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τέθνηκ᾽ ἐγὼ σοί: ‘I am dead in relation to thee.’ For Electra, this is another way of saying, ‘I am dead, so far as any aim or joy in life is concerned’; since the only hopes which made life tolerable to her were centred in her brother. See her words in 808 ff., “ὥς μ᾽ ἀπώλεσας θανών:” | “ἀποσπάσας γὰρ κ.τ.λ.” For the dat. σοί, cp. Ph. 1030τέθνηχ᾽ ὑμῖν πάλαι”. These words are usu. written τέθνηκ᾽ ἐγώ σοι: but the enclitic “σοι” destroys the point.

Others explain: (1) ‘I am dead because of thee’; ‘thou hast been the death of me.’ The dat. is then like that in Ai. 1128τῷδε δ᾽ οἴχομαι” (‘in his purpose, I am dead’). But this is less suitable to the context. (2) ‘I am dead to thee, as thou to me,’—i.e., we are now parted from each other by the barrier between earth and Hades.—The objection to τέθνηκ᾽ ἐγώ: σὺ κ.τ.λ. is that the unqualified “τέθνηκα” would be unfitting when a reference to actual death immediately follows.

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 1128
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 1030
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