previous next

ὁρῶ μένος πνέουσανκ.τ.λ.”: ‘I see that she (Electra) is breathing anger; but whether she has justice on her side, of that I no longer see any regard (on her part).’ Electra's speech, which began with temperate argument, has passed (at v. 595) into a strain of angry reproach— closing with the avowal that she would have wished to see Orestes take blood for blood (604 f.). The leader of the Chorus has once before reproved Electra's vehemence (213—220). Here the utterance is exactly parallel with that of the Chorus in Ant. 471 f. (after Antigone's defiant speech to Creon),—“δηλοῖ τὸ γέννημ᾽ ὠμὸν ἐξ ὠμοῦ πατρὸς” | “τῆς παιδός: εἴκειν δ᾽ οὐκ ἐπίσταται κακοῖς”.—For μένος πνέουσαν cp. Aesch. Ch. 33κότον” | “πνέων”.

σὺν δίκῃ ξύνεστι is an unusual pleonasm, but analogous to “ἐνεῖναι ἔν τινι” (O.C. 116), “παρεῖναι παρά τινι” ( Ph. 1056), “προσθέσθαι πρός τινι” ( Aesch. Pers. 531), etc. Cp. Soph. Ph. 1251ξὺν τῷ δικαίῳ”. It would be awkward (1) to understand “τὸ μένος ξύνεστιν αὐτῇ” (schol.); or (2) “ἐκείνη ξύνεστι τῷ μένει” (Herm. ). The conj. of Blaydes, “εἰ δὲ σοὶ δίκη” etc., yields a clear phrase (cp. O.T. 274 f.): but “σοὶ” is objectionable. He understands, ‘I see that Electra is angry; but you (Clytaemnestra) do not consider whether she is in the right.’ Paley, who adopts this conjecture, takes “πνέουσαν” to mean Clyt., and “σοὶ”, Electra.

Other interpretations are:—(1) ‘I see that Electra is wroth; but as to whether she is in the right, I see no concern (anywhere),’—a timid way of saying that Clytaemnestra shows no such concern. So the schol. (2) ‘I see that Clytaemnestra is angry, but not that she cares whether she is right’:—an inference from some gesture. Both these versions rely on the fact that “φροντίδος” (612) is plainly an echo of “φροντίδ̓” (611). But: (a) it does not follow that “φροντίδ̓” is not Electra's thought. (b) It is surely clear that “πνέουσαν” must be Electra; and (c) as in Ant. 471 f., the second clause naturally refers to the same person.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide References (5 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (5):
    • Aeschylus, Libation Bearers, 33
    • Aeschylus, Persians, 531
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 471
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 1056
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 1251
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: