I forbid you to act thus in violation of the city.

I forbid you to make useless proclamations to me.

[1050] And yet a citizenry that has escaped evil can be harsh.

Let it be harsh! This man will not be unburied.

What! Will you honor with burial a man whom the city detests?

For a long time now the gods have ceased to hold him in honor.

No, he was honored until he put this land in jeopardy.

[1055] He suffered evil and gave evil in return.

But this act was against all the citizens, not only one man.

Discord is the last of the gods to close an argument. I will bury him. Put an end to your big talk.

Well then, follow your own rash plan, but I forbid it.Exit.

Ah, misery! [1060] O Erinyes, far-famed destroyers of families, goddesses of death who have thus laid ruin to the family of Oedipus, digging it up from the roots! What will happen to me? What should I do? What plan shall I devise? How can I have the heart neither to weep for you [1065] nor escort you to your tomb? But I am afraid and turn away in terror of the citizens. You, at least, Eteocles, will have many mourners, while he, wretched man, departs without lamentation [1070] and has a dirge sung only by one sister. Now who could comply with that?

First Half-Chorus
Let the city take action or not take action against those who lament for Polynices. We, at all events, will go and [1075] bury him with her, following the funeral procession. For this grief is shared by all our race, and the city approves as just different things at different times.

Second Half-Chorus
We will go with this other corpse, as the city and justice, too, approves. [1080] For after the blessed gods and powerful Zeus, he it was who saved the city of the Cadmeans from being capsized and flooded by a wave of foreign men—he beyond all others.Exeunt omnes.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (1 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus Tyrannus, 463-512
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: