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Pentheus
[945] Could I carry on my shoulders the glens of Kithairon, Bacchae and all?

Dionysus
You could if you were willing. The state of mind you had before was unsound, but now you think as you ought.

Pentheus
Shall we bring levers? Or shall I draw them up with my hands, [950] putting a shoulder or arm under the mountain-tops?

Dionysus
But don't destroy the seats of the Nymphs and the places where Pan plays his pipes.

Pentheus
Well said. The women are not to be taken by force; I will hide in the pines.

Dionysus
[955] You will hide yourself as you should be hidden, coming as a crafty spy on the Maenads.

Pentheus
Oh, yes! I imagine that like birds they are in the bushes held in the sweetest grips of love.

Dionysus
You have been sent as a guard against this very event. [960] Perhaps you will catch them, if you yourself are not caught before.

Pentheus
Bring me through the midst of the Theban land. I am the only man of them who dares to perform this deed.

Dionysus
You alone bear the burden for this city, you alone. Therefore the labors which are proper await you. [965] Follow me. I am your saving guide: another will lead you down from there.

Pentheus
Yes, my mother.

Dionysus
And you will be remarkable to all.

Pentheus
I am going for this reason.

Dionysus
You will return here being carried—

Pentheus
You talk of a delicacy for me.

Dionysus
In the arms of your mother.

Pentheus
You will force me to luxury.

Dionysus
[970] Yes indeed, such luxury!

Pentheus
I will get what I deserve.

Dionysus
You are terrible, terrible, and you go to terrible sufferings, so that you will find a renown reaching to heaven. Reach out your hands, Agave, and you too, her sisters, daughters of Kadmos. I lead this young man [975] to a great contest, and Bromius and I will be the victors. The rest the matter itself will show.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 942
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