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Admetus enters from the palace, dressed in black and hair cut in mourning.

Chorus-Leader
But here, Admetus, the king of this land, is himself coming out of doors.

Admetus
I wish you joy, son of Zeus and child of Perseus' blood.

Heracles
[510] Admetus, king of Thessaly, I wish you joy as well.

Admetus
If only I could have it! I know you wish me well.

Heracles
Why are you wearing the shorn hair of mourning?

Admetus
I am about to bury someone today.

Heracles
God keep misfortune from your children!

Admetus
[515] The children I begot are alive in the house.

Heracles
Your father was of a ripe old age, if it is he that has departed.

Admetus
My father lives, Heracles, and my mother too.

Heracles
Surely your wife Alcestis has not died?

Admetus
There is a double tale to tell of her.

Heracles
[520] Do you mean that she has died or is still alive?

Admetus
She is and is no more. It causes me grief.

Heracles
I'm still no wiser: you speak in riddles.

Admetus
Do you not know what doom she is fated to suffer?

Heracles
I know: she promised to die for you.

Admetus
[525] How can she be alive once she had promised that?

Heracles
Oh, do not mourn your wife beforehand! Put it off till the day!

Admetus
The one doomed to die is gone, has died and is no more.

Heracles
Existence and non-existence are deemed to be separate things.

Admetus
You have your view on this, Heracles, and I have mine.

Heracles
[530] Why then are you in mourning? Who of your kin has died?

Admetus
A woman: it was a woman I spoke of just now.

Heracles
Was it someone related to you by blood or not?

Admetus
Not by blood, but she was closely connected to the family.

Heracles
How did she come to die in your house?

Admetus
[535] After her father died, she spent her orphan years here.

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Thessaly (Greece) (1)

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hide References (2 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 808
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
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