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. by a storm of pain are senseless.
Chorus
  1. Come with us, then, poor man, as we bid you.
Philoctetes
  1. Never, never—of that be certain! Not even if the lord of the fiery lightning comes to wrap me in the blaze of his thunderbolts!
  2. Ilium be damned, and as many of the men before its walls as dared reject this foot of mine! But oh, friends, grant me one wish!
Chorus
  1. What would you ask?
Philoctetes
  1. A sword, if you can find one, or an axe, or any weapon—
  2. please, pass it to me!
Chorus
  1. That you may execute what scheme?
Philoctetes
  1. Mangle all this body, and sever limb from limb with my own hand! Death, death is my thought now!
Chorus
  1. Why, why ever would you—
Philoctetes
  1. I am seeking my father—
Chorus
  1. In what land?
Philoctetes
  1. In Hades; he dwells in the sunlight no more. Ah, my city, city of my fathers! I crave to see you, unhappy man that I truly am
  2. for leaving your sacred stream and going to help the Danaans, my enemies! I am nothing now, nothing anymore!Exit Philoctetes into the cave.
Chorus
  1. Long ago I would have left you to go to my ship, had I not seen
  2. Odysseus approaching, and the son of Achilles, too, coming here for us.
Enter Neoptolemus and Odysseus.
Odysseus
  1. Will you not tell me why you make this return journey with such eager speed?
Neoptolemus
  1. I come to undo the mistake that I made earlier.
Odysseus
  1. Your words alarm me—what mistake was that?
Neoptolemus
  1. The one I made when I obeyed you and all the army.