πῶς σ᾽. Hermann's change of δ᾽ to σ᾽ is necessary, since otherwise the sense would be, “"and how could I wish to touch a man,—I who,"” etc.; when ἀνδρὸς would be unendurably weak. But the words ἄθλιος γεγὼς are clearly sound. “ἄθλιος” being a euphemism like “συμφορά” said of a defilement or crime (O. T. 99). There is no justification for the bold change “πῶς ἂν ἁγνὸν ὄντα σε” (Dind.), or the still bolder “πῶς δ᾽ ἂν ἔρνος Αἰγέως” (Mekler). Cp. the words of Heracles (when stained with blood-guilt) to Theseus, Eur. H. F. 1233 “φεῦγ̓, ὦ ταλαίπωῤ, ἀνόσιον μίασμ᾽ ἐμόν”. τίς οὐκ=“πᾶσα”: cp. O. T. 1526 “οὖ τίς οὐ ζήλῳ πολιτῶν ταῖς τύχαις ἐπέβλεπεν”; (n.): fr. 871 “ὅπου τίς ὄρνις οὐχὶ κλαγγάνει;” κηλὶς κακῶν, O. T. 833 “κηλῖδ᾽ἐμαυτῷ συμφορᾶς ἀφιγμένην.” ξύνοικος: Plat. Phileb. 63D “ἆρ᾽ ἔτι προσδεῖσθ᾽ ὑμῖν τὰς μεγίστας ἡδονὰς ξυνοίκους εἶναι”...; cp. on O. T. 337. οὐκ ἔγωγέ σε, sc. “θέλω θιγεῖν”: οὐδ᾽ οὖν, nor indeed will I allow it (“εἰ καὶ σὺ θέλεις”). Oedipus is indeed “ἱερός” (287), as the suppliant of the Eumenides, and “εὐσεβής” (ib.), as obeying the word of Apollo; but at this moment he feels that, in the eye of religious law, he is still formally what Creon has just called him—“πατροκτόνος” and “ἄναγνος” (944). Contrast the more passionate strain of his words in O. T. 1413, when he urges the Thebans to cast him forth—“ἴτ̓, ἀξιώσατ᾽ ἀνδρὸς ἀθλίου θιγεῖν”. To touch him—he there says—can defile no one, because his unique doom places him apart.
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