Quote of the Week: Sophocles, “Ajax”

sophocles“[…] I have learned my lesson,

To obey the gods – and not be disrespectful

To the sons of Atreus; they are in command,

And we are under them; that is as it should be.

There is no power so sacred, none so strong

As to defy all rank and precedence.

The snowy feet of Winter walk away

Before ripe Summer; and patrolling Night

Breaks off her rounds to let the Dawn ride in

On silver horses lighting up the sky.

The winds abate and leave the groaning sea

To sleep awhile. Even omnipotent Sleep

Locks and unlocks his doors and cannot hold

His prisoners bound for ever. Must not we

Learn this self-discipline? I think we must.


▪ Sophocles, “Ajax”, Electra and other Plays (trans. E. F. Watling, Penguin, 1953) extract from pages 40 through to 41.

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2 Comments on "Quote of the Week: Sophocles, “Ajax”"

  1. What a guy, that Ajax!

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