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ματαία is said with a mixture of pity and impatience; the aged “τροφός”, in her terror and anguish, has failed to grasp the scope of the question, “πῶς ἐμήσατο” (884), and has replied merely, ‘with a sword.’ The leader of the Chorus now asks her if she was an eye-witness of the deed,—feeling that she will satisfy their anxiety only if she can be led on to describe what she has seen. Thus the bewilderment of the messenger becomes a preparation for the “ῥῆσις”.

τάνδ᾽ ὕβριν, this deed of violence (done to herself). So in El.864λώβα” is merely a fatal accident.

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    • Sophocles, Electra, 864
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