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. Which of you can tell me where those Phocian strangers are, who are said to have brought report for us that Orestes passed away amidst the shipwrecked chariots?
  2. You, you I ask, yes, you, who were in former days so bold. It seems to me that this concerns you most, so you must know best, and can best tell me.
Electra
  1. I do know. How could I not? Otherwise I would be an alien to the fortune of my nearest kinsmen.
Aegisthus
  1. Where, then, may the strangers be? Tell me.
Electra
  1. Inside. They have found a way to the heart of their hostess.
Aegisthus
  1. Have they in fact reported him truly dead?
Electra
  1. No, not reported only. They have shown him.
Aegisthus
  1. Then I can identify the corpse myself?
Electra
  1. You can, indeed, though it is no enviable sight.
Aegisthus
  1. You have indeed given me a joyful greeting, beyond your custom.
Electra
  1. May joy be yours, if joy is what you find in these things.
Aegisthus
  1. Silence, I say, and throw wide the gates for all Mycenaeans and Argives to see,
  2. so that, if any one of them were once buoyed by empty hopes in this man, now by seeing his corpse, he may welcome my bit in his mouth, instead of waiting until my punishment makes him grow wits by force!
Electra
  1. All will be done on my part. Time
  2. has given me the sense to comply with the stronger.
A shrouded corpse is disclosed.Orestes and Pylades stand near it.
Aegisthus
  1. O Zeus, I see an image which could not have fallen without divine spite—but, if Nemesis attend what I say, let it be unsaid!To Orestes.Undo the coverings from his eyes, so that our kinship, at least, may receive due mourning from me also.
Orestes
  1. Lift the veil yourself. It is not for me, but for you to look upon these remains and greet them kindly.
Aegisthus
  1. You advise well, and I will obey you.To Electra.But you, call Clytaemnestra for me, if she is at home.
Orestes
  1. She is near you; do not look elsewhere.
Aegisthus
  1. O, what sight is this!