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And you see Apollo, who makes the navel of the earth his home, dispensing to mortals unerring prophecies, whom we obey in all he says; I killed my mother in obedience to him. [595] Find him guilty of the crime, slay him; his was the sin, not mine. What ought I to have done? or is the god not competent to expiate the pollution when I refer it to him? Where then should anyone flee, if he will not rescue me from death after giving his commands? [600] Do not say that the deed was done badly, but unfortunately for the ones who did it. A blessed life those mortals lead who make wise marriages; but those for whom it does not fall out well are unfortunate both in and out of doors.

Chorus Leader
[605] Women by nature always meddle in the doings of men, with unfortunate results.

Since you are so bold and suppress nothing, but answer me back in such a way as to vex my heart, you will lead me to go to greater lengths in procuring your execution; [610] and I shall regard this as a fine addition to my labors in coming here to adorn my daughter's grave. Yes, I will go to the chosen band of Argives and set the city, willing or not, on you and your sister, to pay the penalty of stoning. [615] She deserves to die even more than you, for it was she who embittered you against your mother, always carrying tales to your ear to increase your hate the more, announcing dreams from Agamemnon, and Aegisthus' bed, [620] may the gods in Hades loathe it! for even here on earth it was bitter; till she set the house ablaze with fires never kindled by Hephaestus.

Menelaus, I tell you this, and I will do it, too: if you then consider my hatred or our marriage connection of any account, do not ward off this man's doom in defiance of the gods, [625] but leave him to be stoned to death by the citizens, or do not set foot on Spartan land. Remember you have been told all this, and do not choose the ungodly as friends, pushing aside the more righteous. Servants, lead me from this house.Tyndareus and his attendants depart.

[630] Go, so that the remainder of my speech may come to this man without interruption, free from your old age. Menelaus, why are you pacing round and round in thought, going back and forth, in a dilemma?

Let me alone! When I think it over, [635] I am perplexed to know where to turn in these events.

Do not come to a final decision now, but after first hearing what I have to say, then make up your mind.

Good advice! Speak. There are times when silence would be better than speech, and the reverse also.

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  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 130
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Antigone, 1232
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (2):
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