“Iphigenia in Tauris” by Euripides

Orestes and Pylades brought as victims before Iphigenia

Quotes of Characters:

Iphigenia

“From the beginning my fate was unhappy, from that first night of my mother’s marriage; from the beginning the Fates attendant on my birth directed a hard upbringing for me, wooed by Hellenes, the first-born child in the home, whom the unhappy daughter of Leda, by my father’s fault, bore as a victim and a sacrifice not joyful, she brought me up as an offering.

My father too, who gave me birth, was priest.

‘O father, I am brought to a shameful betrothal by you; but while you are killing me, my mother and the Argive women are singing wedding hymns, and the whole house is filled with the music of flutes; but I am being destroyed by you. For Achilles was Hades after all, not the son of Peleus, whom you held out to me as a husband, and you brought me in a chariot to a bloody wedding by treachery.'”

Orestes

“No host would willingly take me in, as one hated by the gods; then some who felt shame offered me a table apart, as a guest, themselves being under the same roof, and in silence they kept me from speaking, so that I might be apart from them in food and drink, and into each private cup they poured an equal measure of wine and had their delight. And I did not think it right to blame my hosts, but I grieved in silence and seemed not to know, while I sighed deeply, that I was the murderer of my mother. I hear that my misfortunes have become a festival at Athens, and they still hold this custom and the people of Pallas honor the cup that belongs to the Feast of Pitchers.

Furies drove me always in vagabond courses until I came to the holy plain of Phoebus in turn. Stretched out before his shrine and fasting, I swore to break off my life and die there, if Phoebus, who had destroyed me, did not save me.”

References:

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