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Saturday, June 06, 2009

case and cohesion in Ajax

The first five lines of the chorus in Ajax (Sophocles) that begins on line 221 is made more cohesive by a string of feminine singular accusatives which are all tied to ἀγγελίαν (report). Two adjectives, ἄτλατον and φευκτάν, a participle κλῃζομέναν and an article τὰν functioning as a relative pronoun, all look back to ἀγγελίαν.

{ΧΟ.} Οἵαν ἐδήλωσας
ἀνέρος αἴθονος ἀγγελίαν
ἄτλατον οὐδὲ φευκτάν,
τῶν μεγάλων Δαναῶν ὕπο κλῃζομέναν,
τὰν ὁ μέγας μῦθος ἀέξει.
Ὤιμοι φοβοῦμαι τὸ προσέρπον· περίφαντος ἁνὴρ
θανεῖται, παραπλήκτῳ χερὶ συγκατακτὰς
κελαινοῖς ξίφεσιν βοτὰ καὶ βοτῆρας ἱππονώμας.

Sophocles Trag., Ajax 221-231

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