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Yes, may the gods so grant success to this man. Capaneus is stationed at the Electran gates, another giant of a man, greater than the one described before. [425] But his boast is too proud for a mere human, and he makes terrifying threats against our battlements—which, I hope, chance will not fulfil! For he says he will utterly destroy the city with god's will or without it, and that not even conflict with Zeus, though it should fall before him in the plain, will stand in his way. [430] The god's lightning and thunderbolts he compares to midday heat. For his shield's symbol he has a man without armor bearing fire, and the torch, his weapon, blazes in his hands; and in golden letters he says “I will burn the city.” [435] Against such a man make your dispatch—who will meet him in combat, who will stand firm without trembling before his boasts?

Here too gain follows with interest from gain.1 The tongue proves in the end to be an unerring accuser of men's wicked thoughts. [440] Capaneus makes his threats, ready to act, irreverent toward the gods, and giving his tongue full exercise in wicked glee, he, though a mere mortal, sends a loud and swollen boast to Zeus in heaven. But I trust that the fire-bearing thunderbolt will justly come to him, [445] and when it comes it will not be anything like the sun's mid-day heat. And against him, even though he is a big talker, a man of fiery spirit, mighty Polyphontes, is stationed, a dependable sentinel [450] with the good will of guardian Artemis and the other gods. Now tell me about another one allotted to other gates!Exit Polyphontes.

1 Tydeus' insolence (l. 387) was “gain” to our cause; to it is now added that of Capaneus, which is like money put out at interest (τόκος).

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    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus at Colonus, 1318
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