|Electra Monologue by Sophocles|
- ELECTRA: Hear, then, the course I am resolved upon.
- Friends to stand by us even you must know
- That none are left but us; but the Grave has taken
- And reft them; and we two remain alone.
- I, while I heard my brother was alive
- And well, had hopes that he would come, one day,
- To the requiting of his father's death;
- But since he is no more, to you I look
- Not to refuse, with me, your sister here,
- To slay the author of that father's murder,
- AE gisthus; (we need have no secrets, now.)
- For wither--to what still surviving hope
- Do you yet look, and suffer patiently?
- Who for the loss of your ancestral wealth
- Have cause for grieving, and have cause for pain
- At all the time that passes over you,
- Growing so old, a maiden and unwed.
- And these delights no longer hope to gain
- At any time; AE gisthus is too prudent
- To suffer that your progeny or mine
- Should see the light, to his own clear undoing!
- While, if you will be guided by my counsels,
- First, you shall have the praise of piety
- From your dead sire and brother in the grave,
- Next, shall be called hereafter, as at first,
- Free, and obtain a marriage worthy of you
- For all men pay regard to honesty.
- And as for glory--see you not what glory
- You will confer upon yourself and me,
- If you should heed me? For what citizen
- Or stranger who beholds us, will not greet
- Our passing steps with praises such as these:
- "Friends, look at those two sisters, who redeemed
- Their father's house; who, prodigal of life,
- Were ministers of slaughter to their foes
- Who prospered well before; to them be worship,
- To them the love of all men; at high feasts,
- In general concourse, for their fortitude,
- That pair let all men honour." Of us two
- Such are the things that every man will say,
- So that our glory shall not cease from us,
- Living or dead. O, be persuaded, dear!
- Succour your father's, aid your brother's cause,
- Liberate me from evils, and yourself,
- Remembering this, that a dishonoured life
- Is shame to those who have been born in honour.
Credits: Reprinted from Dramas. Sophocles. London: J.M. Dent & Sons, 1906.