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. sent me messages about her, saying that you yourself would appear for vengeance. But our evil fortune, yours and mine, has torn all that away, and has sent you back to me in this state, ash and a useless shade in place of your beloved form.
  1. ah, me, ah, me! O pitiable body! Alas, dear one sent on a most dire journey, how you have destroyed me, destroyed me indeed, my brother!
  2. Therefore accept me into this abode of yours—me, a nothing, into your nothingness,—so that I may dwell with you hereafter below. For when you were on earth, we shared equally, and now I wish to die and not to be left out of your grave,
  3. since I see that the dead are relieved of pain.
Chorus
  1. Remember, Electra, you are the child of a mortal father, and Orestes was mortal. Therefore do not grieve too much. Death is a debt which all of us must pay.
Orestes
  1. Ah, what shall I say? I am at a loss. To what words
  2. can I turn? I no longer have the strength to master my tongue!
Electra
  1. What has troubled you? Why did you say that?
Orestes
  1. Is this the illustrious form of Electra?
Electra
  1. It is, though in a very wretched state.
Orestes
  1. What pity, then, for this miserable fortune!
Electra
  1. Surely, stranger, you are not saddened like this on my account?
Orestes
  1. O frame dishonorably, godlessly wasted!
Electra
  1. Those ills of which you speak, stranger, are none other’s than mine.
Orestes
  1. Ah, pity for your unwed, ill-fated life!
Electra
  1. Why, stranger, do you stare and grieve in this way?
Orestes
  1. How I knew nothing, it seems, of my own sorrows!
Electra
  1. What that has been said made you realize this?
Orestes
  1. It was the sight of you conspicuous in your many sufferings.
Electra
  1. And yet you see but a few of my troubles.