Sophoclean Sententiae Saturday

Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus:

“As you yourself see, the state is excessively shaken…”

  Πόλις γάρ, ὥσπερ καὐτὸς εἰσορᾷς, ἄγαν

       ἤδη σαλεύει [23-24]


“Dark Hades grows rich on groaning and wailing.”

μέλας δ’ ῞Αιδης στεναγμοῖς καὶ γόοις πλουτίζεται. [29-30]


“My soul grieves equally for the state, for myself, and for you.

ἡ δ’ ἐμὴ ψυχὴ πόλιν τε κἀμὲ καὶ σ’ ὁμοῦ στένει. [63-64]


“One who feels no fear in doing a deed will not be deterred by speech.”

῟Ωι μή ‘στι δρῶντι τάρβος, οὐδ’ ἔπος φοβεῖ.  [297]


“I don’t know. I prefer to remain silent on matters which I don’t understand.”

Οὐκ οἶδ’· ἐφ’ οἷς γὰρ μὴ φρονῶ σιγᾶν φιλῶ. [569]


“I was not born more desirous to be a tyrant than to act the tyrant, nor was anyone else who knows well how to think.”

     ᾿Εγὼ μὲν οὖν οὔτ’ αὐτὸς ἱμείρων ἔφυν

       τύραννος εἶναι μᾶλλον ἢ τύραννα δρᾶν,

       οὔτ’ ἄλλος ὅστις σωφρονεῖν ἐπίσταται. [587-589]


“Those who are quick to form a plan are not likely to avoid error.”

φρονεῖν γὰρ οἱ ταχεῖς οὐκ ἀσφαλεῖς. [617]


“Do you not feel ashamed to work up your private troubles when the land is suffering so?”

οὐδ’ ἐπαισχύνεσθε γῆς οὕτω νοσούσης ἴδια κινοῦντες κακά; [635-636]


“Hubris gives birth to the tyrant.”

῞Υβρις φυτεύει τύραννον· [873]


“O you unhappy man, would that you never knew who you are!”

῏Ω δύσποτμ’, εἴθε μήποτε γνοίης ὃς εἶ. [1068]


“O mortal generations, I reckon you as equal to nothing while you live.”

᾿Ιὼ γενεαὶ βροτῶν,

       ὡς ὑμᾶς ἴσα καὶ τὸ μη-

        δὲν ζώσας ἐναριθμῶ. [1186-8]


“You will see a sight which you will pity as you loathe it.”

θέαμα δ’ εἰσόψει τάχα τοιοῦτον οἷον καὶ στυγοῦντ’ ἐποικτίσαι. [1295]

Image result for sophocles oedipus
Oedipus and Antigone, by Charles Jalabert.


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