ἆρα seems the true correction of the MS. “οὐκ ἆρα” or “οὐκ ἄρα”. The expected answer to a question asked by “ἆρα” may be either ‘yes’ ( Ant. 405), or ‘no’ ( Ai. 1304): here it suits the suspense between fear and hope. ἆρ᾽ οὐ is unsuitable; it would mean, ‘Is it not clear that I am being deceived again?’ When “ἆρ᾽ οὐ” is used, the answer ‘yes’ is always inevitable, and the tone of the query is usually triumphant (see O. T. 540, O. T. 823, O. T. 828: O. C. 791, O. C. 883: Ai. 1034: El. 614). The other conjecture, οὐ γὰρ, is also inappropriate; that would mean, ‘what, am I not being deceived again?’ (as if a second fraud had been expected. Cp. 246: O. T. 1017: Ai. 1348). The intrusion of “οὐκ” before “ἆρα” in the MSS. here may have been due to the scribe's reminiscence of passages in which the question πῶς εἶπας is followed by “οὐ” (246, O. T. 1017).
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