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Pylades
[1105] Let us kill Helen, a bitter grief to Menelaus.

Orestes
How? I am ready, if there is any chance of success.

Pylades
With our swords; she is hiding in your house.

Orestes
Indeed she is; and already she is putting her seal on everything.

Pylades
No longer, after she is married to Hades.

Orestes
[1110] But how? She has her barbarian attendants.

Pylades
Barbarians indeed! I am not the man to fear any Phrygian.

Orestes
They are only fit to look after mirrors and perfumes!

Pylades
Has she brought Trojan luxury with her here?

Orestes
So much so, that Hellas is too small for her to live in.

Pylades
[1115] The race of slaves is nothing to those who are free.

Orestes
Well, if I can do this deed, I do not shrink from dying twice over.

Pylades
No, nor I either, if it is you I am avenging.

Orestes
Explain the matter, and continue describing your plan.

Pylades
We will enter the house on the pretence of going to our death.

Orestes
[1120] So far I follow you, but not beyond.

Pylades
We will lament our sufferings to her.

Orestes
So that she will shed tears, although her heart is glad.

Pylades
And our condition will be like hers.

Orestes
How shall we proceed next in our contest?

Pylades
[1125] We shall have swords concealed in our cloaks.

Orestes
Will we dispose of her attendants first?

Pylades
We will shut them up in different parts of the house.

Orestes
And whoever refuses to be quiet, we must kill.

Pylades
And then the deed itself shows us where we must exert ourselves.

Oretes
[1130] To kill Helen; I understand that watchword.

Pylades
You have it; now hear how sound my scheme is. If we drew the sword upon a woman of greater chastity, the murder would be infamous; but, as it is, she will be punished for the sake of all Hellas, [1135] whose fathers she slew, whose children she destroyed, and made widows out of brides. There will be shouts of joy, and they will kindle the altars of the gods, invoking on our heads many blessings, because we shed a wicked woman's blood. [1140] After killing her, you will not be called “the matricide,” but, resigning that title, you will succeed to a better, and be called the slayer of Helen the murderess. It can never, never be right that Menelaus should prosper, and your father, your sister and you should die, [1145] and your mother—but I pass that by, for it is not seemly to mention it—and for him to possess your home, though it was by Agamemnon's prowess that he got his bride. May I die, if we do not draw our swords upon her! But if we do not accomplish Helen's death, [1150] we will set fire to the house and die. For we will not fail to achieve one distinction, an honorable death or an honorable escape.

Chorus Leader
The daughter of Tyndareus, who has brought shame on her sex, has justly earned the hatred of every woman.

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hide References (2 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 3.6.1
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