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[1300-1302] πηδήσας ... μοίρᾳ; “who is the deity that hath sprung upon thy hapless life with a leap greater than the longest leap?” i.e. “has given thee sorrow which almost exceeds the imaginable limit of human suffering? ” For μείζονα τῶν μακίστων see on 465 ἄρρητ᾽ ἀρρήτων. The idea of a malignant god leaping from above on his victim is frequent in Greek tragedy: see on 263. But here μακίστων, as in 311 ἵνα, combines the notion of swooping from above with that of leaping to a far point, — as with Pindar μακρὰ ... ἅλματαPind. N. 5.19) denote surpassing poetical efforts. We should then conceive the δυσδαίμων μοῖρα, the ill-fated life, as an attacked region, far into which the malign god springs. Here we see a tendency which may sometimes be observed in the imagery (lyric especially) of Sophocles: the image is slightly crossed and blurred by the interposing notion of the thing: as here he was thinking, “what suffering could have gone further?” See on δι᾽ αἰθέρα τεκνωθέντες, 866. With Aeschylus, on the other hand, the obscurity of imagery seldom or never arises from indistinctness of outline, but more often from an opposite cause, —the vividly objective conception of abstract notions.

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