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Orestes and Pylades enter, followed by attendants who are bearing the body of Aegisthus.

[880] O glorious victor, Orestes, son of a father victorious in battle under Troy, receive this band for the locks of your hair. You have come home, running a contest of the stadium that was not useless, but rather killing [885] Aegisthus, the murderer of your father and mine. And you, his companion, Pylades, taught by a most pious father, receive a garland from my hand; for you also bear an equal part of the contest, with Orestes. May you always seem to me fortunate!

[890] First believe that the gods, Electra, are the leaders of our fortune, and then praise me as the servant of them and of fate. I come, having killed Aegisthus not in word but in deed; to add this proof to your knowledge, [895] I am bringing you his corpse, which, if you wish, you may expose as prey for wild animals or impale and press it down on a stake as spoil for birds, the children of the air; for now he is your slave, once called your master.

[900] I am ashamed, but equally I wish to speak.

What is it? Speak, as you are free from fear.

I am ashamed to insult the dead, for fear someone might hurl malice at me.

There is no one who would blame you.

Our citizens are hard to please, and love to blame.

[905] Speak, if you need to say anything, sister; for we engaged in hostilities with him on terms without truce.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 52
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