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These eight verses form an epode to the stasimon; three persons take part in the delivery, viz., the two “παραστάται”, or leaders of “ἡμιχόρια” (HM. A, HM. B), and the coryphaeus (XO.). The third part (868—870) is best assigned to the coryphaeus, who usually announces a new comer, and who would naturally conduct the dialogue with the “τροφός”. Similar epodes to stasima are Eur. H. F.815—821, and Eur. Hipp.1143— 1152, in each of which three parts can be distinguished. (See W. Christ, Metrik, § 723, p. 653 2nd ed.)

The motive of the whole passage from 863 to 898 is the dramatic necessity of making an impressive preparation for the Nurse's “ῥῆσις”. It rests with the Chorus alone to do this, since no actor is present.

Hermann supposed that, after the three leading choreutae had spoken (863 —870), each of the other twelve in turn took part in the dialogue. But this seems improbable.

μάταιος, foolish, deluded: cp. 407 n. For this fem., cp. 207κοινὸς” (n.). In 565 we have “ματαίαις” and in 887 “ματαία”, but in O. C.780ματαίου...ἡδονῆς”.

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hide References (5 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (5):
    • Euripides, Heracles, 815
    • Euripides, Hippolytus, 1143
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 780
    • Sophocles, Trachiniae, 207
    • Sophocles, Trachiniae, 407
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