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Iocasta
What should a mortal man fear, for whom the decrees of Fortune are supreme, and who has clear foresight of nothing? It is best to live at random, as one may. [980] But fear not that you will wed your mother. Many men before now have slept with their mothers in dreams. But he to whom these things are as though nothing bears his life most easily.

Oedipus
All these words of yours would have been well said, [985] were my mother not alive. But as it is, since she lives, I must necessarily fear, though you do speak well.

Iocasta
Your father's death is a great sign for us to take cheer.

Oedipus
Great, I know. But my fear is of her who lives.

Messenger
And who is the woman about whom you fear?

Oedipus
[990] Merope, old man, the consort of Polybus.

Messenger
And what is it in her that moves your fear?

Oedipus
A divine oracle of dread import, stranger.

Messenger
Proper, or improper, for another to know?

Oedipus
Proper, surely. Loxias once said that I was [995] doomed to marry my own mother, and to shed with my own hands my father's blood. For which reasons I long shirked my home in Corinth—with a happy outcome, to be sure, but still it is sweet to see the face of one's parents.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Electra, 1497
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