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. Brother, be assured that my conduct will be as pleases you, since all my joy derives from you, and is not my own. Nor would I consent
  2. to win a great good for myself at the cost of the slightest pain to you. For in doing so I would not honorably support the divine power that attends us now.But you know how matters stand here. I do not doubt it. You must have heard that Aegisthus is away from home, but that our mother is inside. And never fear that she
  3. will ever see my face lit up with smiles. My old hatred of her has been welded to my heart, and since I have seen you, for very joy I will never cease to weep. How indeed could I stop when I have seen you come home on this one day first as dead,
  4. and then in life? What you have done to me is inconceivable—so much so that, if my father were to return to me alive, I would no longer think it a portent, but would believe that I truly saw him. Therefore now that you have come to me by such a path, command me as your spirit bids you. For had I been alone,
  5. I would not have failed in one of two things: a noble salvation, or a noble destruction.
Orestes
  1. Silence! I hear someone walking inside as if to come out.
Electra
  1. Go in, strangers, especially since you bring a thing which no one
  2. could either turn away from these doors, or rejoice at receiving.
Enter the Paedagogus.
Paedagogus
  1. Utterly foolish and senseless children! Are you weary of your lives, or is there no wit inborn in you, that you do not see how you stand not on the brink, but in the very midst
  2. of immense danger? Had I not long kept watch at these doors, your doings would have been in the house before your bodies. But as it was, I put myself the task of averting that.
  3. Be done now with your long speeches and this insatiable shouting for joy, and go inside. In dealings of this sort delay is harmful, but the time is ripe for being done.
Orestes
  1. Then how will things inside stand when I enter?
Paedagogus
  1. All is well. The fact is that no one will know you.
Orestes
  1. You have reported me as dead, I presume?
Paedagogus
  1. Know that here you are a man numbered with the shades.
Orestes
  1. Do they rejoice, then, at the news? Or what do they say?
Paedagogus
  1. I will tell when all is completed. Meanwhile,
  2. all is favorable for us on their part, even that which is not favorable.
Electra
  1. Who is this, brother? By the gods, tell me.
Orestes
  1. Do you not know who he is?