previous next

[532] The Chorus have described the unknown murderer as they imagine him—a fugitive in remote places. They now touch on the charge laid against Oedipus, —but only to say that it lacks all evidence. δεινὰ μὲν οὖν. οὖν marks the turning to a new topic, with something of concessive force: “ it is true that the murderer is said to be here”: μὲν is answered by δὲ after λέξω. For μὲν οὖν with this distributed force, cp. Soph. OC 664, Soph. Ant. 65: for the composite μὲν οὖν( = “nay rather”), below, 705.

δεινὰ is adverbial: for (1) ταράσσει could not mean κινεῖ, stirs up, raises, dread questions: (2) δοκοῦντα, ἀποφάσκοντα are acc. sing. masc., referring to με understood. The schol., οὔτε πιστὰ οὔτε ἄπιστα, has favoured the attempt to take the participles as acc. neut. plur., ἀποφάσκοντα being explained as “negative” in the sense of “admitting of negation,” ἀπόφασιν καὶ ἀπιστίαν δεχόμενα (Triclinius). This is fruitless torture of language. Nor will the conj. ἀπαρέσκοντ᾽ (Blaydes) serve: for, even if the Chorus found the charge credible, they would not find it pleasing. δοκοῦντα is not “believing,” but “approving.” Cp. Soph. Ant. 1102καὶ ταῦτ᾽ ἐπαινεῖς καὶ δοκεῖς παρεικαθεῖν;” “and you recommend this course, and approve of yielding?” The pregnant force of δοκοῦντα is here brought out by the direct contrast with ἀποφάσκοντα. In gauging the rarer uses of particular words by an artist in language so subtle and so bold as Soph. we must never neglect the context.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: