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πῦρ, the symbol of a ruthless destroyer. Neoptolemus is leaving utter desolation behind him. The image is one which Lemnos itself might well suggest (cp. 800 n.). The combination of πῦρ with δεῖμα (‘monster’) curiously recalls a passage in the Lysistrata (which appeared two years before this play), 1014 f. “οὐδέν ἐστι θηρίον γυναικὸς ἀμαχώτερον”, | “οὐδὲ πῦρ, οὐδ᾽ ὧδ᾽ ἀναιδὴς οὐδεμία πόρδαλις”. Elsewhere “πῦρ” is a figure for warlike rage, as Il. 20. 371τῷ δ᾽ ἐγὼ ἀντίος εἶμι, καὶ εἰ πυρὶ χεῖρας ἔοικε”: or, generally, for an irresistible bane, as Eur. fr. 432 “ἀντὶ πυρὸς γὰρ ἄλλο πῦρ” | “μεῖζον ἐβλάστομεν γυναῖ”|“κες πολὺ δυσμαχώτερον”. Cp. C. 4. 4. 42 Dirus per urbes Afer ut Italas, | Ceu flamma per taedas etc. Tennyson: ‘The children born of thee are fire and sword.’

πᾶν δεῖμα, utter monster. As “ πᾶσα βλάβη” (622), said of a man, is equiv. to “ πᾶς βλάβη” (“ὤν”), so here “πᾶν δεῖμα” is equiv. to “πᾶς δεῖμα”. The latter would describe the man as effaced; the former describes the “δεῖμα” as perfect; and thus the sense is not affected by the assimilation of the adj. “πᾶς” to the subst. But we cannot compare Ar. Th. 787ὡς πᾶν ἐσμὲν κακον <*>, κἀξ ἡμῶν ἐστιν ἅπαντα”, | “ἔριδες, νείκη, στάσις, ἀργαλέα κ.τ.λ.”, since there the sense is, ‘every sort of ill,’ not, ‘utter ill.’ For δεῖμα cp. Eur. H. F. 700πέρσας δείματα θηρῶν”.

πανουργίαςτέχνημα, a work of art inπανουργία” (defining gen.),—i.e., a man in whom “πανουργία” assumes its subtlest form; not, a work of art produced by (personified) “Πανουργία” (like Shakespeare's, “‘Confusion now hath made his masterpiece,’Macb. 2. 3. 71). τέχνημα could not stand for “τεχνίτης”, ‘contriver’ of “πανουργία”, as Nauck implies by comparing Hor. Epod. 17. 35(of Canidia) cales venenis officina Colchicis. For the neut. noun, cp. “ἄλημα, κρότημα, λάλημα, μίσημα, παιπάλημα”, etc. ( Ant. 320 n.).

hide References (6 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (6):
    • Aristophanes, Thesmophoriazusae, 787
    • Euripides, Heracles, 700
    • Homer, Iliad, 20.371
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 320
    • Sophocles, Philoctetes, 800
    • William Shakespeare, Macbeth, 2.3
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