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Orestes
O you that have the spirit of a man, [1205] though your body shows you to be a woman, how far more worthy you are to live than to die! Pylades, you will lose such a woman to your sorrow, or if you live, you will have a blessed marriage.

Pylades
Then may it be so, and may she come to the city of Phocis [1210] with all the honors of a happy wedding.

Orestes
How soon will Hermione return to the palace? All the rest was very well said, if we succeed in catching this impious father's cub.

Electra
Well, I expect she is near the house already, [1215] for the length of time agrees exactly.

Orestes
Good; you, Electra, my sister, stay before the palace and await the maiden's approach; keep watch in case any one, whether an ally or my father's brother, forestalls us by his entry before the murder is complete; [1220] and then make a signal to the house, either by beating on a panel of the door or calling to us within. Let us enter now and arm ourselves with swords for the final struggle, [:Pylades, for you share the labor with me.]

[1225] O father, in your home of gloomy night, your son Orestes calls you to come to the rescue of the destitute. It is on your account I am wrongfully suffering, and it is by your brother that I have been betrayed for doing right; it is his wife I wish to take [1230] and kill; you be our accomplice for this deed.

Electra
Oh father, come! if within the ground you hear the cry of your children, who are dying for your sake.

Pylades
O kinsman of my father, Agamemnon, hear my prayers also; save your children.

Orestes
[1235] I killed my mother—

Electra
I held the sword—

Pylades
I . . . set them free from fear—

Orestes
To aid you, father.

Electra
Nor did I betray you.

Pylades
Will you not hear these reproaches and rescue your children?

Orestes
With tears I pour you a libation.

Electra
And I with laments.

Pylades
[1240] Cease, and let us set about our business. If prayers really do pierce the ground, he hears. O Zeus, god of my fathers, and holy Justice, give success to him and me and her; for there is one struggle for three friends, and one penalty, [1245] for all to live or—pay death's account.Orestes and Pylades enter the palace.

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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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