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Philoctetes
What did you say? Am I being tricked a second time?

Neoptolemus
No, I swear it by the pure majesty of Zeus most high!

Philoctetes
[1290] O welcome words—if your words are true!

Neoptolemus
The deed will soon make it plain. Come, stretch out your right hand and be master of your bow!As he hands the bow and arrows to Philoctetes, Odysseus suddenly appears.

Odysseus
But I forbid it, as the gods are my witnesses, in the name of the Atreids and the entire army!

Philoctetes
[1295] Son, whose voice was that? Do I hear Odysseus?

Odysseus
Be sure of it, and you see him at your side, who will carry you to the plains of Troy by force, whether or not the son of Achilles is willing.

Philoctetes
But it will bring you no joy, if this arrow fly straight.Odysseus flees from the stage.

Neoptolemus
[1300] Wait—by the gods, no! Do not let it fly!

Philoctetes
Let go of me, in the name of the gods, dear boy!

Neoptolemus
I will not.

Philoctetes
Alas! Why did you take from me the chance to kill my hated enemy with my bow?

Neoptolemus
It would have been honorable neither for me, nor for you.

Philoctetes
[1305] Well, you may be sure of one thing, at least: the army's chiefs, the lying heralds of the Greeks, though bold with words, are cowards in the fight.

Neoptolemus
Good; the bow is yours, and you have no cause for anger or complaint against me.

Philoctetes
[1310] Agreed. You have revealed the true stock, my son, from which you spring. You are no child of Sisyphus, but of Achilles, whose fame was the fairest when he was among the living, as it is now with the dead.

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  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus Tyrannus, 216-462
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Antigone, 759
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (2):
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