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Orestes
Now, even though you see him in me, you are slow to learn. [225] Yet at the sight of this tress cut in mourning, and when you were scrutinizing the footprints of my tracks, your thought took wings and you knew you had found me. Put the lock of hair, your own brother's, in the spot it was cut from and observe how it matches the hair on my head. [230] And see this piece of weaving, your handiwork, the strokes of the batten and the beasts in the design. Control yourself! Do not go mad with joy! For I know that our nearest kin are bitter foes to us both.

Electra
O best beloved darling of your father's house, [235] its hope of a saving seed longed for with tears, trust in your prowess and you will win back your father's house. O delightful eyes that have four parts of love for me: for I must call you father; [240] and to you falls the love I should bear my mother, whom I most rightly hate; and the love I bore my sister, victim of a pitiless sacrifice; and you were my faithful brother, bringing me your reverence. May Might and Justice, with Zeus, supreme over all, in the third place, lend you their aid! [245]

Orestes
O Zeus, O Zeus, regard our cause! Behold the orphaned brood of a father eagle that perished in the meshes, in the coils of a fierce viper. They are utterly orphaned, gripped by the famine of hunger: [250] for they are not grown to full strength to bring their father's quarry to the nest. So you see both me and poor Electra here, children bereft of their father, both outcasts alike from our home. If you destroy these nestlings of a father who made sacrifice and revered you greatly, [255] from what like hand will you receive the homage of rich feasts? Destroy the brood of the eagle and you cannot again send tokens that mortals will trust; nor, if this royal stock should wither utterly away, will it serve your altars on days when oxen are sacrificed. [260] Oh foster it, and you may raise our house from low estate to great, though now it seems utterly overthrown.

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  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 977
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Electra, 902
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
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