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He sits down to wait for Euripides.


The Chorus turns and faces the audience.

Leader of the Chorus
[785] Let us address ourselves to the spectators to sing our praises, despite the fact that each one says much ill of women. If the men are to be believed, we are a plague to them; through us come all their troubles, quarrels, disputes, sedition, griefs and wars. But if we are truly such a pest, why marry us? [790] Why forbid us to go out or show ourselves at the window? You want to keep this pest, and take a thousand cares to do it. If your wife goes out and you meet her away from the house, you fly into a fury. Ought you not rather to rejoice and give thanks to the gods? for if the pest has disappeared, you will no longer find it at home. [795] If we fall asleep at friends' houses from the fatigue of playing and sporting, each of you comes prowling round the bed to contemplate the features of this pest. If we seat ourselves at the window, each one wants to see the pest, and if we withdraw through modesty, each wants all the more to see the pest perch herself there again. It is thus clear that we [800] are better than you, and the proof of this is easy. Let us find out which is the worse of the two sexes. We say, “It's you,” while you aver, “it's we.” Come, let us compare them in detail, each individual man with a woman. Charminus is not equal to Nausimache, that's certain. [805] Cleophon is in every respect inferior to Salabaccho. It's a long time now since any of you has dared to contest the prize with Aristomache, the heroine of Marathon, or with Stratonice.

Among the last year's Senators, who have just yielded their office to other citizens, is there one who equals Eubule? Not even Anytus would say that. [810] Therefore we maintain that men are greatly our inferiors. You see no woman who has robbed the state of fifty talents rushing about the city in a magnificent chariot; our greatest peculations are a measure of corn, which we steal from our husbands, and even then we return it to them the very same day.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Philoctetes, 1028
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