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I see. And the son of Laertes, how does his fortune with respect to you? Has he escaped you?

That blasted fox! You ask me where he is?

Yes, I do. I mean Odysseus, your adversary.

[105] My most pleasing prisoner, mistress, he sits inside. I do not wish him to die just yet.

Until you do what? Or win what greater advantage?

Until he be bound to a pillar beneath my roof—

What evil, then, will you inflict on the poor man?

[110] —and have his back crimsoned by the lash, before he dies.

Do not abuse the poor man so cruelly!

In all else, Athena, I bid you take your pleasure, but he will pay this penalty and no other.

Well, then, since it delights you to do so, [115] put your arm to use; spare no portion of your plan.

I go to my work. And I give you this commission: be always for me the close-standing ally that you have been for me today!Exit Ajax.

Do you see, Odysseus, how great is the strength of the gods? Whom could you have found more prudent than this man, [120] or better able to do what the situation demanded?

I know of no one, but in his misery I pity him all the same, even though he hates me, because he is yoked beneath a ruinous delusion—I think of my own lot no less than his. [125] For I see that all we who live are nothing more than phantoms or fleeting shadow.

Therefore since you witness his fate, see that you yourself never utter an arrogant word against the gods, nor assume any swelling pride, if in the scales of fate you are weightier [130] than another in strength of hand or in depth of ample wealth. For a day can press down all human things, and a day can raise them up. But the gods embrace men of sense and abhor the evil.Exit Odysseus and Athena.

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hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 430
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • William Watson Goodwin, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses of the Greek Verb, Chapter IV
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 1
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