Philoctetes

Sophocles

Sophocles, creator; Sophocles the plays and fragments with critical notes, commentary, and translation in English prose Part 4 The Philoctetes; Jebb, Richard Claverhouse, Sir, 1841-1905, editor, translator. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1898.

  1. Then one does not dare even approach him?
Odysseus
  1. No, unless he takes the man by deceit, as I prescribe.
Neoptolemus
  1. Then you think it brings no shame to speak what is false?
Odysseus
  1. No, not if the falsehood yields deliverance.
Neoptolemus
  1. And with what expression on his face will anyone dare mouth those lies?
Odysseus
  1. When what you do promises gain, it is wrong to shrink back.
Neoptolemus
  1. And what gain is it for me that he should come to Troy?
Odysseus
  1. His arrows alone will capture Troy.
Neoptolemus
  1. Then I am not to be the conqueror, as you said?
Odysseus
  1. Neither will you be without them, nor they without you.
Neoptolemus
  1. It would seem, then, that we must track them down, if things stand as you say.
Odysseus
  1. Know that by doing this task, you win two rewards.
Neoptolemus
  1. What are they? If I knew, I would not refuse the deed.
Odysseus
  1. You will be celebrated in the same breath as clever and as noble.
Neoptolemus
  1. So be it! I will do it, and cast off all shame.
Odysseus
  1. Do you remember, then, the story that I recommended?
Neoptolemus
  1. Be sure of it, since once and for all I have consented.
Odysseus
  1. You stay here, then, to wait for him. Meanwhile I will go away, so as not to be observed here with you,
  2. and I will send our lookout back to your ship. And, if in my view you seem to linger at all beyond the due time, I will send that same man back again, after disguising him as the captain of a merchant-ship, so that secrecy may be on our side.
  3. Then, son, as he tells his artful story, take whatever in his tale is from time to time helpful to you. Now I will go to the ship, leaving matters here to you. May escorting Hermes the Deceiver, lead us on, and divine Victory, Athena Polias, who saves me always!Exit Odysseus, on the spectators’ left.