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Sophocles Index


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ELECTRA by Sophocles, Part 10


ORESTES
O form cruelly, godlessly misused!

ELECTRA
Those ill-omened words, sir, fit no one better than me.

ORESTES
Alas for thy life, unwedded and all unblest!

ELECTRA
Why this steadfast gaze, stranger, and these laments?

ORESTES
How ignorant was I, then, of mine own sorrows!

ELECTRA
By what that hath been said hast thou perceived this?

ORESTES
By seeing thy sufferings, so many and so great.

ELECTRA
And yet thou seest but a few of my woes.

ORESTES
Could any be more painful to behold?

ELECTRA
This, that I share the dwelling of the murderers.

ORESTES
Whose murderers? Where lies the guilt at which thou hintest?

ELECTRA
My father's;- and then I am their slave perforce.

ORESTES
Who is it that subjects thee to this constraint?

ELECTRA
A mother-in name, but no mother in her deeds.

ORESTES
How doth she oppress thee? With violence or with hardship?

ELECTRA
With violence, and hardships, and all manner of ill.

ORESTES
And is there none to succour, or to hinder?

ELECTRA
None. I had one; and thou hast shown me his ashes.

ORESTES
Hapless girl, how this sight hath stirred my pity!

ELECTRA
Know, then, that thou art the first who ever pitied me.

ORESTES
No other visitor hath ever shared thy pain.

ELECTRA
Surely thou art not some unknown kinsman?

ORESTES
I would answer, if these were friends who hear us.

ELECTRA
Oh, they are friends; thou canst speak without mistrust.

ORESTES
Give up this urn, then, and thou shalt be told all.

ELECTRA
Nay, I beseech thee be not so cruel to me, sir!

ORESTES
Do as I say, and never fear to do amiss.

ELECTRA
I conjure thee, rob me not of my chief treasure!

ORESTES
Thou must not keep it.

ELECTRA
Ah woe is me for thee, Orestes, if I am not to give thee burial

ORESTES
Hush!-no such word!-Thou hast no right to lament.

ELECTRA
No right to lament for my dead brother?

ORESTES
It is not meet for thee to speak of him thus.

 

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