previous next

Enter Messenger, on the spectators' left.

Messenger
[1155] Neighbors of the house of Cadmus and of Amphion, there is no station of human life that I would ever praise or blame as being settled. Fortune sets upright and Fortune sinks the lucky and unlucky from day to day, [1160] and no one can prophesy to men concerning the order that has just been established. For Creon, as I saw it, was once blest: he had saved this land of Cadmus from its enemies; and having won sole and total dominion in the land, he guided it on a straight course and flourished in his noble crop of children. [1165] And now all this has been lost. When a man has forfeited his pleasures, I do not reckon his existence as life, but consider him just a breathing corpse. Heap up riches in your house, if you wish! Live with a tyrant's pomp! But if there is no joy [1170] along with all of that, I would not pay even the shadow of smoke for all the rest, compared with joy.

Chorus
What is this new grief for our princes that you have come to report?

Messenger
They are dead, and the living are guilty of the deaths.

Chorus
Who is the murderer? Who the murdered? Tell us.

Messenger
[1175] Haemon is dead—his blood was shed by no strange hand.

Chorus
Was it his father's, or his own ?

Messenger
He did it by his own, enraged with his father for the murder.

Chorus
Ah, prophet, how true, then, you have proved your word!

Messenger
Knowing that these things are so, you must consider the rest.

Chorus
[1180] Wait, I see the unhappy Eurydice, Creon's wife, nearby. She comes from the house either knowing of her son, or merely by chance.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Notes (Sir Richard C. Jebb, 1900)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus Tyrannus, 1086-1109
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 1418
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (2):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: