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Leader of First Semi-Chorus
If there is one of you spectators who wishes to spend the rest of his life quietly among the birds, let him come to us. [755] All that is disgraceful and forbidden by law on earth is on the contrary honorable among us, the birds. For instance, among you it's a crime to beat your father, but with us it's an estimable deed; it's considered fine to run straight at your father and hit him, saying, “Come, lift your spur if you want to fight.” [760] The runaway slave, whom you brand, is only a spotted francolin with us. Are you Phrygian like Spintharus? Among us you would be the Phrygian bird, the goldfinch, of the race of Philemon. Are you a slave and a Carian like Execestides? [765] Among us you can create yourself forefathers; you can always find relations. Does the son of Pisias want to betray the gates of the city to the foe? Let him become a partridge, the fitting offspring of his father; among us there is no shame in escaping as cleverly as a partridge.

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  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus Tyrannus, 1110-1185
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 166
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  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (3):
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