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O father, who perished by a death unbefitting a king, grant in answer to my prayer the lordship over your halls! [480]

And I too, father, have a like request of you: to escape when I have wrought great destruction on Aegisthus.

Yes, for then the customary funeral feasts of men would be established in your honor. But otherwise, at the rich and savory banquet of burnt offerings made to the earth, you will be without a portion of honor. [485]

And I will likewise at my wedding offer libations to you out of the fullness of my inheritance from my father's house, and before all else I will hold this tomb of yours in the highest honor.

O Earth, send up my father to watch my battle!

O Persephone, grant us indeed a glorious victory! [490]

Father, remember the bath where you were robbed of life.

And remember how they devised a strange net to cast about you.

You were caught, my father, in fetters forged by no smith's hand.

And in a fabric shamefully devised.

Father, are you not roused by taunts such as these? [495]

Are you not raising that dearest head of yours?

Either send Justice to battle for those dear to you, or grant us in turn to get a similar grip1 on them, if indeed after defeat you would in turn win victory.

So listen, father, to this last appeal of mine [500] as you behold these fledglings crouching at your tomb. Have compassion on your offspring, on the woman and on the man as well, and let not this seed of Pelops' line be blotted out: for then, in spite of death, you are not dead. For children are voices of salvation to a man, [505] though he is dead; like corks, they buoy up the net, saving the flaxen cord from out of the deep. Hear! For your own sake we make this lament. By honoring this plea of ours you save yourself.

1 Orestes prays that, as Clytaemestra and Aegisthus had “got grip” of Agamemnon by deception, so he may “get like grip” of them and kill them.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Philoctetes, 128
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