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“So I spoke, and he straightway made answer and said: [405] ‘Son of Laertes, sprung from Zeus, Odysseus of many devices, neither did Poseidon smite me on board my ships, when he had roused a furious blast of cruel winds, nor did foemen work me harm on the land, but Aegisthus wrought for me death and fate, [410] and slew me with the aid of my accursed wife, when he had bidden me to his house and made me a feast, even as one slays an ox at the stall. So I died by a most pitiful death, and round about me the rest of my comrades were slain unceasingly like white-tusked swine, which are slaughtered in the house of a rich man of great might [415] at a marriage feast, or a joint meal, or a rich drinking-bout. Ere now thou hast been present at the slaying of many men, killed in single combat or in the press of the fight, but in heart thou wouldst have felt most pity hadst thou seen that sight, how about the mixing bowl and the laden tables [420] we lay in the hall, and the floor all swam with blood. But the most piteous cry that I heard was that of the daughter of Priam, Cassandra, whom guileful Clytemnestra slew by my side.1 And I sought to raise my hands and smite down the murderess, dying though I was, pierced through with the sword. But she, the shameless one, [425] turned her back upon me, and even though I was going to the house of Hades deigned neither to draw down my eyelids with her fingers nor to close my mouth. So true is it that there is nothing more dread or more shameless than a woman who puts into her heart such deeds, even as she too devised a monstrous thing, [430] contriving death for her wedded husband. Verily I thought that I should come home welcome to my children and to my slaves; but she, with her heart set on utter wickedness, has shed shame on herself and on women yet to be, even upon her that doeth uprightly.’ [435] “So he spoke, and I made answer and said: ‘Ah, verily has Zeus, whose voice is borne afar, visited wondrous hatred on the race of Atreus from the first because of the counsels of women. For Helen's sake many of us perished, and against thee Clytemnestra spread a snare whilst thou wast afar.’

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  • Cross-references in notes to this page (2):
    • Apollodorus, Epitome, Apollod. Epit. E.6
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Electra, 1
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