Theban Plays

By Sophocles; Peter Meineck et al. | Go to book overview

Endnotes

A. Antigone

Recent editors differ widely on how to read certain lines in Antigone. The new Oxford Classical Text of Lloyd-Jones and Wilson (1990a), supported by their Sophoclea, is fairly free with emendation. Griffith's Cambridge edition is more conservative, and so is the excellent new translation by Blundell (1998). On the whole I have followed a conservative policy, translating the manuscript readings wherever possible. In the following notes I comment on passages for which different readings give significantly different results. LJW stands for Lloyd-Jones and Wilson.

Line 10: The Greek text allows three fairly literal translations: (1) “Evils from our enemies are advancing against our friends” (Lloyd-Jones 1994 and Griffith 1991, whom I follow): (2) “Evils that are appropriate to our enemies are advancing against our friends” (Blundell); (3) “Evils inflicted on our enemies [i.e., the dead Argives] are advancing against our friends.” In the first reading, Antigone takes Creon to be her enemy. In the second, she presupposes the principle that it is right to cause harm (such as non-burial) to one's enemies (on which see Blundell 1989). That principle has a place in ancient Greek tradition, but it has already been challenged by poets (including Homer) and does not appear to be supported elsewhere in this play. The general wisdom seems to be that Achilles goes too far in punishing Hector's corpse, and that Creon will err in the same way with the remains of Polynices. The third reading refers to the punishment already inflicted on the Argive corpses according to the story that none of the Argives were granted burial—a story that Antigone does not elsewhere seem to know.

Line 97: LJW emends to read, “I shall suffer nothing so dire that my death will not be one of honor.”

Line 157: The text is faulty here; the word “ruler” is a conjecture, and the word translated as “new” is thought by some editors to be a mistake by a copyist. It is unparalleled in this usage.

Lines 167–8: LJW suspects a gap in the text in which we should supply a line such as “With my sister as his wife, you always served them faithfully.” This provides an antecedent for “their” in “their sons” (line 168).

-208-

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Theban Plays
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vi
  • Introduction ix
  • Suggestions for Further Reading lxxii
  • Note on the Translations lxxv
  • Acknowledgments lxxvi
  • Theban Royal Family Tree lxxviii
  • Antigone 1
  • Oedipus Tyrannus 61
  • Oedipus at Colonus 125
  • Endnotes 208
  • Appendix: Hegel on Antigone 214
  • Selected Bibliography 217
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