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καὶ μήτε μήτηρκ.τ.λ.” These verses plainly intimate the poet's opinion that it would be a fault in art to retard the action at this point by a long narrative. A similar criticism is implied in O. C. 1115 f., “καί μοι τὰ πραχθέντ᾽ εἴπαθ᾽ ὡς βράχιστ̓, ἐπεὶ” | “ταῖς τηλικαῖσδε σμικρὸς ἐξαρκεῖ λόγος” (n.).

Conington (Journ. of Philology, I. p. 156) supposes an allusion to Eur. El. 300—338, where Electra, speaking to the disguised Orestes, mentions her own sufferings, her mother's splendours, and the insolence of Aegisthus. But such an allusion seems improbable: that speech is not long; it comes in with dramatic fitness; nor does it refer to the wasteful profusion of Aegisthus, which is the main point here. A later speech of Electra's in the same play (Eur. El. 907—951) would in some respects suit the words here better; but that is spoken over the corpse of Aegisthus, and could scarcely be regarded as delaying the action.

Another theory, that Sophocles alludes to the earlier part of the Choephori, is certainly mistaken. Possibly he had no particular work in view, but was merely glancing at a tendency which he had noticed in contemporary drama.

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  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Euripides, Electra, 300
    • Euripides, Electra, 907
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 1115
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