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But you, will you not resign yourself to this? Your father, then, should have [460] > begotten you on fixed terms or with a different set of gods in heaven if you are going to refuse acquiescence in these rules. How many men do you think, men well endowed with sense, see their wives unfaithful and pretend to see nothing? How many fathers do you think help to supply their wayward sons [465] > with the pleasures of Aphrodite? This is one of the wise principles mortals follow—dishonorable deeds should keep to the dark. Mortals should not, you know, try to bring to their lives too high a perfection: no more would you make fine and exact the roof over a house. But when you have tumbled into [470] > misfortunes as great as yours, how can you think you might swim out of them? No, if the good you have done outweighs the bad, then by mortal reckoning you will be fortunate indeed.

So, my daughter, leave off these wicked thoughts, leave off this pride. It is pride, nothing else, [475] > to try to best the gods. Bear up under your love: it was a god that willed it. And if you are ill with it, use some good measures to subdue it. There are incantations, and words that charm: something will turn up to cure this love. [480] > Men will be slow to invent such contrivances if we women do not find them.

Chorus Leader
Phaedra, the advice she gives is more expedient in view of the disaster that is upon you, but it is you that I praise. Yet this praise is a harder saying to you [485] than her speech and more painful for you to hear.1

1 The Chorus-leader praises Phaedra's sentiments but feels delicacy about implicitly seconding her resolve to kill herself.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus Tyrannus, 1-150
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