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Tyndareus and his attendants enter.

[470] Where, where may I see Menelaus, my daughter's husband? For as I was pouring libations on Clytemnestra's grave I heard that he had come to Nauplia with his wife, safe home again after many years. Lead me to him; for I want to approach him [475] and clasp his hand, as a friend whom at last I see again.

Hail, old man, rival of Zeus for a bride!

All hail to you, Menelaus, my kinsman!

Ah! What an evil it is to be ignorant of the future! There is that matricide before the house, a viper darting venomous flashes from his eyes, whom I loathe. [480] Menelaus, are you speaking to that godless wretch?

And why not? He is the son of one whom I loved.

This is his son, this creature here?

Yes, his son; if he is in misfortune, he ought to be honored.

[485] You have been so long among barbarians that you have become one of them.

Always to honor one's kin is a custom in Hellas.

And another custom is to yield a willing deference to the laws.

The wise hold that everything which depends on necessity is a slave.

Keep that wisdom for yourself; I will not have it.

[490] Yes, for you are angry, and also old age is not wise.


What does a dispute about foolishness have to do with him? If right and wrong are clear to all, who was ever more senseless than this man, because he never weighed the justice of the case, [495] nor appealed to the universal law of Hellas? For when Agamemnon breathed his last [struck on his head by my daughter] a most foul deed, which I will never defend, [500] he should have brought a charge against his mother and inflicted a holy penalty for bloodshed, banishing her from his house; thus he would have gained moderation instead of calamity, keeping strictly to the law and showing his piety as well. As it is, he has come into the same fate as his mother. [505] for though he had just cause for thinking her a wicked woman, he has become more wicked by murdering her.

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hide References (7 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (5):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Antigone, 235
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 807
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Philoctetes, 3
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Trachiniae, 267
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Trachiniae, 767
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Herbert Weir Smyth, A Greek Grammar for Colleges, THE CASES
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
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