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Enter Creon.

[883] Do you not know that dirges and wailing before death would never be given up, if it were allowed to make them freely? [885] Take her away—now! And when you have enshrouded her, as I proclaimed, in her covered tomb, leave her alone, deserted—let her decide whether she wishes to die or to live entombed in such a home. It makes no difference, since our hands are clean so far as regards this girl. [890] But no matter what, she will be stripped of her home here above.

Tomb, bridal-chamber, deep-dug eternal prison where I go to find my own, whom in the greatest numbers destruction has seized and Persephone has welcomed among the dead! [895] Last of them all and in by far the most shameful circumstances, I will descend, even before the fated term of my life is spent. But I cherish strong hopes that I will arrive welcome to my father, and pleasant to you, Mother, and welcome, dear brother, to you. [900] For, when each of you died, with my own hands I washed and dressed you and poured drink-offerings at your graves. But now, Polyneices, it is for tending your corpse that I win such reward as this. [And yet I honored you rightly, as the wise understand. [905] Never, if I had been a mother of children, or if a husband had been rotting after death, would I have taken that burden upon myself in violation of the citizens' will. For the sake of what law, you ask, do I say that? A husband lost, another might have been found, [910] and if bereft of a child, there could be a second from some other man. But when father and mother are hidden in Hades, no brother could ever bloom for me again. Such was the law whereby I held you first in honor, but for that Creon judged me guilty of wrongdoing [915] and of dreadful outrage, dear brother! And now he leads me thus in his hands' strong grasp, when I have enjoyed no marriage bed or bridal song and have not received any portion of marriage or the nurture of children. But deserted by friends, [920] in misery I go living to the hollow graves of the dead.] What law of the gods have I transgressed? Why should I look to the gods anymore? What ally should I call out to, when by my reverence I have earned a name for irreverence? [925] Well, then, if these events please the gods, once I have suffered my doom I will come to know my guilt. But if the guilt lies with my judges, I could wish for them no greater evils than they inflict unjustly on me.

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  • Commentary references to this page (4):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Antigone, 395
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 1168
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Electra, 441
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Electra, 914
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (2):
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