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Servant
O woe, oh utter woe! My master is slain! [875] O woe! I cry yet again, for the third time. Aegisthus is no more! Come, with all speed! Unbar and open the women's door! And a strong arm indeed is needed, but not to help him who is already slain: what good is there in that? [880] Help! Help! Am I shouting to the deaf and fruitlessly wasting my voice on people who are asleep? Where has Clytaemestra gone? What is she doing? Her own neck, near the razor's edge, is now ready to fall beneath the stroke.

Clytaemestra hurries in unattended

Clytaemestra
What is this? What cry for help are you raising in our house? [885]

Servant
I tell you the dead are killing the living.1

Clytaemestra
Ah! Indeed I grasp the meaning of the riddle. We are to perish by treachery, just as we committed murder. Someone give me a battle-axe, and quickly! Let us know if we are victors or vanquished: [890] for I have even come to this in this wretched business.Exit Servant. The door is opened and the corpse of Aegisthus is discovered. Nearby stands Orestes, and at a distance Pylades

Orestes
It is you I seek. He over there has had enough.

Clytaemestra
Oh no! My beloved, valiant Aegisthus! You are dead!

Orestes
You love this man? Then you will lie in the same grave, and you will never abandon him in death. [895]

Clytaemestra
Wait, my son! Have pity, child, upon this breast at which many times while you slept you sucked with toothless gums the milk that nourished you.

Orestes
Pylades, what shall I do? Shall I spare my mother out of pity?

1 The Greek admits either meaning: “the dead are killing the living man” or “the living man is killing the dead.”

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    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Electra, 1479
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