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This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Sophocles page.

I searched through many transcriptions of Antigone, and could find no place where she says anything remotely like "Don't kill the messenger". The message is there from the context of the play - a guard reports a crime and is accused of it and threatened with death - but no such words are uttered. The closest I could find were the guard saying, "So here I stand,-as unwelcome as unwilling, well I wot; for no man delights in the bearer of bad news." There are other versions of the play, for which I have not included references.


Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable, precise and verifiable source for any quote on this list please move it to Sophocles. --Antiquary 17:55, 14 September 2009 (UTC)Reply

  • Nothing vast enters the life of mortals without a curse.

[This quote from Sophocles Antigone appears in Leonard Shlain's book The Goddess vs. the Alphabet, on page 1. This translation of lines 113-114 of Antigone by Richard Claverhouse Jebb appears in The Complete Plays of Sophocles, Bantam Books, ISBN 0-553-21354-7, p. 131. The Greek text reads: οὐδὲν ἕρπει • θνατῶν βιότῳ πάμπολύ γ᾽ ἐκτὸς ἄτας. 12:38, 1 February 2014 (UTC) Leland LeCuyer, January 31, 2014]Reply

The Greek lines quoted above come from Antigone, verses 613–614, not 113–114.--Morel (talk) 13:37, 26 May 2016 (UTC)Reply
  • It is hope that maintains most of mankind.
  • Wisdom is the supreme part of happiness.
  • The truth is always the strongest argument.
  • It is the brave man's part to live with glory, or with glory die. Sophocles. Ajax. lines 463-464.
    • It is apparently from a modern rewrite of Sophocles's, Antigone by Jean Anouilh, [1] [2].'s+part+to+live+with+glory,+or+with+glory+die+sophocles&source=bl&ots=-nwmtJLQxU&sig=piJ9-iFuHyrQLnJhqIUmczS3k5k&hl=en&ei=OskkS9n2HIqk4Qb-stH4CQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CBkQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=&f=false

These stories arnt big enough for their own page?

—This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .
Certainly there may be enough quotes in some of the plays to merit their own page, but there are not enough collected here as yet such as would necessitate that. ~ Kalki (talk · contributions) 16:18, 30 April 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law.
    • It is actually from a modern rewrite of Sophocles's Antigone by Jean Anouilh.

Man's last mad surge of youth[edit]

Dear all, in the film "Two sisters from Boston" (1946) a character says "In his autumn before the winter comes man's last mad surge of youth" and attributes the quote to Sophocles (see this section of the film from youtube ). I don't suppose anyone here could confirm this? It doesn't seem to be in the Theban plays and that's all I have. This section of the film is well know to fans of the band The Chameleons because it is sampled at the start of their song "Don't Fall". Thanks -- 17:27, 1 August 2011 (UTC)Reply

Insufficiently sourced quotation[edit]

  • Ὅρκους ἐγὼ γυναικὸς εἰς ὕδωρ γράφω
    • A woman's vows I write in water.
      • Attributed to Sophocles in Dictionary of Foreign Phrases and Classical Quotations, page 160 [3]

Note: Potentially a fragment included in this book [4]

IOHANNVSVERVS (talk) 07:17, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Reply

Numberless are the world's wonders, but none more wonderful than man[edit]

Just read this translation. Is this the established translation in English? If so, then it's WAY OFF mark. Actually, I am amazed at how bad this is. A much more appropriate translation would be:

"There exist many tremendous things in the world, but none more tremendous than man", or "There exist many terrible things in the world, but none more terrible than man."

What Sophocles is trying to convey is not pure admiration and delight for man, but a sense of awe stemming from the tremendous potential of man to do BOTH good AND bad. 10:06, 7 January 2022 (UTC)Reply

I've seen it translated as "uncanny" which may capture it better, but I'm not sure where I saw that (in a book). Rather agree that "wonderful" is a weak word. English cannot always capture either the magnificence or the nuance of the original, which is incredible. Antandrus (talk) 23:10, 15 June 2022 (UTC)Reply