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Menelaus
[1120] The bowman seems to feel no little grandeur.

Teucer
I do, since it is no lowly skill that I possess.

Menelaus
How you would boast, if you had a shield!

Teucer
Even without a shield I would be a match for you fully armed.

Menelaus
What a tongue you have! What dreadful anger it feeds!

Teucer
[1125] When right is with him, a man's thoughts may be grand.

Menelaus
What, is it right that the man who murdered me should prosper?

Teucer
Murdered you? It is truly a strange happening, if in fact you live after being killed.

Menelaus
A god rescued me. So far as that corpse is concerned, I am in Hades.

Teucer
Then since it was the gods who saved you, do not dishonor the gods.

Menelaus
[1130] What, would I find fault with divine law?

Teucer
Yes, if by your presence here you prevent burial of the dead.

Menelaus
Prevent it I do, since he was at war with me and I with him. Burial in such a case would not be right.

Teucer
What do you mean? Did Ajax ever stand forth publicly to war with you?

Menelaus
He hated me as I hated him, and you knew it, too.

Teucer
[1135] Yes, he hated you because you had been caught fixing the votes in order to rob him.

Menelaus
At the hands of the jurymen, not mine, he suffered that loss.

Teucer
You could make a thousand stealthy crimes look pretty.

Menelaus
That sentiment leads to pain for someone I know.

Teucer
The pain will be no greater, I think, than that which we will inflict.

Menelaus
[1140] I will tell you once and for all—there is to be no burial for him.

Teucer
And hear my reply—he shall be buried immediately.

Menelaus
Once I saw a bold-tongued man who had urged sailors to set sail during wintertime. Yet in him you could have found no voice [1145] when the worst of the storm was upon him. No, hidden beneath his cloak he allowed the crew to trample on him at will. And so it is with you and your raging speech—perhaps a great storm, even if its blast comes from a small cloud, will extinguish your shouting.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Philoctetes, 1057
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