For Eteocles I would have closed my lips and refrained from all response, but to you I will speak, since it is your wish to learn. This country, Creon, has been long afflicted, ever since Laius became a father against the will of the gods, begetting hapless Oedipus to be his own mother's husband.
That bloody destruction of his eyes was planned by the gods as an example to Hellas; and the sons of Oedipus went foolishly astray in wishing to throw over it the veil of time—as if they could outrun the gods! For by robbing their father of his due honor
and allowing him no freedom, they enraged the luckless man; so he, suffering and disgraced as well, breathed dreadful curses against them. And I, because I left nothing undone or unsaid, incurred the hatred of the sons of Oedipus.
But death inflicted by each other's hands awaits them, Creon; and the many heaps of the slain, some from Argive, some from Theban spears, shall cause bitter lamentation in the land of Thebes. Alas for you, poor city, you are being involved in their ruin,
unless I can persuade one man. The best course was to prevent any child of Oedipus becoming either citizen or king in this land, since they are possessed and would overthrow the city. But as evil has the mastery of good, there is
one other means of safety; but—for it is unsafe for me to tell, and painful too for those whose fortune it is to supply their city with the saving cure—I will go away. Farewell; among the rest
I will endure what is to come, if I must; for what else can I do?
Stay here, old man.
Do not catch hold of me.
Wait; why do you try to escape?
It is your fortune that tries to escape you, not I.
Tell me what can save Thebes and her citizens.
Though you want this now, you will not want it soon.
Not wish to save my country? how can that be?
Do you really wish to hear it, eagerly?
Yes; for where should I show greater zeal?
Then you will presently hear my prophetic words. But first I would know for certain
where Menoeceus is, who led me here.
Here, not far away, but at your side.
Let him go far from my prophecies.
He is my own son and will be silent as he ought.
Do you want me to tell you in his presence?
Yes, for he will rejoice to hear the means of safety.