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Heracles appears above the stage.

Heracles
Not yet, not until you have heard my commands, [1410] son of Poeas. Know that your ears perceive the voice of Heracles, and that you look upon his face. For your sake I have left my divine seat and come [1415] to reveal to you the purposes of Zeus, and to halt the journey on which you are departing. Hearken to my words.

First I would tell you of my own fortunes—how, by toiling through and enduring so many toils to the end, I have won the glory of deathlessness, as you witness. [1420] And for you, be sure, this fate is ordained, that through these toils of yours you will make your life far-famed. You shall go with this man to the Trojan city, where, first, you shall be healed of your cruel sickness, [1425] and then, chosen out as foremost among the warriors in prowess, with my bow you shall sever Paris, the author of these evils, from life. You shall sack Troy and shall receive from the army the spoils of supreme valor to carry home [1430] to the heights of your native Oeta for the delight of your father Poeas. And whatever spoils you receive from that army, from them carry to my pyre a thank-offering for my bow. And these counsels hold for you also, son of Achilles, [1435] for you have not the might to subdue the Trojan realm without him, nor he without you. Rather, like twin lions with the same quarry, each of you must guard the other's life. For the healing of your sickness, I will send Asclepius to Troy, since it is doomed to fall a second time [1440] before my arrows. But of this be mindful, when you plunder the land—that you show reverence towards the gods. Do this because Father Zeus regards all else as of less account, and because Piety does not die along with mortals. Whether they are alive or dead, their piety does not perish.

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    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 1654
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