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It is not of much moment that L, like the later MSS., gives this verse to Ismene. Errors as to the persons occur not seldom in L (see, e.g., cr. n. to O. C. 837, and cp. ib. 1737); and here a mistake would have been peculiarly easy, as the dialogue from v. 561 onwards has been between Creon and Ismene. To me it seems certain that the verse is Antigone's, and that one of the finest touches in the play is effaced by giving it to Ismene. The taunt, “κακὰς γυναῖκας υἱέσι”, moves Antigone to break the silence which she has kept since v. 560: in all this scene she has not spoken to Creon, nor does she now address him: she is thinking of Haemon,—of the dishonour to him implied in the charge of having made such a choice, —“ὡς αἰεὶ τὸν ὁμοῖον ἄγει θεὸς ὡς τὸν ὁμοῖον”. How little does his father know the heart which was in sympathy with her own. This solitary reference to her love heightens in a wonderful degree our sense of her unselfish devotion to a sacred duty. If Ismene speaks this verse, then “τὸ σὸν λέχος” in 573 must be, ‘the marriage of which you talk’ (like El. 1110οὐκ οἶδα τὴν σὴν κλῄδον”'), which certainly is not its natural sense.

Αἷμον. L has “αἵμων”. Soph. would have written AIMON: hence the tradition is subject to the same ambiguity as in KPEON. The analogy of “δαῖμον” would probably have recommended the form in “ο”.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Sophocles, Electra, 1110
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 1737
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 837
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