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Orestes
[540] Who are you? How well you ask about Hellas!

Iphigenia
I am from there; while still a child I was lost.

Orestes
Then rightly you desire to know what has happened there, lady.

Iphigenia
What about the general, who is said to be happy?

Orestes
Who? The one I knew was not happy.

Iphigenia
[545] There was said to be a certain lord, Agamemnon, son of Atreus.

Orestes
I do not know; leave this subject, lady.

Iphigenia
No, by the gods, but tell me, stranger, to delight me.

Orestes
The wretched man is dead, and in addition he destroyed another.

Iphigenia
Dead? By what fate? I am unhappy!

Orestes
[550] Why do you mourn for this? It doesn't concern you, does it?

Iphigenia
I grieve for his former prosperity.

Orestes
Yes, for he was dreadfully murdered by a woman.

Iphigenia
O miserable the slayer . . . and the slain!

Orestes
Stop now, and do not ask further.

Iphigenia
[555] Only this much, if the wife of the wretched man is alive.

Orestes
She is not; she was killed by the son that she bore.

Iphigenia
O house thrown into confusion! What was his intent?

Orestes
To avenge on her the death of his father.

Iphigenia
Ah! How well he exacted an evil justice!

Orestes
[560] Though he is just, he does not have good fortune from the gods.

Iphigenia
Did Agamemnon leave any other children in his house?

Orestes
He left one virgin daughter, Electra.

Iphigenia
What else? Is there any report of the daughter who was sacrificed?

Orestes
None, except that she is dead and does not see the light.

Iphigenia
[565] Unhappy girl, and also the father that killed her!

Orestes
As a thankless favor to an evil woman, she died.

Iphigenia
Does the dead father's son live at Argos?

Orestes
He lives, the miserable one, both nowhere and everywhere.

Iphigenia
False dreams, farewell; after all, you were nothing.

Orestes
[570] And those who are called wise divinities are not less false than winged dreams. These is much confusion, both in divine affairs and in human; but only this is a grief to the one who was not foolish, but trusted in the words of prophets [575] and died—as he died to those that know.

Chorus Leader
Ah! What about me, and my parents? Are they alive? Are they not? Who can say?

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus Tyrannus, 513-862
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