The Complete Plays of Sophocles: A New Translation
Sophocles, Robert Bagg, James Scully
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Award-winningpoet-playwrights Robert Bagg and James Scully presenta gripping new translation of Western literature’s earliest treasures in TheComplete Plays of Sophocles. In the tradition of Robert Fagles’bestselling translations of The Iliad and The Odyssey, andretaining the textual authenticity of Richmond Lattimore’sAeschylus, Bagg and Scully render Sophocles’ dramasaccessible and exciting for the modern reader. Students new to Athenian drama,readers of classical literature, and anyone wishing to kindle anew theirpassion for Greek tragedy will find no more captivating entrance to thesemilestones of world literature than in Bagg andScully’s The Complete Plays of Sophocles.
TUTOR (enters). Ladies, might a stranger crave to know if this be the palace of the king Aegisthus? CHORUS. It is, sir; you yourself have guessed aright. TUTOR. And am I right in assuming that this lady is his consort? She is of queenly aspect. CHORUS. Assuredly; you are in the presence of the queen. TUTOR. Hail, royal lady! I bring glad tidings to you and to Aegisthus from a friend. CLYTEMNESTRA. I welcome the omen; but first I would like to know from you who may have sent you. TUTOR.
joy trickles from our eyes. ELECTRA. Offspring of him I loved best, you have come even now, you have come, and found and seen her whom your heart desired! ORESTES. I am with you; but keep silence for a while. ELECTRA. What do you mean? ORESTES. It is better to be silent, lest someone inside should hear. ELECTRA. By ever-virgin Artemis, I will never stoop to fear women, stay-at-homes, vain burdens of the ground! ORESTES. Yet remember that in women too dwells the spirit of battle; of that you
crept on me by stealth, yearning to thrust me out of it, and has suborned such a scheming juggler as this, a tricky quack, who has eyes only for his gains but in his art is blind! Come now, tell me, where have you proved yourself a seer? Why, when the watcher was here who wove dark song, did you say nothing that could free this folk? Yet the riddle, at least, was not for the first comer to read. There was need of a seer’s skill, and none such were you found to have, either by help of birds or as
alien sojourner, but soon he shall be found a native Theban, and shall not be glad of his fortune. A blind man, he who now has sight, a beggar who now is rich, he shall make his way to a strange land, feeling the ground before him with his staff. And he shall be found at once brother and father of the children with whom he consorts; son and husband of the woman who bore him; heir to his father’s bed, shedder of his father’s blood. Go in now and think on that; and if you find that I have been at
child! I pray you, I implore!” But the boy glared at him with fierce eyes, spat in his face, and without a word of answer drew his cross-hilted sword. As his father rushed forth in flight he missed his aim; then, luckless man, angry with himself he straightway leaned with all his weight against his sword and drove it, half its length, into his side. While sense lingered he clasped the maiden to his faint embrace, and as he gasped sent forth on her pale cheek the swift stream of his oozing blood.