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Ah me! This is not the first time, Creon, but often before now my reputation has done me great harm. No man who is sensible ought ever [295] to have his children educated beyond the common run. For apart from the charge of idleness they incur, they earn hostility and ill-will from their fellow-citizens. If you bring novel wisdom to fools, you will be regarded as useless, not wise; [300] and if the city regards you as greater than those with a reputation for cleverness, you will be thought vexatious. I myself am a sharer in this lot, for since I am clever, in the eyes of some I am an object of ill-will, [others find me retiring, others the opposite, [305] others an obstacle, yet I am not so very wise,] while you on the other hand fear me. What harm are you afraid of? Have no fear, Creon, I am not the kind of person to commit crimes against my rulers. What injustice have you done me? You married your daughter [310] to the man your heart bade you to. It is my husband I hate, while you, I think, acted with perfect good sense in this. And now I do not begrudge you prosperity. Make your marriage, all of you, and may good fortune attend you. But let me stay in this land. For although I have been wronged, [315] I will hold my peace, yielding to my superiors.

Your words are soothing to listen to, but I am afraid that in your heart you are plotting some harm. I trust you that much the less than before. A hot-tempered woman—and a hot-tempered man likewise— [320] is easier to guard against than a clever woman who keeps her own counsel. No, go into exile at once—speak me no speeches—since my resolve is fixed and there is no way you can remain in our midst since you are hostile to me.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Philoctetes, 1360
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