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εἰσόμεσθα, μή τικαλύπτει, ‘we shall know (about our fear) lest (“μή”) she is concealing,’ i.e., whether we are right in fearing that she conceals something. As Goodwin says (Moods and Tenses, § 46, N. 5 a), this passage is one of the most favourable to the view that “μή” has an interrogative force, and yet here also “μὴ καλύπτει” plainly expresses a fear. The pres. indic. is used, because the fear is strictly present; there is no thought that the thing feared can possibly be prevented. Before assuming that “μή” could have the force of “εἰ οὐ” (‘whether not’), we should require an example in which the clause with “μή”, after a verb like “οἶδα”, expressed something which is not feared (but hoped; or else regarded with neither fear nor hope). As if here we had, “εἰσόμεσθα μὴ ζήσειν ἔτι μέλλει”. Cp. 278 n. The use of “μή” in direct question (O. C. 1502) is, of course, elliptical: e.g., “μὴ οὕτως ἔχει”; comes from (“δέδοικα”) “μὴ οὕτως ἔχει.

καὶ (‘indeed’) goes with the whole phrase κατάσχετονκαλύπτει: cp. 770n.

κατάσχετον, a poet. word, here=‘repressed’ (cp. El. 1011κατάσχες ὀργήν”): usu., ‘possessed’ (by a god, or by passion), like “κάτοχος”.


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hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 278
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 770
    • Sophocles, Electra, 1011
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 1502
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