enter Orestes, with Pylades and two attendants.
Orestes
  1. Ladies, have we been directed aright, and are we on the right path to our goal?
Chorus
  1. What do you seek? What desire brings you here?
Orestes
  1. I have long been searching for the home of Aegisthus.