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Then let them mock and rejoice at this man's misery. Perhaps, even though they did not cherish him while he lived, they will lament his death, when they meet with the difficulties of war. Men of crooked judgment do not know what good [965] they have in their hands until they have thrown it away. His death is more bitter to me than it is sweet to the Greeks; but in any case to Ajax himself it is a joy, since he has accomplished all that he desired to get—his longed-for death. So why should they exult over him? [970] He died before the gods, not at all before them—no! And so let Odysseus toss his insults in empty glee. For them Ajax is no more; for me he is gone, abandoning me to anguish and mourning.

Ah! Ah, no!

[975] Quiet—I think I hear the voice of Teucer striking a note that points to this disaster.

Enter Teucer.

Beloved Ajax, brother whose face was so dear to me, have you truly fared as the mighty rumor says?

He is dead, Teucer. Take it as fact.

[980] Then I am destroyed by my heavy fortune!

When things stand as they do—

Ah, misery, misery!

—you have cause to mourn.

O rash passion!

Yes, Teucer, far too rash.

Ah, misery—what about the man's child? Where in all of Troy can I find him?

[985] He is alone near the tent.

To Tecmessa.
Then bring him here right away, so that we may prevent some enemy from snatching him away, as a hunter snatches a cub from a lioness and leaves her barren! Go quickly; give me your help! It is the habit of men everywhere to laugh in triumph over the dead when they are mere corpses on the ground.Exit Tecmessa.

[990] Yes, while still alive, Teucer, Ajax ordered you to care for the child, just as you are in fact doing.

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hide References (5 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (4):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Antigone, 751
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Ajax, 114
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Trachiniae, 329
    • George W. Mooney, Commentary on Apollonius: Argonautica, 4.55
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
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