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. Now by our mistress Artemis, you shall not escape the consequences of this audacity once Aegisthus returns.
Electra
  1. You see? You are driven to rage and, even though you grant me free speech, you have no patience to listen.
Clytaemnestra
  1. Will you not allow me to sacrifice without ominous shouting, when I have permitted you to say anything and everything you wished?
Electra
  1. I allow it; I exhort you to it: sacrifice! But do not blame my voice, for I would not say another word.
Clytaemnestra
  1. Raise then, my attendant, the offerings
  2. of many fruits, so that I may uplift my prayers for release from my present fears to this image of our King. Please, O Phoebus our defender, may you now listen to my prayer, though it is muffled; for I do not make my plea among friends, nor does it suit me to unfold it all
  3. to the light while she stands near me, lest by her malice and a cry of her clamorous tongue she sow reckless rumors through the whole city. Nevertheless, hear me thus, since in this way I will speak. That vision which I saw last night
  4. in ambiguous dreams—if its appearance was to my good, grant, Lycean king, that it be fulfilled; but if to my harm, then hurl it back upon those who would harm me. And if any are plotting to eject me by treachery from my present prosperity, do not permit them.
  5. Rather grant that living forever unharmed as I am I may govern the house of the sons of Atreus and their throne, sharing prosperous days with the friends who share them now, and with those of my children who feel no enmity or bitterness towards me.
  6. O Lycean Apollo, hear these prayers with favor, and grant them to us all just as we ask! As for all my other prayers, though I am silent, I judge that you, a god, must know them, since it is appropriate that Zeus’s children see all.
Enter the Paedagogus from the left.
Paedagogus
  1. Foreign ladies, how might I know for certain if this be the palace of the king Aegisthus?
Chorus
  1. This is the palace, stranger; you yourself have guessed correctly.
Paedagogus
  1. And am I on target when I surmise that this lady is his wife? She is indeed regal to look upon.
Chorus
  1. Exactly right; this is she before you.
Paedagogus
  1. Greetings, royal lady! I bring happy news to you and to Aegisthus from a friend.
Clytaemnestra
  1. I welcome your greeting; but I would like first to know who may have sent you.
Paedagogus
  1. Phanoteus the Phocian provided me the weighty task.
Clytaemnestra
  1. And what is it, sir? Tell me. Coming from a friend you will bring, I know, a kindly message.
Paedagogus
  1. Orestes is dead, to put it briefly.
Electra
  1. Oh, miserable me! My ruin comes today!