ἀλλ᾽ ἡ τυραννίς. ‘(If these men dared to say what they think, they would applaud me.) But royalty has the advantage of being able to do and say what it pleases, without being opposed in word or deed’:—and so these men are silent. These are two excellent and vigorous lines,—not only free from the slightest internal mark of spuriousness, but admirably suited to their place, both by thought and by expression. It was an extraordinary freak of arbitrary criticism to reject them. The reasons assigned for doing so deserve mention only for their curious weakness; as (a) “ἀλλ᾽ ἡ” ought to be “ἡ γάρ”—Dindorf: (b) Antigone should not mention the advantages of the “τυραννίς”— JacobA. : (c) Creon could not be reproached with “δρᾶν λέγειν θ᾽ ἂ βούλεται”—Nauck: of which last objection Bellermann, in his simple and triumphant vindication of these verses, justly says that it is ‘wholly unintelligible.’ (d) Wecklein, too, has effectively defended them. We may add that Creon's reply in v. 508, which refers primarily to vv. 504 f., does not therefore ignore vv. 506 f., since these two vv. cohere closely with the former: vv. 504—507 express a single thought. For similar references in tragedy to the “τυραννίς”, as it was viewed by Greeks in the historical age, cp. Aesch. PV 224 f., Eur. Ion 621—632.
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