previous next

Pylades
What then will become in the future of Loxias' oracles declared at Pytho, and of our sworn pact? [900] Count all men your enemies rather than the gods.

Orestes
I judge you victor: you advise me well.To Clytaemestra Come, this way! I mean to kill you by his very side. For while he lived, you thought him better than my father. [905] Sleep with him in death, since you love him but hate the man you were bound to love.

Clytaemestra
It was I who nourished you, and with you I would grow old.

Orestes
What! Murder my father and then make your home with me?

Clytaemestra
Fate, my child, must share the blame for this. [910]

Orestes
And fate now brings this destiny to pass.

Clytaemestra
Have you no regard for a parent's curse, my son?

Orestes
You brought me to birth and yet you cast me out to misery.

Clytaemestra
No, surely I did not cast you out in sending you to the house of an ally.

Orestes
I was sold in disgrace, though I was born of a free father. [915]

Clytaemestra
Then where is the price I got for you?

Orestes
I am ashamed to reproach you with that outright.

Clytaemestra
But do not fail to proclaim the follies of that father of yours as well.

Orestes
Do not accuse him who suffered while you sat idle at home.

Clytaemestra
It is a grief for women to be deprived of a husband, my child. [920]

Orestes
Yes, but it is the husband's toil that supports them while they sit at home.

Clytaemestra
You seem resolved, my child, to kill your mother.

Orestes
You will kill yourself, not I.

Clytaemestra
Take care: beware the hounds of wrath that avenge a mother.

Orestes
And how shall I escape my father's if I leave this undone? [925]

Clytaemestra
I see that though living I mourn in vain before a tomb.1

Orestes
Yes, for my father's fate has marked out this destiny for you.

Clytaemestra
Oh no! I myself bore and nourished this serpent!

Orestes
Yes, the terror from your dream was indeed a prophet. You killed him whom you should not; so suffer what should not be. [930] He forces Clytaemestra within; Pylades follows

Chorus
Truly I grieve even for these in their twofold downfall. Yet since long-suffering Orestes has reached the peak of many deeds of blood, we would rather have it so, that the eye of the house should not be utterly lost.

1 “To wail to a tomb” was a proverbial expression according to the Scholiast, who cites the saying, “'tis the same thing to cry to a tomb as to a fool.” Here, though in strictness ζῶσα is added only to point the contrast with τύμβον —the sentient being with the senseless thing—it also defines the application of τύμβον to Orestes; and its insertion serves to suggest that Clytaemestra means that, though living, she is bewailing her own death.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (Herbert Weir Smyth, Ph.D., 1926)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Pytho (Greece) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (2 total)
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 3.6.1
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: