Notable Quotes
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Love, unconquerable,
Waster of rich men, keeper
Of warm lights and all-night vigil
In the soft face of a girl:
Sea-wanderer, forest-visitor!
Even the pure immortals cannot escape you,
And mortal man, in his one day's dusk,
Trembles before your glory.


Consider whether it is not better to defeat one's enemies even by impiety than to be a slave and submit to others.

SOPHOCLES, The Sons of Aleus [fragment]

When an oath is taken ... the mind is more attentive; for it guards against two things, the reproach of friends and offence against the gods.

SOPHOCLES, Oenomaus [fragment]

I am the child of Fortune, the giver of good, and I shall not be shamed. She is my mother; my sisters are the Seasons; my rising and my falling match with theirs.

SOPHOCLES, Oedipus Rex

It is better not to exist than to live in misery.

SOPHOCLES, Peleus [fragment]

Without labor nothing prospers.

SOPHOCLES, attributed, Day's Collacon

I would prefer even to fail with honor than win by cheating.

SOPHOCLES, Philoctetes

A lie never lives to be old.


The tyrant is a child of Pride
Who drinks from his sickening cup
Recklessness and vanity,
Until from his high crest headlong
He plummets to the dust of hope.

SOPHOCLES, Oedipus Rex

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

SOPHOCLES, fragment, Hipponous

To women silence is the best ornament.


The wise form right judgment of the present from what is past.

SOPHOCLES, attributed, Day's Collacon

If you believe that stubbornness without reflection Is a virtue, you are thinking crookedly.

SOPHOCLES, Oedipus the Tyrant

Piety dies not with man; live they or die they, it perishes not.

SOPHOCLES, attributed, Day's Collacon

I pity the poor wretch, though he's my enemy. He's yoked to an evil delusion, but the same fate could be mine. I see clearly: we who live are all phantoms, fleeing shadows.


Man's worst ill is stubbornness of heart.


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.


For it is not right that a noble man should take pleasure when the pleasure is not right.

SOPHOCLES, fragment, Phaedra

Opportunity possessing the power over all things, acquires much in its course.

SOPHOCLES, attributed, Day's Collacon

Silence has many beauties.

SOPHOCLES, The Sons of Aleus [fragment]


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