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δράσω. Chrysothemis here accepts the lock of hair and the girdle which Electra offers to her. We must suppose that, after leaving the scene, she puts Clytaemnestra's gifts somewhere out of sight.

τὸ γὰρ δίκαιον κ.τ.λ. The sense is, ‘When a duty has once become clear, there is no more room for disputing,— one should act forthwith.’ Two constructions are possible; I prefer the first.

(1) “τὸ δίκαιον” is an acc. of general reference, and “οὐκ ἔχει λόγον” is impersonal. ‘With regard to what is (clearly) right, it is unreasonable for two persons to dispute; rather both should hasten on the doing (of it).’ With “ἀλλ᾽ ἐπισπεύδειν” we supply the notion “δεῖ” from the negative “οὐκ ἔχει λόγον” (as from “οὐκ ἔξεστι” in O. C. 1402 ff.; cp. O. T. 817 ff.). For the form of the sentence, cp. H. 7. 3. 7 “τοὺς περὶ Ἀρχίαν...οὐ ψῆφον ἀνεμείνατε, ἀλλὰ ὁπότε πρῶτον ἐδυνάσθητε ἐτιμωρήσασθε”. So here the acc. “τὸ δίκαιον”, which represents the object of “δρᾶν”, is separated from it by the parenthesis “οὐκ” “ἔχει λόγον δυοῖν ἐρίζειν”. (The first scholium gives substantially this view: “οὐκ ἔχει λόγον φιλονεικεῖν περὶ τοῦ δικαίου, ὥστε περὶ αὐτοῦ δύο ὄντας ἐρίζειν”.)

(2) Or “τὸ δίκαιον” might be nom.: ‘that which is clearly right does not afford any ground (“οὐκ ἔχει λόγον”) for two persons to dispute,’ etc. So the second schol.: “ τὸ οὐκ ἔχει λόγον ἀντὶ τοῦ οὐ παρέχει πρόφασιν”. So far as the verb “ἔχει” is concerned, this sense is quite admissible: cp. Thuc. 2. 41οὔτε τῷ πολεμίῳ ἐπελθόντι ἀγανάκτησιν ἔχει” (“ πόλις”). The objection is that the phrases “ἔχειν λόγον, οὐκ ἔχειν λόγον”, which are very common, regularly mean, ‘to be reasonable,’ ‘to be unreasonable.’ This is so both in the personal and in the impersonal constr.; as Plat. Phaedop. 62 D “τὸ γὰρ μὴ ἀγανακτεῖν...οὐκ ἔχει λόγον”: Dem. or. 36 § 54πῶς ἔχει λόγον σὲ...δίκην ἀξιοῦν λαμβάνειν”; The supposed sense, ‘not to afford a reason,’ is unexampled.

δυοῖν is taken by Hermann and others to mean Electra and the Chorus. ‘The right view (of the matter) affords no ground for me to contend against you both.’ But the controversy of Chrysothemis has been with Electra only. She is yielding to a new perception of her duty, not to a majority of voices.

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hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Demosthenes, For Phormio, 54
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 1402
    • Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus, 817
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.41
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