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The interior of the temple is disclosed. Enter, from the inner sanctuary, Apollo, who takes his stand beside Orestes at the center-stone. Near the suppliant are the Furies asleep. Hermes in the background.

Apollo
No! I will not abandon you. Your guardian to the end, close by your side or far removed, [65] I will not be gentle to your enemies. So now you see these mad women overcome; these loathsome maidens have fallen asleep, old women, ancient children, with whom no god or man or beast ever mingles. [70] They were even born for evil, since they live in evil gloom and in Tartarus under the earth, creatures hateful to men and to the Olympian gods. Nevertheless, escape and do not be cowardly. [75] For as you go always over the earth that wanderers tread, they will drive you on, even across the wide mainland, beyond the sea and the island cities. Do not grow weary too soon, brooding on this labor, but when you have come to Pallas' city, sit down and hold in your arms her ancient image. [80] And there, with judges of your case and speeches of persuasive charm, we shall find means to release you completely from your labors. For I persuaded you to take your mother's life.

Orestes
Lord Apollo, you know how to do no wrong; [85] and, since you know this, learn not to be neglectful also. For your power to do good is assured.

Apollo
Remember, do not let fear overpower your heart. You, Hermes, my blood brother, born of the same father, watch over him; true to your name, [90] be his guide,1shepherding this suppliant of mine—truly Zeus respects this right of outlaws—as he is sped on towards mortals with the fortune of a good escort.Exit. Orestes departs escorted by Hermes. The Ghost of Clytaemestra appears.

1 Hermes is the guide of the living on their journeys; as he is also the conductor of the souls of the dead to the nether world.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Philoctetes, 782
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