Sophocles’ Polyxene (S.77)


Giovanni Francesco Romanelli, The Sacrifice of Polyxena

the Ghost of Achilles appears
warning the Greeks to postpone their departure
prophesying disastrous consequences

a quarrel develops between Agamemnon and Menelaus
resulting in the departure of Menelaus
while Agamemnon remains to sacrifice Polyxena

The Fragment…

Do you remain here
somewhere in the land of Ida
and round up the flocks of Olympus for a sacrifice!
I have come,
leaving the shores of the lake,
far from rejoicing
deep in darkness
the resounding waters echo a wailing
that accompanies fierce blows.
For the helmsman of an army could not give in to all
and render favors to all. Indeed,
not even Zeus,
whose royal power is mightier than mine,
is approved by mortals
either when he sends rain or when he sends drought,
but if they could call him to account
he would lose his case.
How then can I, the mortal son of a mortal mother,
be cleverer than Zeus?
… but from the upper air and from the gloomy cloud…
A shirt without an egress, a garment of evil…

Francesco Allegrini The Death of Polyxena 17thc

Francesco Allegrini, The Death of Polyxena, 17th century

A site specific Performance of Sophocles’ Polyxene by The Iota.