Hermione from Andromache by Euripedes 2

Hermione from Andromache by Euripedes 2

Classical Greek – Women

Hermione (ll.147-180)

Wearing tiaras, notice, of pure gold,
Draped in garments brilliant and luxurious–
Neither presented to me, I hasten to add,
From the homes of Achilles or Peleus–here I am.
These wedding gifts are straight from my own Sparta.
Meneleus gave me these–my father you know–
With other gifts galore. I’m bound to no one
And free to speak my mind. As I do now.
You! you common slave! you soldiers’ winnings!
You plan to usurp this house, evicting me!
Your drugs have made me unlovely to my husband;
Withered my womb and left it good for nothing.
This is the sort of thing you Asian women
Have tricky wits for. But you’ve met your match.
The sea-girl’s home won’t help you save your skin
For all its shrines and altars. Now you’re finished!
Or if any god or mortal interfere
In your behalf–well, learn to change your tune,
Eat humble pie and grovel at my knee,
Sweep out the house, my house, your fingers sprinkling
Brook-water from the pails of beaten gold.
Just where do you think you are? Is Hector here?
Is Priam with his moneybags? You’re in Greece now.
You! you were even so rotten with desire
You had the gall to cuddle up to the son
Of the very man who killed your husband, breeding
A butcher’s children. Well, that’s foreigners for you.
Father and daughter intimate, mother and son,
Sister and brother–murder clears the way
In family squabbles. Anything goes. No law.
Don’t try those methods here. And it’s not decent
Either for one man teaming up two wives.
Clean-living husbands love and honor one,
Fixing affectionate eyes only on her.