Tragedy, in a modern tongue
Excerpts from Greek plays and their adaptations by Philip Lerman
(translation by John Davie)
Electra: O my long-lost one, I hold you, the one I never thought to see!
Orestes: And I hold you at last!
Electra: I never imagined this!
Orestes: And never did I expect it!
Electra: Are you he?
Orestes: Yes, your only ally... I store the pleasure of your loving greeting in my heart....
Electra: Give it up. Your cover's been blown....
Orestes: I am Orestes. Your brother.
Electra: Are you really? Oh, please, don't say it if you're not. It would be too cruel.
Orestes: I'm not lying to you, Electra.
Electra: Let me look at you. Let me see your face. Yes, I see something of myself there.
Orestes: Now do you believe me?
Electra: It will take a moment to get used to the idea.
(translation by H.D.F. Kitto)
Ismene: What is it? Some dark shadow is upon you.
Antigone: Our brother's burial.... Creon has ordered that none shall bury him...; He must be left to lie unwept, unburied, For hungry birds of prey to swoop and feast on his poor body.... Will you join hands with me...?
Ismene: What dangerous enterprise have you in mind?
Antigone: Will you join me in taking up the body?
Ismene: Are you alright?
Antigone: Yes. Just tired....
Ismene: Antigone, I've been thinking.... about Polynices, our brother.
Antigone: You mean what's left of him. After the dogs and buzzards have their fill... I'm sorry Ismene. But that's what's happening.
Ismene: What can we do?
Antigone: See that he's properly buried.
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society