The words κοινὸν (kindred) αὐτάδελφον (very sister) form a single emphatic expression (‘my sister, mine own sister’), not a climax (‘kinswoman, and sister’)—“κοινόν” strengthening “αὐτάδελφον” much as in O. C. 535κοιναί γε πατρὸς ἀδελφεαί” ('yea, very sisters of their sire'). “κοινόν” refers simply to birth from the same parents (cp. 202): it will not bear the added moral sense, ‘having common interests and feelings’: that is only implied, in so far as it may be a result of kinship. “αὐτάδελφος” (subst. below, 503, 696) is merely a poetical strengthening of “ἀδελφός”, and does not necessarily imply (as it might here) what prose expresses by “ἀδελφὸς ὁμοπάτριος καὶ ὁμομήτριος(Lys. or. 32 § 4): thus Apollo, son of Zeus and Leto, can address Hermes, son of Zeus and Maia, as “αὐτάδελφον αἶμα καὶ κοινοῦ πατρός” (Aesch. Eum. 89).

κάρα: the periphrasis (as with “κεφαλή”) usu. implies respect, affection, or both (cp. Horace's “tam cari capitisOdes 1.24.2).—The pathetic emphasis of this first line gives the key-note of the drama. The origin which connects the sisters also isolates them. If Ismene is not with her, Antigone stands alone.

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hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Aeschylus, Eumenides, 89
    • Lysias, Against Diogeiton, 4
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 202
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 535
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