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τὸν γοῦν ἐμὸν κ.τ.λ. To the question—‘Do you really mean to bury him?’—the simple answer would have been, “τὸν γοῦν ἐμὸν ἀδελφόν”, ‘I certainly mean to bury my own brother.’ But the word ἐμόν—reminding her that he is equally Ismene's brother—prompts the insertion of the reproachful clause, καὶ τὸν σόν, ἢν σὺ μὴ θέλῃς. Thus the contrast between τὸν ἐμόν and τὸν σόν anticipates the emphasis on the word ἀδελφόν. The whole thought is,—‘I will certainly do my duty,—and thine, if thou wilt not,—to a brother.’ Since “ ἐμός” is the same person as “ σός”, this thought can be poetically expressed by saying, ‘I will certainly bury my brother,—and thine, if thou wilt not’: for the tribute rendered to him by one sister represents the tribute due from both. Remark that γοῦν often emphasises a pers. or possessive pron. (as here “ἐμόν”): 565 “σοὶ γοῦν”: Ai. 527πρὸς γοῦν ἐμοῦ”: O. T. 626τὸ γοῦν ἐμόν”: El. 1499τὰ γοῦν ς”'.— Two other versions are possible, but less good. (1) Taking τὸνἐμὸν καὶ τὸν σόν as=‘him who is my brother and thine,’ and “ἢν” as=‘even if.’ But for this we should expect “τὸν γοῦν ἐμόν τε καὶ σόν”, and “κἄν”. (2) Taking καὶ with ἤν, ‘I will bury my brother, even if thou wilt not bury thine.’ But (i) the separation of “καί” from “ἤν” is abnormal: (ii) the mode of expression would be scarcely natural unless “ ἐμός” and “ σός” were different persons.


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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 527
    • Sophocles, Electra, 1499
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 626
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