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Come out of the wagon, Trojan maids, and take my hand, that I may step down from the chariot. [1000] The homes of the gods are adorned with Phrygian spoils, but I have obtained these women, choice objects from the land of Troy, in return for the daughter whom I lost, a slight reward but an ornament to my house.

And, mother—for I live as a slave [1005] in this miserable house, cast out from my father's home—may I not take that blessed hand of yours?

These slaves are here; take no trouble on my account.

What? You sent me away from home, a captive; I was taken when my home was taken, like these, [1010] all of us orphaned of a father.


Well, your father laid such plots against those whom least of all he should have, his own family. I will tell you; although when a woman gets an evil reputation, her tongue is bitter. [1015] In my opinion, not rightly; but it is correct for those who learn about the matter to hate, if it deserves hatred; if not, why hate at all? Now Tyndareus gave me to your father not so that I or any children I might bear should die. [1020] But that man went from the house, taking my child, with the persuasion of a marriage with Achilles, to Aulis which held the fleet; and there he stretched Iphigenia over the pyre, and cut her white cheek. And if, as a cure for the capture of the city, [1025] or as a benefit to his house, or to save his other children, he had killed one on behalf of many, I would have pardoned him. But, because Helen was lustful and the one who had her as a wife did not know how to punish the betrayer—for these reasons he destroyed my child. [1030] Well, although I was wronged, I would not have been angry at this, nor would I have killed my husband. But he came back to me with a girl, raving and possessed, and put her in his bed, and had two brides at once in the same house.

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hide References (2 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 1118
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 221-232
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