A.Ag Κασάνδρα scene 1072-1330

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C. S. Bartholomew
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Re: A.Ag Κασάνδρα scene 1072-1330

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:39 pm

A.Ag 1301
Κασάνδρα
ἥκει τόδ’ ἦμαρ· σμικρὰ κερδανῶ φυγῇ.

The day has arrived, I have little to gain by trying to escape.

Not sure why σμικρὰ is an accusative neut plural. Really not a big deal, but looking at LSJ for μικρός and σμῑκρός a singular seems to be the normal way of saying this.
Last edited by C. S. Bartholomew on Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A.Ag Κασάνδρα scene 1072-1330

Post by Paul Derouda » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:47 pm

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:A.Ag 1301
Κασάνδρα
ἥκει τόδ’ ἦμαρ· σμικρὰ κερδανῶ φυγῇ.

The day has arrived, I have little to gain by trying to escape.

Not sure why σμικρὰ is an accusative neut plural.
not a big deal, but a singular would be a better fit.
Metre? σμικρὰ scans long-short, σμικρὸν would scan long-long. I haven't really understood the meter business in tragedy but my guess is that's here that's the reason.

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Re: A.Ag Κασάνδρα scene 1072-1330

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:50 pm

Paul Derouda wrote:
C. S. Bartholomew wrote:A.Ag 1301
Κασάνδρα
ἥκει τόδ’ ἦμαρ· σμικρὰ κερδανῶ φυγῇ.

The day has arrived, I have little to gain by trying to escape.

Not sure why σμικρὰ is an accusative neut plural.
not a big deal, but a singular would be a better fit.
Metre? σμικρὰ scans long-short, σμικρὸν would scan long-long. I haven't really understood the meter business in tragedy but my guess is that's here that's the reason.
Thanks Paul, on meter I am clueless. A big handicap when reading Tragedy but my attempts to read discussions of meter in the printed literature convinced me that you need an oral presentation of the subject. Almost impossible to make any sense out of it without someone saying it out loud.
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Re: A.Ag Κασάνδρα scene 1072-1330

Post by Paul Derouda » Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:06 pm

Frankly, I'm not sure because metre in tragedy is a lot more complicated than hexameter. This line's metre "might" be iambic trimeter, i.e. that is x - u - x - u - x - u -, where - is long, u is short and x "anceps", that is either long or short. A iambus would be just x - u -. R-T has a long discussion of metres in the end, but I haven't properly read it either.

Metre, meter... I notice I'm manifestly not commited as to whether I stick to the British or the American spelling... At school they told us to pick either one and be consistent. But well...

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Re: A.Ag Κασάνδρα scene 1072-1330

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:30 pm

Paul,

I found a site where some lines of Agamemnon are read out-loud.

http://prosoidia.com/agamemnon-of-aeschylus/

Not certain about what the reader's background is, perhaps modern greek.
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Re: A.Ag Κασάνδρα scene 1072-1330

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:28 pm

Κασάνδρα
οὐκ ἔστ’ ἄλυξις, οὔ, ξένοι, χρόνον πλέω.
Χορός
1300
ὁ δ’ ὕστατός γε τοῦ χρόνου πρεσβεύεται,
Κασάνδρα
ἥκει τόδ’ ἦμαρ· σμικρὰ κερδανῶ φυγῇ.
Χορός
ἀλλ’ ἴσθι τλήμων οὖσ’ ἀπ’ εὐτόλμου φρενός.
Κασάνδρα
οὐδεὶς ἀκούει ταῦτα τῶν εὐδαιμόνων.
Χορός
ἀλλ’ εὐκλεῶς τοι κατθανεῖν χάρις βροτῷ.

Cassandra
There is no escape; no, my friends, there is none any more.
Chorus
[1300] Yet he that is last has the advantage in respect of time.
Cassandra
The day has come; flight would profit me but little.
Chorus
Well, be assured, you brave suffering with a courageous spirit.
Cassandra
None who is happy is commended thus.
Chorus
Yet surely to die nobly is a blessing for mortals.
— H. W. Smyth
It is less than perfectly clear what Aeschylus' perspective is on this exchange. The Χορός are trying to find a way of putting Κασάνδρα's predicament in a positive light and Κασάνδρα is refusing to accept this. I would compare the Χορός at this point to Job's friends with all their lightweight platitudes, offered to a destitute man, while they remain healthy and wealthy. Here we have a king's daughter, beautiful, young, gifted, in good health, facing imminent death. The Χορός offers banal platitudes about matters that don't confront them personally. So the irony of their remarks is perfectly obvious to a modernist but what about Aeschylus. Would he have endorsed the words and perspective of the Χορός in this exchange or is he using the Χορός to represent something on the same order with Job's friends?
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Re: A.Ag Κασάνδρα scene 1072-1330

Post by Paul Derouda » Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:48 pm

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:Paul,

I found a site where some lines of Agamemnon are read out-loud.

http://prosoidia.com/agamemnon-of-aeschylus/

Not certain about what the reader's background is, perhaps modern greek.
Nice find. To me this sounded very good. I'm not certain either about the reader's background, but modern Greek sounds a good guess to me. Anyway, I found this in many respect superior to R-T's companion CD. The only "problem" I remarked was that the reader seemed to treat φ θ χ as fricatives (English f, th, h), not aspirates (just like a Modern Greek would do) but at least he made a clear distinction between φ θ χ and π τ κ unlike R-T. There seemed to be a good attempt to reproduce the pitch accent - something I can't really judge, since I have a bad musical ear, but it seemed good to me. Also the rhythm sounded good, though for this too I'm not that good a judge. Anyway, to me this seems to just the kind of thing that can help us understand the metre.

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Re: A.Ag Κασάνδρα scene 1072-1330

Post by Paul Derouda » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:04 pm

C. S. Bartholomew wrote:
Κασάνδρα
οὐκ ἔστ’ ἄλυξις, οὔ, ξένοι, χρόνον πλέω.
Χορός
1300
ὁ δ’ ὕστατός γε τοῦ χρόνου πρεσβεύεται,
Κασάνδρα
ἥκει τόδ’ ἦμαρ· σμικρὰ κερδανῶ φυγῇ.
Χορός
ἀλλ’ ἴσθι τλήμων οὖσ’ ἀπ’ εὐτόλμου φρενός.
Κασάνδρα
οὐδεὶς ἀκούει ταῦτα τῶν εὐδαιμόνων.
Χορός
ἀλλ’ εὐκλεῶς τοι κατθανεῖν χάρις βροτῷ.

Cassandra
There is no escape; no, my friends, there is none any more.
Chorus
[1300] Yet he that is last has the advantage in respect of time.
Cassandra
The day has come; flight would profit me but little.
Chorus
Well, be assured, you brave suffering with a courageous spirit.
Cassandra
None who is happy is commended thus.
Chorus
Yet surely to die nobly is a blessing for mortals.
— H. W. Smyth
It is less than perfectly clear what Aeschylus' perspective is on this exchange. The Χορός are trying to find a way of putting Κασάνδρα's predicament in a positive light and Κασάνδρα is refusing to accept this. I would compare the Χορός at this point to Job's friends with all their lightweight platitudes, offered to a destitute man, while they remain healthy and wealthy. Here we have a king's daughter, beautiful, young, gifted, in good health, facing imminent death. The Χορός offers banal platitudes about matters that don't confront them personally. So the irony of their remarks is perfectly obvious to a modernist but what about Aeschylus. Would he have endorsed the words and perspective of the Χορός in this exchange or is he using the Χορός to represent something on the same order with Job's friends?
I'm not really sure. This sort of thing, the "meaning" or "message" of the play just eludes me, it's just so different from what we're used to. I don't feel I can say anything with much confidence yet in this kind of subject. The tradition is that Cassandra's predictions are not believed by anyone, so maybe the point is the chorus is incredulous and that's why they're belittling her with their "nevermind" sort of comments?

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Re: A.Ag Κασάνδρα scene 1072-1330

Post by C. S. Bartholomew » Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:05 pm

A.Ag. 1322

Κασάνδρα
ἅπαξ ἔτ’ εἰπεῖν ῥῆσιν οὐ θρῆνον θέλω
ἐμὸν τὸν αὐτῆς. ἡλίῳ δ’ ἐπεύχομαι
πρὸς ὕστατον φῶς †τοῖς ἐμοῖς τιμαόροις

One last time, I wish to speak
my own dirge ...

There is a double (pleonastic) possessive ἐμὸν + τὸν αὐτῆς (possessive genitive). G. Cooper[1] suggests that this parallel construction underlines the possessive use of the genitive. On the other hand, the use of τὸν in τὸν αὐτῆς caught my eye where τὸν ties αὐτῆς to θρῆνον.



We saw τὸν αὐτῆς used as a possessive on line 1297

Χορός
1295
ὦ πολλὰ μὲν τάλαινα, πολλὰ δ’ αὖ σοφὴ
γύναι, μακρὰν ἔτεινας. εἰ δ’ ἐτητύμως
μόρον τὸν αὑτῆς οἶσθα, πῶς θεηλάτου
βοὸς δίκην πρὸς βωμὸν εὐτόλμως πατεῖς;

Chorus
[1295] O woman, pitiful exceedingly and exceeding wise, long has been your speech. But if, in truth, you have knowledge of your own death, how can you step with calm courage to the altar like an ox, driven by the god?
— H. W. Smyth

[1] Guy Cooper, Greek Syntax, v. 3, p. 2020, 2:47.5.3.A)
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Re: A.Ag Κασάνδρα scene 1072-1330

Post by Qimmik » Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:50 pm

In line 1322, it should be ἤ instead of οὐ. Murray, Fraenkel, Denniston & Page, Page (OCT), West and Sommerstein (Loeb) all have ἤ with no indication of a variant reading.

I now see that Fraenkel in his commentary mentions that οὐ is a conjecture by Hermann, "adopted by Mazon among many others." (Murray in his apparatus notes this conjecture too.) Fraenkel rejects the conjecture as unnecessary, and so, apparently, do the other editors cited above.

He also mentions that by adding ἐμὸν τὸν αὐτῆς "Cassandra points to the peculiarity of her situation, for it is in itself contrary to the nature of things that anyone should sing or speak his own dirge." That's the reason for the emphatic τὸν αὐτῆς after ἐμὸν, and that reinforces ἤ as the correct reading: she's going to make a last speech, or rather sing a dirge--her very own, for herself. It doesn't make much sense for her to say she's going to make a final speech but not her very own dirge. The pathos lies precisely in the fact that she knows beforehand exactly what's coming--her speech will be her very own dirge.
Last edited by Qimmik on Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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