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. Why so scared? Is the face so strange?
Aegisthus
  1. Who are the men into whose nets I have miserably fallen?
Orestes
  1. Do you not perceive how you have long been addressing the living in terms suited to the dead?
Aegisthus
  1. Ah, I read the riddle! It cannot be that
  2. this is not Orestes who speaks to me!
Orestes
  1. And, though so good a prophet, were you deceived so long?
Aegisthus
  1. Oh, I am destroyed, undone! Yet allow me to speak just a little.
Electra
  1. By the gods, brother, do not allow him to speak any more or to plead at length!
  2. When mortals are embroiled in misfortunes, how can one who is to die benefit from lapse of time? No, kill him as quickly as you can, and throw his corpse to the creatures from whom his kind should have burial, throw it far from our sight! For in my eyes this
  3. alone can bring us release from the misery of the past.
Orestes
  1. To Aegisthus.Go in, and quickly. Words are not at stake here, but your life.
Aegisthus
  1. Why take me into the house? If this deed is just, what need is there of darkness? Why is your hand not quick to strike?
Orestes
  1. Do not give orders, but go to where you struck down my father, so that in that very place you may die.
Aegisthus
  1. Is this dwelling doomed to see all the sufferings of us descendants of Pelops, both now and in time to come?
Orestes
  1. Yours, at least. I am for you a consummate prophet in these matters.
Aegisthus
  1. The skill you boast about did not belong to your father.
Orestes
  1. You bandy words, and our going is delayed. Move forward!
Aegisthus
  1. You lead.
Orestes
  1. You must go first.
Aegisthus
  1. Lest I escape you?