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Orestes and Pylades enter.

Electra
Alas! I weep to see you stand before the tomb, my brother, face to face with the funeral pyre. [1020] Alas, again! as I take my last look at you, my senses leave me.

Orestes
Be silent! an end to womanish lamenting! resign yourself to your fate. It is piteous, but nevertheless [you must bear the present fate.]

Electra
[1025] How can I be silent, when we poor sufferers are no longer to gaze upon the sun-god's light?

Orestes
Oh! spare me that death! Enough that this unhappy wretch is already slain by Argives; let our present sufferings be.

Electra
Alas for your unhappy youth, Orestes, and for your fated [1030] untimely death! When you should have lived, you are going to die.

Orestes
By the gods, do not unman me, bringing me to tears by the recollection of my sorrows.

Electra
We are about to die; it is not possible for me not to grieve over our troubles; it is a piteous thing for all men to lose life, that is so sweet.

Orestes
[1035] This is the day appointed for us; we must fit the dangling noose about our necks or whet the sword for use.

Electra
You be the one to kill me, brother, so that no Argive may insult Agamemnon's son by my death.

Orestes
Enough that I have a mother's blood upon me; I will not kill you, [1040] but die by your own hand, however you wish.

Electra
Agreed; I will not be behind you in using the sword; only I long to throw my arms about your neck.

Orestes
Enjoy that empty satisfaction, if embraces have any joy for those who have come so near to death.

Electra
[1045] My dearest, you who have a name that sounds most loved and sweet to your sister, partner in one soul with her!

Orestes
Oh, you will melt my heart! I want to give you back a fond embrace. And why should such a wretch as I still feel any shame? Embracing Electra Heart to heart, my sister! how sweet to me this close embrace! [1050] In place of children and the marriage bed [this greeting is all that is possible to us both in our misery].

Electra
Ah! If only the same sword, if it is right, could kill us both, and one coffin of cedar-wood receive us!

Orestes
That would be very sweet; but surely you see [1055] we are too destitute of friends to be allowed to share a tomb.

Electra
Did that coward Menelaus, that traitor to my father, not even speak for you, or make an effort to save your life?

Orestes
He did not even show himself, but, with his hopes centered on the throne, he was careful not to attempt the rescue of his friends. [1060] But let us see how we may die a noble death, one most worthy of Agamemnon. I, for my part, will let the city see my noble spirit when I plunge the sword to my heart, and you in turn must imitate my daring.

[1065] Pylades, be the arbitrator of our slaughter and, when we both are dead, lay out our bodies decently; carry them to our father's grave and bury us there with him. Farewell, now; I am leaving for the deed, as you see.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Philoctetes, 816
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 1.3.1
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
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