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τὸν πρόσθε: Polyneices alludes to his right as the firstborn, 1294, 1422: Eur. (Phoen. 71) followed the common account in making Eteocles the elder. The change adopted by Soph. is here a twofold dramatic gain; for (a) Polyneices, who is to come on the scene, can be treated as the foremost ofiender; (b) Eteocles has now a special fault, and so the curse on both sons is further justified (421).

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