θάρσει is not said with bitterness (that could hardly be, after 551): rather it means, ‘Take heart to live,’ as Whitelaw renders it. These two verses quietly express her feeling that their lots are irrevocably sundered, and exhort Ismene to accept the severance. ἡ ἐμὴ ψυχή, my life, a periphrasis for “ἐγώ”, like O. C. 998 “τὴν πατρὸς ι ψυχὴν...ζῶσαν” (n.). πάλαι, i.e. ever since she resolved to break the edict. (Cp. O. T. 1161.) ὥστε τοῖς θ. ὠφελεῖν, so as to (with a view to) serving the dead. The dat., as with “ἐπαρκεῖν”: Ph. 871“ξυνωφελοῦντά μοι”: Aesch. Pers. 842 “ὡς τοῖς θανοῦσι πλοῦτος οὐδὲν ὠφελεῖ”: Eur. Or. 665 “τοῖς φίλοισιν ὠφελεῖν”: Aristoph. Av. 419 “φίλοισιν ὠφελεῖν ἔχειν”. So “ἐπωφελεῖν” O. C. 441.—Dobree proposed to understand “σε” as subj. to the inf., ‘so that (you) are helping the dead,’ —i.e., your offer of help (552) is made to one who is already as good as dead. But “σέ” could not be thus understood; and this sense (which it has been sought to obtain by emendations, see cr. n.) would be frigid.
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