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Eteocles
to an attendant
[690] Go, bring Creon, son of Menoeceus, the brother of Jocasta my mother; tell him I want to consult with him on matters public and private, before we set out to battle and the arrangement of the army. [695] But he is here, saving you the trouble; I see him on his way to my house.

Creon enters.

Creon
I have been everywhere, lord Eteocles, in my desire to see you, and have gone all round the gates and sentinels of Thebes hunting for you.

Eteocles
[700] And I wanted to see you, Creon; for I found the terms of peace far from satisfactory, when I came to confer with Polyneices.

Creon
I hear that he has wider aims than Thebes, relying on his alliance with Adrastus and his army. But we must leave this dependent on the gods; [705] I have come to tell you our chief obstacle.

Eteocles
What is that? I do not understand what you say.

Creon
Someone has come who was captured from the Argives.

Eteocles
What news does he bring from there?

Creon
[710] He says the Argive army intend at once to wind about [the city of Thebes and its towers, with their army.]

Eteocles
In that case the city of Cadmus must lead out its army.

Creon
Where? Are you so young that your eyes do not see what they should?

Eteocles
Across those trenches, to fight at once.

Creon
[715] Our forces are small, while theirs are plentiful.

Eteocles
I know well they are brave in argument.

Creon
Argos has some weight among the Hellenes.

Eteocles
Never fear! I will soon fill the plain with their dead.

Creon
I could wish it so; but I see great difficulties in this.

Eteocles
[720] I will not keep my army within the walls.

Creon
And yet victory is entirely a matter of good counsel.

Eteocles
Do you then want me to turn to some other way?

Creon
Yes, to every one, before running the risk once for all.

Eteocles
Suppose we fall on them by night from ambush?

Creon
[725] Yes, if in the event of defeat you can return safely here.

Eteocles
Night equalizes risks, though it rather favors daring.

Creon
The darkness of night is a terrible time to suffer disaster.

Eteocles
Well, shall I attack them as they sit at dinner?

Creon
That might cause them fright, but victory is what we need.

Eteocles
[730] Dirce's ford is certainly deep enough to prevent their retreat.

Creon
No plan so good as to keep well guarded.

Eteocles
What if we ride out against the army of Argos?

Creon
Their troops too are fenced all round with chariots.

Eteocles
What shall I do, then? Am I to surrender the city to the enemy?

Creon
[735] No indeed! But out of your wisdom form some plan.

Eteocles
What forethought is wiser than mine?

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hide References (2 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus Tyrannus, 1-150
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