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. Now take me there, over there!
Neoptolemus
  1. Where do you mean?
Philoctetes
  1. Up there!
Neoptolemus
  1. What is this new delirium? Why do you gaze at the dome above us?
Philoctetes
  1. Let me go, let me go!
Neoptolemus
  1. Where will you go, if I do so?
Philoctetes
  1. Let me go, I say!
Neoptolemus
  1. I will not.
Philoctetes
  1. You will kill me, if you touch me further.
Neoptolemus
  1. There, then, I release you—if in fact you believe it is for the better.
Philoctetes
  1. Wide Earth, embrace me now on the verge of death!
  2. This pain no longer lets me stand up.
Neoptolemus
  1. Sleep, I think, will take him before long. See, his head sinks backward. Yes, a sweat runs over his whole body, and a dark, hemorrhaging vein has burst from his heel.
  2. Come, friends, let us leave him in quietness, so that he may fall asleep.
Chorus
  1. Divine Sleep, god who knows no pain, Sleep, stranger to anguish, come in favor to us, come happy, and giving happiness, great King!
  2. Keep before his eyes such light as is spread before them now. Come to him, I pray you, come with power to heal! Son, consider what position you will take, and to what strategy you will next direct our course.
  3. You see his condition now! Why should we hesitate to act? Opportunity, the umpire of all contests, often wins a great victory by one swift stroke.
Neoptolemus
  1. No, even though he hears nothing, I see that
  2. we have made this bow our quarry to no end, if we sail without him. His must be the victor’s crown. It is he that the god commanded we bring. It would be a foul disgrace upon us to boast of deeds in which failure and fraud had equal parts.
Chorus
  1. Well, the god must look to that, son. But when you answer me again,