Sunday, January 21, 2007


Life as Punishment

From Seneca's tragedies (tr. John G. Fitch):

Medea 19-20:
For the bridegroom I have a worse prayer in store: may he live.

Mihi peius aliquid, quod precer sponso manet:
Thyestes 245-248:
ASSISTANT: Let him die by the sword and spew out his hateful life.
ATREUS: You talk about punishment's conclusion: I want the punishment! Slaying is for a lenient tyrant; in my kingdom death is something people pray for.

SATELLES: Ferro peremptus spiritum inimicum expuat.
ATREVS: De fine poenae loqueris; ego poenam volo.
perimat tyrannus lenis: in regno meo
mors impetratur.
Agamemnon 996:
ELECTRA: Is anything worse than death?
AEGISTHUS: Life, if you wish to die.

ELECTRA: Mortem aliquid ultra est? AEGISTHVS: Vita, si cupias mori.
Mad Hercules 1316-1317:
This labour must be added to the Herculean labours: to live.

Eat ad labores hic quoque Herculeos labor:

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