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These three verses, which the MSS. give to Electra, and which several recent critics reject (cr. n.), clearly belong to Chrysothemis, and are genuine. Electra's exclamation of joy (411) caused Chrysothemis to ask if her sister had any ground for hope (412). Electra replied that, when she had heard the dream, she would say. This showed her sister that Electra relied merely on the fact that Clytaemnestra had seen some fearful vision. Now, therefore, instead of asking for Electra's interpretation, she merely repeats her counsel (383 f.) before proceeding on her errand. The words “πρός νυν θεῶν κ.τ.λ.” (428 ff.) show the train of her thought. To Chrysothemis, the alarm of Clytaemnestra (427) is more important than the apparition of Agamemnon. The dream is only a new reason why Electra should be cautious,—not why she should hope.

The current ascription of the verses to Electra was doubtless prompted by verse 413. It was supposed that the recital of Chrysothemis must be immediately followed by the comments of Electra. But, as Hermann observed, the phrase “ἀβουλίᾳ πεσεῖν” would alone suffice to show that the verses belong to Chrysothemis (cp. 398). Nor could the warning, “σὺν κακῷ μέτει πάλιν”, be fitly uttered by Electra.

τῶν ἐγγενῶν, ‘the gods of our race’: cp. Ant. 199γῆν πατρῴαν καὶ θεοὺς τοὺς ἐγγενεῖς” (n.). The phrase of Electra, “θεοὶ πατρῷοι” (411),—recalling the memory of her father,—would be less fitting for Chrysothemis.

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hide References (2 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 199
    • Sophocles, Electra, 398
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