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Medea
Medea kneels before him in the attitude of a suppliant, grasping his knees and hand.
Do not, I beg you by your knees and by your newly-wedded daughter.

Creon
[325] You waste your words. You will never win me over.

Medea
But will you banish me without the regard due a suppliant?1

Creon
Yes: I do not love you more than my own house.

Medea
O fatherland, how I think of you now!

Creon
Yes, after my children it is much the dearest thing to me.

Medea
[330] Oh, what a bane is love to mortals.

Creon
I fancy that depends on the circumstances.

Medea
Zeus, do not forget who has caused all this woe!

Creon
Go, foolish woman, and rid me of my trouble.

Medea
Trouble I have already. I have no need of more.

Creon
[335] In a moment you will be thrown out of the country by my servants.

Medea
No, no, not that, I entreat you, Creon!

Creon
Woman, it seems you are bent on causing me annoyance.

Medea
I accept my exile: it was not exile I sought reprieve of.

Creon
Why then are you still applying force2 and clinging to my hand?

Medea
[340] Allow me to remain this one day and to complete my plans for exile and to ensure some provision for my children, since their father does not care to do so. Have pity on them: you too are a parent, [345] and we might expect you to be well-disposed towards them. I do not care if I myself go into exile. It is their experience of misfortune I weep for.

Creon
My nature is not at all a tyrant's, and by showing consideration I have often suffered loss. [350] And now, though I see that I am making a serious mistake, nonetheless, woman, you shall have your request. But I warn you, if tomorrow's sun sees you and your children within the borders of this land, you will be put to death. I mean what I have said. [355] Now stay, if stay you must, for one more day. You will not do the mischief I fear by then.Exit Creon by Eisodos B. Medea rises to her feet.

1 The verb αἰδέομαι and the corresponding noun αἰδώς designate the response that suppliancy requires, respect for the sanctity of the suppliant and acquiescence in what he asks.

2 The religious obligation to respect the suppliant is so great that those supplicated feel supplication as violence and constraint: cf. Eur. Hipp. 325.

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hide References (2 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Philoctetes, 50
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 1.pos=2.2
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