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Agamemnon
You, Odysseus—do you champion him against me in this battle?

Odysseus
I do, though I did hate him, when it was honorable for me to hate.

Agamemnon
But should you not also trample him now that he is dead?

Odysseus
Do not take delight, son of Atreus, in that superiority which brings no honor.

Agamemnon
[1350] Reverence, I tell you, is not easily practiced by the autocrat.

Odysseus
But it is easy to grant dispensations to friends when they advise well.

Agamemnon
A good man should listen to those in charge.

Odysseus
Stop! Your power is victorious when you surrender to your friends.

Agamemnon
Remember to what sort of man you show this kindness!

Odysseus
[1355] The man was once my enemy, yes, but he was also noble.

Agamemnon
Why do you do this? Why do you so respect an enemy's corpse?

Odysseus
I yield to his excellence much more than his hostility.

Agamemnon
Men who act as you do are the unstable sort in humankind.

Odysseus
Quite the majority of men, I assure you, are friendly at one time, and bitter at another.

Agamemnon
[1360] So then, are these the type of friends that you recommend we make?

Odysseus
It is not my habit to recommend an inflexible spirit.

Agamemnon
You will make us appear to be cowards today.

Odysseus
On the contrary, we will be men of justice in the eyes of all the Greeks.

Agamemnon
Then do you truly urge me to allow the burying of the dead?

Odysseus
[1365] Yes, for I too shall come to that necessity.

Agamemnon
How true it is that in all things alike each man works for himself!

Odysseus
And for whom should I work more than for myself?

Agamemnon
It must be called your doing then, not mine.

Odysseus
However you do it, in all respects you will at least prove beneficent.

Agamemnon
[1370] In any case, be quite certain that to you I would grant a larger favor than this. To that man, however, as on earth, so below I give my hatred. But you can do what you will.Exit Agamemnon.

Chorus
Whoever denies, Odysseus, that you were born wise in judgment [1375] is a total fool since you have shown it just now.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus Tyrannus, 216-462
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