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. No, nor can I imagine.
Orestes
  1. Do you not know the man to whose hands you gave me once?
Electra
  1. What man? What do you mean?
Orestes
  1. I mean him, by whose hands and through your forethought
  2. I was secretly conveyed away to Phocian soil.
Electra
  1. Is this he in whom alone out of many I once found a true ally at the time of our father’s murder?
Orestes
  1. This is he; question me no further.
Electra
  1. O joyous day! O sole preserver of Agamemnon’s house,
  2. how did you come here? Are you indeed the man who saved my brother and myself from many sorrows? O dearest hands, O messenger whose feet were kindly servants! How could you be with me so long and remain unknown, without giving a ray of illumination,
  3. but instead afflicting me with stories, while possessed of sweetest reality? Welcome, Father, for it is a father that I seem to behold! Welcome, and know that in one day I have hated you and loved you as no man ever before!
Paedagogus
  1. That is enough, I think. As for the recounting of intervening events,
  2. many are the circling nights and an equal number of days which will reveal them to you clearly, Electra.
  1. And this is my advice to you two, since you stand there: now is your opportunity to act, now Clytaemnestra is alone, now no man is inside. But if you pause,
  2. consider that you will have to fight both those inside and others mightier and better skilled.
Orestes
  1. Pylades, in no way does our task call any longer for many words, but rather demands that we enter the house immediately, after first adoring the shrines of my father’s
  2. gods, the keepers of these gates.Orestes and Pylades enter the house, followed by the Paedagogus. Electra remains outside.
Electra
  1. King Apollo! Hear them with favor, and hear me besides, who so often have come before your altar with hands rich in such gifts as I could obtain! And now, O Lycean Apollo, with what means I have
  2. I pray to you, I supplicate you, I implore you, be our ready champion in these designs, and show what rewards the gods bestow on humans in return for their impiety!Exit Electra, into the house.
Chorus
  1. Behold how Ares stalks onward,
  2. breathing bloody vengeance that is hard to oppose. Just now have the hunters of wicked crimes passed beneath that roof there, the hounds which none may flee. And so not long shall