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Chorus
Remember, Electra, you are the child of a mortal father, and Orestes was mortal. Therefore do not grieve too much. Death is a debt which all of us must pay.

Orestes
Ah, what shall I say? I am at a loss. To what words [1175] can I turn? I no longer have the strength to master my tongue!

Electra
What has troubled you? Why did you say that?

Orestes
Is this the illustrious form of Electra?

Electra
It is, though in a very wretched state.

Orestes
What pity, then, for this miserable fortune!

Electra
[1180] Surely, stranger, you are not saddened like this on my account?

Orestes
O frame dishonorably, godlessly wasted!

Electra
Those ills of which you speak, stranger, are none other's than mine.

Orestes
Ah, pity for your unwed, ill-fated life!

Electra
Why, stranger, do you stare and grieve in this way?

Orestes
[1185] How I knew nothing, it seems, of my own sorrows!

Electra
What that has been said made you realize this?

Orestes
It was the sight of you conspicuous in your many sufferings.

Electra
And yet you see but a few of my troubles.

Orestes
And how could there be any more odious to look on than these?

Electra
[1190] Because I share house and table with the murderers.

Orestes
Whose murderers? Where lies the guilt at which you point?

Electra
The murderers of my father. And, further, I am forced to slave for them.

Orestes
Who is it that binds you with this compulsion?

Electra
She is called my mother, but in no respect is she like a mother.

Orestes
[1195] How does she do it? By violence or by inflicting hardship?

Electra
By violence and hardships and all manner of evil.

Orestes
And is there no one to help, or to prevent it?

Electra
No one. The one I had, his ashes you have put before me.

Orestes
Unfortunate girl, how seeing you stirs my pity!

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  • Commentary references to this page (4):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus Tyrannus, 216-462
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 428
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Antigone, 1069
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Electra, 123
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (2):
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