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. You spoke just like this, when you were seeking to steal my bow—a professed friend, with my destruction in his treacherous heart.
Neoptolemus
  1. I assure you, I am not so now. I merely wish to know whether you have resolved to stay here and endure, or to sail with us.
Philoctetes
  1. Stop, not another word! Whatever you may say will be said in vain.
Neoptolemus
  1. You are so resolved?
Philoctetes
  1. More firmly, believe me, than words can say.
Neoptolemus
  1. Well, I could have wished that you had listened to my words, but if nothing that I say will help,then I am finished.
Philoctetes
  1. Yes, all your pleas will be in vain. You will never gain my mind’s good will, since first you fraudulently seized my means of life and robbed me of it, and then you have come here to admonish me, you most hateful descendant of so noble a father!
  2. Ruin seize you all, the Atreids first, and next the son of Laertes, and you!
Neoptolemus
  1. Speak no more curses, and instead receive these weapons from my hand.
Philoctetes
  1. What did you say? Am I being tricked a second time?
Neoptolemus
  1. No, I swear it by the pure majesty of Zeus most high!
Philoctetes
  1. O welcome words—if your words are true!
Neoptolemus
  1. The deed will soon make it plain. Come, stretch out your right hand and be master of your bow!As he hands the bow and arrows to Philoctetes, Odysseus suddenly appears.
Odysseus
  1. But I forbid it, as the gods are my witnesses, in the name of the Atreids and the entire army!
Philoctetes
  1. Son, whose voice was that? Do I hear Odysseus?
Odysseus
  1. Be sure of it, and you see him at your side, who will carry you to the plains of Troy by force, whether or not the son of Achilles is willing.
Philoctetes
  1. But it will bring you no joy, if this arrow fly straight.Odysseus flees from the stage.
Neoptolemus
  1. Wait—by the gods, no! Do not let it fly!
Philoctetes
  1. Let go of me, in the name of the gods, dear boy!
Neoptolemus
  1. I will not.