Quotations by Sophocles


TECMESSA: Kindness gives birth to kindness.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Ajax

Alt. trans.:
  • "For it is always kindness which breeds kindness." [tr. Garvie (1998), ll. 522-23]
  • "Kindness begets kindness." [tr. Golder & Pevear (1999), l. 584]
  • "'Tis kindness that still begets kindness." [tr. Jebb (1917), ll. 521-22]
  • "For kindness begets kindness evermore." [tr. Trevelyan (1919)]
Added on 8-Oct-20 | Last updated 8-Oct-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Sophocles

If you have done terrible things, you must endure terrible things; for thus the sacred light of injustice shines bright.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Ajax, l. 11
Added on 22-Sep-08 | Last updated 22-Sep-08
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Sophocles

Hush! Check those words. Do not cure ill with ill and make your pain still heavier than it is.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Ajax, l. 362
Added on 8-Sep-08 | Last updated 8-Sep-08
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Sophocles

A wise doctor does not mutter incantations over a sore that needs the knife.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Ajax, l. 581.
Added on 24-Nov-08 | Last updated 24-Nov-08
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Sophocles

TECMESSA: Ignorant men
Don’t know what good they hold in their hands until
They’ve flung it away.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Ajax, l. 964 [tr. Moore (1959)]

Alt trans.:
  • “Men of perverse opinion do not know / The excellence of what is in their hands, / Till some one dash it from them.” [George Young (1888)]
  • "Men of ill judgement oft ignore the good / That lies within their hands, till they have lost it."
  • "For those who are base in judgement do not know the good they hold in their hands until they cast it off."
Added on 2-Jun-08 | Last updated 17-Aug-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Sophocles

O my son!
These are no trifles! Think: all men make mistakes,
But a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong,
And repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Antigone, l. 1022ff [Teiresias] (441 BC) [tr. Fitts/Fitzgerald (1939), ll. 803ff]
    (Source)

Alt. trans.:

Then take these things to heart, my son: for error
Is as the universal lot of man;
But whenso'er he errs, that man no longer
Is witless or unblessed, who, having fallen
Into misfortune, seeks to mend his ways
And is not obstinate: the stiffneckt temper
Must oft plead guilty to the charge of folly.
[tr. Donaldson (1848)]

O ponder this, my son. To err is common
To all men, but the man who having erred
Hugs not his errors, but repents and seeks
The cure, is not a wastrel nor unwise.
No fool, the saw goes, like the obstinate fool.
[tr. Storr (1859)]

Think, therefore, on these things, my son. All men are liable to err. But when an error is made, that man is no longer unwise or unblessed who heals the evil into which he has fallen and does not remain stubborn. Self-will, we know, invites the charge of foolishness.
[tr. Jebb (1891)]

Consider this, my son! and, O remember,
To err is human; 'tis the common lot
Of frail mortality; and he alone
Is wise and happy, who, when ills are done,
Persists not, but would heal the wound he made.
[tr. Werner (1892)]

Think, then, on these things, my son. All men are liable to err; but when an error hath been made, that man is no longer witless or unblest who heals the ill into which he hath fallen, and remains not stubborn. Self-will, we know, incurs the charge of folly.
[tr. Jebb (1917)]

Mark this, my son: all men fall into sin.
But sinning, he is not forever lost
Hapless and helpless, who can make amends
And has not set his face against repentance.
Only a fool is governed by self-will.
[tr. Watling (1939)]

Be warned, my son, No man alive is free
From error, but the wise and prudent man
When he has fallen into evil courses
Does not persist, but tries to find amendment ....
[tr. Kitto (1962)]

Understand this: All men make mistakes. But when they do, it would be a wise and well acting man who corrected that mistake and moved on rather than stayed there stubbornly and unrepentant. The stubborn man is rewarded with more errors.
[tr. Theodoridis (2004)]

Consider this, my son.
All men make mistakes -- that's not uncommon.
But when they do, they’re no longer foolish
or subject to bad luck if they try to fix
the evil into which they’ve fallen,
once they give up their intransigence.
Men who put their stubbornness on show
invite accusations of stupidity.
[tr. Johnston (2005), l. 1138ff]

Think of these things, my son. All men may err
but error once committed, he's no fool
nor yet unfortunate, who gives up his stiffness
ad cures the trouble he has fallen in.
Stubbornness and stupidity are twins.
[tr. Wyckoff]

Therefore, think on these things, my child; for every human being makes mistakes, but when he has made a mistake, that man is no longer foolish and unhappy who remedies the evil into which he has fallen and is not stubborn. Obstinacy brings the charge of stupidity.
[tr. Thomas]

Therefore, think about this, child. For men,
all of them, it is common to make mistakes.
Whenever he does make a mistake, that man is still not
foolish or unhappy who, fallen into evil,
applies a remedy and does not become immovable.
Stubborn self-will incurs a charge of stupidity.
[tr. Tyrell/Bennett]
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 21-Nov-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Sophocles

No other touchstone can test the heart of a man,
The temper of his mind and spirit, till he be tried
In the practice of authority and rule.

[ἀμήχανον δὲ παντὸς ἀνδρὸς ἐκμαθεῖν
ψυχήν τε καὶ φρόνημα καὶ γνώμην, πρὶν ἂν
ἀρχαῖς τε καὶ νόμοισιν ἐντριβὴς φανῇ.]

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Antigone, l. 175-77 [Creon] (441 BC) [tr. Watling (1947)]
    (Source)

Alt. trans.:

There is no man whose soul and will and meaning
Stand forth as outward things for all to see,
'Till he has shown himself by practice versed
In ruling under law and making laws.
[tr. Donaldson (1848)]

Yet 'tis no easy matter to discern
The temper of a man, his mind and will,
Till he be proved by exercise of power.
[tr. Storr (1859)]

Now, it is impossible to know fully any man's character, will, or judgment, until he has been proved by the test of rule and law-giving.
[tr. Jebb (1891)]

Never can man be known.
His mind, his will, his passion ne'er appear,
Till power and office call them forth.
[tr. Werner (1892)]

No man can be fully known, in soul and spirit and mind, until he hath been seen versed in rule and law-giving.
[tr. Jebb (1917)]

I am aware, of course, that no Ruler can expect complete loyalty from his subjects until he has been tested in office.
[tr. Fitts/Fitzgerald (1939)]

There is no art that teaches us to know
The temper, mind, or spirit of any man
Until he has been proved by government
And lawgiving.
[tr. Kitto (1962)]

No man has a mind that can be fully known,
In character or judgment, till he rules and makes law.
[tr. Woodruff (2001)]

It’s impossible
to really know a man, to know his soul,
his mind and will, before one witnesses
his skill in governing and making laws.
[tr. Johnston (2005), ll. 198-201]

You cannot learn of any man the soul,
the mind, and the intent until he shows
his practice of the government and law.
[tr. Wyckoff]

Now, there is no way to learn thoroughly the essence
of the whole man as well as his thought and judgment
until he has been seen engaged in ruling and making laws.
[tr. Tyrell/Bennett]

It is impossible to really learn a man’s
mind, thought and opinion before he’s been initiated
into the offices and laws of the state.
[tr. @sentantiq (2020)]
Added on 30-Jun-08 | Last updated 22-Nov-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Sophocles

CREON: Am I to rule for others, or myself?
HAEMON: A State for one man is no State at all.
CREON: The State is his who rules it, so ’tis held.
HAEMON: As monarch of a desert thou wouldst shine.

Κρέων: ἄλλῳ γὰρ ἢ ‘μοὶ χρή με τῆσδ᾽ ἄρχειν χθονός;
Αἵμων: πόλις γὰρ οὐκ ἔσθ᾽ ἥτις ἀνδρός ἐσθ᾽ ἑνός.
Κρέων: οὐ τοῦ κρατοῦντος ἡ πόλις νομίζεται;
Αἵμων: καλῶς γ᾽ ἐρήμης ἂν σὺ γῆς ἄρχοις μόνος.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Antigone, l. 736 ff (441 BC) [tr. Storr (1859)]
    (Source)

Original Greek. Alt. trans.:

CREON: Am I to rule this land by the will of another than myself?
HAEMON: That is no city, which belongs to one man.
CREON: Does not the city by tradition belong to the man in power?
HAEMON: You would make a fine monarch in a desert.
[tr. Jebb (1891)]

CREON: My voice is the one voice giving orders in this City!
HAIMON: It is no City if it takes orders from one voice.
CREON: The State is the King!
HAIMON: Yes, if the State is a desert.
[tr. Fitts/Fitzgerald (1939)]

CREON: No, I am king, and responsible only to myself.
HAEMON: A one-man state? What sort of state is that?
CREON: Why, does not every state belong to its ruler?
HAEMON: You’d be an excellent king -- on a desert island.
[tr. Watling (1947), ll. 632 ff]

CREON: Am I to rule for them, not for myself?
HAEMON: That is not government, but tyranny.
CREON: The king is lord and master of his city.
HAEMON: Then you had better rule a desert island!
[tr. Kitto (1962)]

CREON: So I should rule this country for someone other than myself?
HAEMON: A place for one man alone is not a city.
CREON: A city belongs to its master. Isn't that the rule?
HAEMON: Then go be ruler of a desert, all alone. You'd do it well.
[tr. Woodruff (2001)]

CREON: Should I govern the city for others and not for me?
HAEMON: There is no city that belongs to one man.
CREON: So a city does not belong to the man who governs it?
HAEMON: One man alone can only govern an empty city.
[tr. Theodoridis (2004)]

CREON: Am I to rule this land at someone else’s whim or by myself?
HAEMON: A city which belongs to just one man is no true city.
CREON: According to our laws, does not the ruler own the city?
HAEMON: By yourself you’d make an excellent king but in a desert.
[tr. Johnston (2005)]

CREON: Am I to rule by other mind than mine?
HAEMON: No city is property of a single man.
CREON: But custom gives possession to the ruler.
HAEMON: You'd rule a desert beautifully alone.
[tr. Wyckoff]

CREON: Should I rule the land for anyone other than myself?
HAEMON: There is no city that is one man’s.
CREON: Is not the city considered to belong to the ruling man?
HAEMON: Nobly you could rule an empty land, alone.
[tr. Tyrell/Bennett]

Also:
  • "The state which belongs to one man is no state at all." [tr. @sentantiq (2020)]
  • "A state is not a state if it belongs to one man."
Added on 5-Jan-09 | Last updated 22-Nov-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Sophocles

But if I am to die before my time, I count that a gain. When anyone lives as I do, surrounded by evils, how can he not carry off gain by dying?

[εἰ δὲ τοῦ χρόνου
πρόσθεν θανοῦμαι, κέρδος αὔτ᾽ ἐγὼ λέγω.
ὅστις γὰρ ἐν πολλοῖσιν ὡς ἐγὼ κακοῖς
ζῇ, πῶς ὅδ᾽ Οὐχὶ κατθανὼν κέρδος φέρει]

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Antigone, ll. 460 ff [Antigone] (441 BC) [tr. Jebb (1891)]
    (Source)

Alt. trans.:

But if I am to die before my time, I count that a gain: for when any one lives, as I do, compassed about with evils, can such an one find aught but gain in death?
[tr. Jebb (1917)]

And if my time is shortened, this to me
Is gain indeed. For whoso lives, as I live,
Beset with many sorrows, how does he
Not win by dying?
[tr. Donaldson (1848)]

If death
Is thereby hastened, I shall count it gain
For death is gain to him whose life, like mine,
Is full of misery.
[tr. Storr (1859)]

And now, if I fall
A little sooner, 'tis the thing I wish.
To thou, who live in misery like me,
Believe me, King, 'tis happiness to die.
[tr. Werner (1892)]

But if I die young, all the better:
People who live in misery like mine
Are better dead.
[tr. Woodruff (2001)]

I knew that my death was imminent, of course I did, and even if it came sooner, I would still think it a good thing because when one lives in such a dreadful misery why should he not think death to be a good thing?
[tr. Theodoridis (2004)]

And if I have to die
before my time, well, I count that a gain.
When someone has to live the way I do,
surrounded by so many evil things,
how can she fail to find a benefit
in death?
[tr. Johnston (2005), l. 521ff]

If I die
before my time, I say it is a gain.
Who lives in sorrows many as are mine
how shall he not be glad to gain his death?
[tr. Wyckoff]

But if
I shall die before my time, I declare it a profit,
for whoever lives beset, as I do, by many things evil,
how does he not gain profit by dying?
[tr. Tyrrell/Bennett]
Added on 13-Nov-20 | Last updated 20-Nov-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Sophocles

For thee — if this my deed seems foolishness,
The fool has caught the foolish in her folly.

[σοὶ δ᾽ εἰ δοκῶ νῦν μῶρα δρῶσα τυγχάνειν,
σχεδόν τι μώρῳ μωρίαν ὀφλισκάνω.]

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Antigone, ll. 469-70 [Antigone] (441 BC) [tr. Donaldson (1848)]
    (Source)

Alt. trans.:

And if my present actions are foolish in your sight, it may be that it is a fool who accuses me of folly.
[tr. Jebb (1891)]

And if in this thou judgest me a fool,
Methinks the judge of folly's not acquit.
[tr. Storr (1859)]

This to thee may seem
Madness and folly; if it be, 'tis fit
I should act thus; it but resembles thee.
[tr. Werner (1892)]

But you! You think
I've been a fool? It takes a fool to think that.
[tr. Woodruff (2001)]

If you think I’m a mindless woman then perhaps it's a mindless man who recognises a mindless woman.
[tr. Theodoridis (2004)]

If you think what I’m doing now is stupid,
perhaps I’m being charged with foolishness
by someone who’s a fool.
[tr. Johnston (2005), ll. 531-33]

And if you think my acts are foolishness
the foolishness may be in a fool's eye.
[tr. Wyckoff]
Added on 19-Nov-20 | Last updated 19-Nov-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Sophocles

Then, do not have one mind, and one alone
that only your opinion can be right.
Whoever thinks that he alone is wise,
his eloquence, his mind, above the rest,
come the unfolding, shows his emptiness.

[μή νυν ἓν ἦθος μοῦνον ἐν σαυτῷ φόρει,
ὡς φὴς σύ, κοὐδὲν ἄλλο, τοῦτ᾽ ὀρθῶς ἔχειν.
ὅστις γὰρ αὐτὸς ἢ φρονεῖν μόνος δοκεῖ,
ἢ γλῶσσαν, ἣν οὐκ ἄλλος, ἢ ψυχὴν ἔχειν,
οὗτοι διαπτυχθέντες ὤφθησαν κενοί.]

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Antigone, ll. 705-709 ff [Haemon] (441 BC) [tr. Wyckoff]
    (Source)

Original Greek. Alt. trans.:

Then cleave not solely to this principle --
Thy words, no other man's, are free from error.
For whoso thinks that he alone is wise,
That his discourse and reason are unmatched,
He, when unwrapt, displays his emptiness.
[tr. Donaldson (1848)]

Therefore, my father, cling not to one mood,
And deem not thou art right, all others wrong.
For whoso thinks that wisdom dwells with him,
That he alone can speak or think aright,
Such oracles are empty breath when tried.
[tr. Storr (1859)]

Do not, then, bear one mood only in yourself: do not think that your word and no other, must be right. For if any man thinks that he alone is wise -- that in speech or in mind he has no peer -- such a soul, when laid open, is always found empty.
[tr. Jebb (1891)]

Oh, do not, then, retain thy will
And still believe no sense but thine
Can judge aright; the man who proudly thinks
None but himself or eloquent or wise,
By time betrayed is branded for an idiot.
[tr. Werner (1892)]

Wear not, then, one mood only in thyself; think not that thy word, and thine alone, must be right. For if any man thinks that he alone is wise, -- that in speech, or in mind, he hath no peer, -- such a soul, when laid open, is ever found empty.
[tr. Jebb (1917)]

I beg you, do not be unchangeable:
Do not believe that you alone can be right.
The man who thinks that,
The man who maintains that only he has the power
To reason correctly, the gift to speak, to soul ––
A man like that, when you know him, turns out empty.
[tr. Fitts/Fitzgerald (1939), ll. 564 ff]

Therefore I say,
Let not your first thought be your only thought.
Think if there cannot be some other way.
Surely, to think your own the only wisdom,
And yours the only word, the only will,
Betrays a shallow spirit, an empty heart.
[tr. Watling (1947), ll. 602 ff]

And now, don't always cling to the same anger,
Don't keep saying that this, and nothing else, is right.
If a man believes that he along has a sound mind,
And no one else can speak or think as well as he does,
Then, when people study him, they'll find an empty book.
[tr. Woodruff (2001)]

So, don’t be so single-minded. You said it yourself quite rightly: he who thinks that he’s the only one with a brain or a tongue or a soul, if you open him up you’ll find that he’s a hollow man.
[tr. Theodoridis (2004)]

So don’t let your mind dwell on just one thought,
that what you say is right and nothing else.
A man who thinks that only he is wise,
that he can speak and think like no one else,
when such men are exposed, then all can see
their emptiness inside.
[tr. Johnston (2005), ll. 799 ff]

Do not wear one and only one frame of mind in yourself,
that what you say, and nothing else, is right.
Whoever imagines that he and he alone has sense
or has a tongue or an essence that no other has,
these men, when unfolded, are seen to be empty.
[tr. Tyrell/Bennett]
Added on 15-Sep-08 | Last updated 21-Nov-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Sophocles

But dreadful is the mysterious power of fate — there is no deliverance from it by wealth or by war, by towered city, or dark, sea-beaten ships.

[ἀλλ᾽ ἁ μοιριδία τις δύνασις δεινά:
οὔτ᾽ ἄν νιν ὄλβος οὔτ᾽ Ἄρης, οὐ πύργος, οὐχ ἁλίκτυποι
κελαιναὶ νᾶες ἐκφύγοιεν.]

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Antigone, ll. 951-53, Strophe 1 (Stasimon 4) [Chorus] (441 BC) [tr. Jebb (1891)]
    (Source)

Original Greek. Alt. trans.:

Strange are the ways of Fate, her power
Nor wealth, nor arms withstand, nor tower;
Nor brass-prowed ships, that breast the sea
From Fate can flee.
[tr. Storr (1859)]

No power in wealth or war
Or tough sea-blackened ships
Can prevail against untiring Destiny!
[tr. Fitts/Fitzgerald (1939), ll. 744-46]

There is no tower.
So high, no armory so great,
No ship so swift, as is the power
Of man's inexorable fate.
[tr. Watling (1947)]

Mysterious, overmastering, is the power of Fate,
From this, nor wealth nor force of arms
Nor strong encircling city-walls
Nor storm-tossed ship can give deliverance.
[tr. Kitto (1962)]

Fate has a terrible power
That nothing escapes, not wealth,
Not warfare, not a fortress tower,
Not even black ships beating against the sea.
[tr. Woodruff (2001)]

Fate's power, though, is mighty, and neither Lords of lands nor Ares nor castles nor flighty ships well-beaten by the waves can escape her.
[tr. Theodoridis (2004)]

But the power of fate is full of mystery.
There’s no evading it, no, not with wealth,
or war, or walls, or black sea-beaten ships.
[tr. Johnston (2005)]

But the power of fate (whatever it may be) is terrible and wonderful.
Neither wealth nor Ares,
no tower, no dark ships
beaten by the sea can escape it.
[tr. Tyrell/Bennett]
Added on 27-Jul-08 | Last updated 22-Nov-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Sophocles

Death is not the worst evil, but rather when we wish to die and cannot.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Electra, l. 1007

Alt. trans.: "For death is not the worst, but when one wants to die and is not able even to have that."
Added on 16-Jun-08 | Last updated 17-Aug-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Sophocles

Do not grieve yourself too much for those you hate, nor yet forget them utterly.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Electra, l. 177
Added on 27-Oct-08 | Last updated 27-Oct-08
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Sophocles

Do nothing secretly; for Time sees and hears all things, and discloses all.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Hipponous, frag. 280

Alt. trans.: "Hide nothing, for time, which sees all and hears all, exposes all." (Cited as "Fragments, l. 284 (Hipponoos)")

Added on 25-Aug-08 | Last updated 25-Aug-08
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Sophocles

It was my care to make my life illustrious not by words more than by deeds.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Oedipus at Colonus, l. 1143
Added on 29-Sep-08 | Last updated 29-Sep-08
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Sophocles

One word
Frees us of all the weight and pain of life:
That word is love.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Oedipus at Colonus, l. 1616
Added on 20-Oct-08 | Last updated 20-Oct-08
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Sophocles

What you cannot enforce,
Do not command!

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Oedipus at Colonus, l. 839 [tr. Fitzgerald (1941)]
Added on 31-Aug-15 | Last updated 31-Aug-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Sophocles

The keenest sorrow is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Oedipus Rex, l. 1231

Alt. trans. "The greatest griefs are those we cause ourselves."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Sophocles

Let every man in mankind’s frailty
Consider his last day; and let none
Presume on his good fortune until he find
Life, at his death, a memory without pain.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Oedipus Rex, l. 1529 (concluding words)

Young translation:
And of no moral say
"That man is happy," till
Vexed by no grievous ill
He pass Life's goal.
Added on 9-Jun-08 | Last updated 9-Jun-08
Link to this post | 1 comment
More quotes by Sophocles

Wisdom is a curse when wisdom does nothing for the man who has it.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Oedipus Rex, l. 316 [Teiresias]

Alt trans: "How dreadful knowledge of the truth can be When there's no help in truth!"
Added on 4-Aug-08 | Last updated 13-Apr-09
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Sophocles

The truth is always the strongest argument.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Phaedra, frag. 737
Added on 11-Aug-08 | Last updated 11-Aug-08
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Sophocles

Fortune is not on the side of the faint-hearted.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Phaedra, fragment 842

Also "Fortune never helps the fainthearted" [Fragments, l. 666]
Added on 23-Jun-08 | Last updated 17-Aug-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Sophocles

As many as are involved in misery of their own choosing, such as you, for them there is no forgiveness nor pity.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Philoctetes, l. 1319
Added on 15-Dec-08 | Last updated 15-Dec-08
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Sophocles

Sleep, ignorant of pain, sleep, ignorant of grief, may you come to us blowing softly, kindly, kindly come, king.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Philoctetes, l. 827.
    (Source)

Alt. trans.: "Come, blowing softly, Sleep, that know'st not pain, / Sleep, ignorant of grief, / Come softly, surely, kingly sleep, and bless ...." [E. H. Plumptre (1871)]
Added on 8-Dec-08 | Last updated 17-Aug-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Sophocles

I would rather miss the mark acting well than win the day acting basely.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Philoctetes, l. 94
Added on 14-Jul-08 | Last updated 14-Jul-08
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Sophocles

Well one must learn
By doing the thing; for though you think you know it
You have no certainty, until you try.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Trachiniae [The Women of Trachis], [First Lady] [tr. Young]

Full text.
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Sophocles

Don’t you know that silence supports the accuser’s charge?

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Trachiniae [The Women of Trachis], l. 813.
Added on 18-Aug-08 | Last updated 18-Aug-08
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Sophocles

Rash indeed is he who reckons on the morrow, or haply on days beyond it; for tomorrow is not, until today is past.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Trachiniae, l. 943
Added on 17-Aug-16 | Last updated 17-Aug-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Sophocles

Rash indeed is he who reckons on the morrow, or haply on days beyond it; for tomorrow is not, until today is past.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Trachiniae, l. 943
Added on 7-Sep-16 | Last updated 7-Sep-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Sophocles

So here I come,
Unwilling to the unwilling well I wot:
For no one loves the bearer of bad tidings.

[πάρειμι δ᾽ ἄκων οὐχ ἑκοῦσιν, οἶδ᾽ ὅτι:
στέργει γὰρ οὐδεὶς ἄγγελον κακῶν ἐπῶν.]

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Antigone, ll. 276-277 [Guard] (441 BC) [tr. Donaldson (1848)]
    (Source)

Original Greek. Alt. trans:

So here I am unwilling and withal
Unwelcome; no man cares to hear ill news.
[tr. Storr (1859)]

So here I stand, as unwelcome to you as I am unwilling, I well know. For no man delights in the bearer of bad news.
[tr. Jebb (1891)]

And I come
To pour my news, unwilling, into ears
Unwilling to receive it; for I know
None ever loved the messenger of ill.
[tr. Werner (1892)]

So here I am,
No happier to be here than you are to have me:
Nobody likes the man who brings bad news.
[tr. Fitts/Fitzgerald (1939)]

So here I am,
As much against my will as yours, I’m sure;
A bringer of bad news expects no welcome.
[tr. Watling (1947), ll. 229ff]

And therefore I am come
Unwilling and, for certain, most unwelcome:
Nobody loves the bringer of bad news.
[tr. Kitto (1962)]

I didn't want to come. And you sure didn't want to see me:
No one loves the man who brings bad news.
[tr. Woodruff (2001)]

That’s why I’m now here,
not of my own free will or by your choice.
I know that -- for no one likes a messenger
who comes bearing unwelcome news with him.
[tr. Johnston (2005), ll. 318 ff]

So here I am unwilling,
quite sure you people hardly want to see me.
Nobody likes the bearer of bad news.
[tr. Wyckoff]

So here I am, unwilling -- I know well -- among the unwilling, for no one cherishes the messenger of evil words.
[tr. Thomas]

I do not want to be here. Those here do not want me,
I know. Nobody loves the messenger of bad news.
[tr. Tyrell/Bennett]
Added on 21-Jul-08 | Last updated 21-Nov-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Sophocles

The best, wherever we are, to follow still
The customs of the country.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Fragments, #674 [tr. E. Pumptre (1865)]
Added on 11-Aug-09 | Last updated 11-Aug-09
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Sophocles

Whoever neglects the arts when he is young has lost the past and is dead to the future.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Fragments, l. 304 (Minos)
Added on 26-Jan-09 | Last updated 26-Jan-09
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Sophocles

A fearful man is always hearing things.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Fragments, l. 58 (Acrisius)

Alt trans: "To the man who is afraid, everything rustles."
Added on 3-Nov-08 | Last updated 3-Nov-08
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Sophocles

No one who errs unwillingly is evil.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Fragments, l. 582 [Tyro]
Added on 10-Nov-08 | Last updated 10-Nov-08
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Sophocles

It is the task of a good man to help those in misfortune.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Fragments, l. 661.
Added on 27-Nov-08 | Last updated 27-Nov-08
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Sophocles

No treaty is ever an impediment to a cheat.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Fragments, l. 671.
Added on 17-Nov-08 | Last updated 17-Nov-08
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Sophocles

If my body is enslaved, still my mind is free.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Fragments, l. 677
Added on 12-Jan-09 | Last updated 12-Jan-09
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Sophocles

What house, bloated with luxury, ever became prosperous without a woman’s excellence?

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Fragments, l. 679
Added on 19-Jan-09 | Last updated 19-Jan-09
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Sophocles

If you were to offer a thirsty man all wisdom, you would not please him more than if you gave him a drink.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Fragments, l. 702
Added on 1-Dec-08 | Last updated 1-Dec-08
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Sophocles

If one begins all deeds well, it is likely that they will end well too.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Fragments, l. 715.
Added on 22-Dec-08 | Last updated 31-Aug-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Sophocles

A soul that is kind and intends justice discovers more than any sophist.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Fragments, l. 88 (Aletes)
Added on 6-Oct-08 | Last updated 6-Oct-08
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Sophocles

All a man’s affairs become diseased when he wishes to cure evils by evils.

Sophocles (496-406 BC) Greek tragic playwright
Fragments, l. 98.
Added on 7-Jul-08 | Last updated 7-Jul-08
Link to this post | No comments
More quotes by Sophocles