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Orestes with the branch and wreath of a suppliant is disclosed standing by the bodies. With him are Pylades and attendants who display the robe of Agamemnon

Orestes
Behold this pair, oppressors of the land, who murdered my father and ransacked my house! They were majestic then, when they sat on their thrones, [975] and are lovers even now, as one may judge by what has happened to them, and their oath holds true to their pledges. Together they vowed a league of death against my unhappy father, and together they vowed to die, and they have kept their promise well.

But now regard again, you who hear this account of ills, [980] the device for binding my unhappy father, with which his hands were manacled, his feet fettered. Spread it out! Stand around in a circle, and display this covering for a man, that the Father may see—not mine, but he who surveys all this, the Sun— [985] that he may see the impious work of my own mother, that he may be my witness in court that I justly pursued this death, my own mother's. For I do not speak of Aegisthus' death: he has suffered the penalty prescribed for adulterers. [990]

But she who devised this abhorrent deed against her husband, whose children she bore, a burden under her belt, a burden once dear, but now a hateful ill, as it seems: what do you think of her? Had she been born a seasnake or a viper, I think her very touch without her bite would have caused anyone else to rot, [995] if shamelessness and an immoral disposition could do so.He again takes up the bloody robe

What name shall I give it, however tactful I may be? A trap for a wild beast? Or a shroud for a corpse in his bier,1 wrapped around his feet? No, rather it is a net: you might call it a hunting net, or robes to entangle a man's feet. [1000] This would be the kind of thing a highwayman might posses, who deceives strangers and earns his living by robbery, and with this cunning snare he might kill many men and warm his own heart greatly.

May such a woman not live with me in my house! [1005] Before that may the gods grant me to perish childless!

1 δροίτης κατασκήνωμα also means “curtain of a bath.”

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus Tyrannus, 1-150
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