τό τ᾽ αἰσχρὸν “κ.τ.λ.” The objections which have been made to this verse seem idle. Philoctetes is appealing to the generous instincts of the young man. ‘To noble natures, what is (morally) shameful is hateful, and what is worthy appears glorious.’ εὐκλεές implies, ‘even if there is no applause to be gained, the “γενναῖος” is rewarded by the sense that he has merited true “εὔκλεια”,—i.e., that his deed is, in itself, honourable.’ Then, in vv. 477—479, Philoctetes passes to a different and a lower argument,—viz., that Neoptolemus will incur reproach if he refuse to do this act of mercy, and that, in the other case, he will have men's praises. All the difficulties which have been raised have come from failing to see (1) that the subjective sense of εὐκλεές is justified by the fact that τοῖσι γενναίοισι is an ethic dat.,—‘in the sight of the generous,’—not a dat. of interest: and (2) that the considerations urged in 475 —479 are of two distinct orders.
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