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I would not encourage you—no, nor, even if you were willing later, [70] would I welcome you as my partner in this action. No, be the sort that pleases you. I will bury him—it would honor me to die while doing that. I shall rest with him, loved one with loved one, a pious criminal. For the time is greater [75] that I must serve the dead than the living, since in that world I will rest forever. But if you so choose, continue to dishonor what the gods in honor have established.

I do them no dishonor. But to act in violation of the citizens' will—of that I am by nature incapable.

[80] You can make that your pretext! Regardless, I will go now to heap a tomb over the brother I love.

Oh no, unhappy sister! I fear for you!

Do not tremble for me. Straighten out your own destiny.

Then at least disclose the deed to no one before you do it. [85] Conceal it, instead, in secrecy—and so, too, will I.

Go on! Denounce it! You will be far more hated for your silence, if you fail to proclaim these things to everyone.

You have a hot heart for chilling deeds.

I know that I please those whom I am most bound to please.

[90] Yes, if you will also have the power. But you crave the impossible.

Why then, when my strength fails, I will have finished.

An impossible hunt should not be tried in the first place.

If you mean that, you will have my hatred, and you will be subject to punishment as the enemy of the dead. [95] But leave me and the foolish plan I have authored to suffer this terrible thing, for I will not suffer anything so terrible that my death will lack honor.

Go, then, if you so decide. And of this be sure: though your path is foolish, to your loved ones your love is straight and true.Exit Antigone on the spectators' left. Ismene exits into the palace.

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load focus Notes (Sir Richard C. Jebb, 1900)
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  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Oedipus Tyrannus, 216-462
    • T. G. Tucker, Commentary on Thucydides: Book 8, 8.71
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • William Watson Goodwin, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses of the Greek Verb, Chapter III
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
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