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Apollo
Fear not: I have nothing, I assure you, but justice and reasonable words.

Death
If justice, then what need for your bow and arrows?

Apollo
[40] It is my custom always to carry them.

Death
Yes, and also to give unjust assistance to this house.

Apollo
Certainly, since I am grieved by the misfortunes of my dear friend.

Death
And will you rob me of a second corpse?

Apollo
But not even the first did I take from you by force.

Death
[45] Then how is he still on earth and not beneath the ground?

Apollo
By giving in exchange the wife you have now come to fetch.

Death
Yes, and I will take her down below.

Apollo
Take her and go. For I doubt if I can persuade you.

Death
To kill my fated victims? Yes, for those are my orders.

Apollo
[50] No, to postpone death for the doomed.

Death
I grasp now your purpose and your desire.

Apollo
Is there any way Alcestis might reach old age?

Death
There is none. I too, you must know, get pleasure from my office.

Apollo
You will not, of course, get more than one life in any case.

Death
[55] I win greater honor when the victims are young.

Apollo
And yet if she dies old, she will receive a rich burial.

Death
The law you are trying to establish, Phoebus, is to the advantage of the rich.

Apollo
What do you mean? Can I have failed to appreciate what a thinker you are?

Death
Those with means could buy death at an advanced age.

Apollo
[60] You are not inclined, I take it, to grant me this favor.

Death
No, indeed. You know my character.

Apollo
Yes, hateful to mortals and rejected by the gods.

Death
You may not have all that you should not have.

Apollo
I swear to you that, ruthless as you are, you will yet cease from your hateful ways. [65] The man to make you do so is coming to the house of Pheres sent by Eurystheus to fetch the horses and chariot from the wintry land of Thrace. He, entertained as a guest in this house of Admetus, shall take the woman from you by force. [70] You shall do precisely as I have asked and yet get no gratitude from me but hatred instead.Exit Apollo by Eisodos A.

Death
Your plentiful talk will gain you nothing. At all events, the woman is going down to the house of Hades. I go to her to take the first sacrificial cutting of her hair. [75] For when this sword has consecrated the hair of someone's head, he is the sacred property of the gods below.

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Thrace (Greece) (1)

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hide References (2 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Antigone, 1301
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