9 votes
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Why does Odysseus decide to leave without Philoktetes?

The most natural way to read this passage is that Odysseus concedes defeat for the moment, but only in order to plan another stratagem. Odysseus is renowned for his trickery, and earlier in the play ...
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8 votes
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Why is Philoktetes specifically hunting "doves"?

TL;DR: Doves could have been a common bird that Philoktetes hunted and ate, given his situation in the play, making them the species that came most readily to mind in the quoted speeches. Philoktetes ...
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8 votes
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What does it mean when the chorus speaks "severally" in "Aias"?

The required sense of “severally” is: severally, adv. 1.a. Separately, individually; each of a number of persons or things by himself or itself; each successively or in turn. Oxford English ...
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5 votes
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What does it mean to "graze on the fizzy air"?

The part in bold appears in lines 558–559 of the Storr edition: τέως δὲ κούφοις πνεύμασιν βόσκου, νέαν ψυχὴν ἀτάλλων, μητρὶ τῇδε χαρμονήν. Meanwhile let light airs feed thee; cherish thou Thy tender ...
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5 votes
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Why are "doves" used in this simile from "Aias"?

The Greek text is: μέγαν ὄκνον ἔχω καὶ πεφόβημαι πτηνῆς ὡς ὄμμα πελείας. Sophocles. Aias, lines 139–140. Perseus Digital Library. ἔχω = I bear/carry μέγαν ὄκνον = great fear καὶ = and πεφόβημαι = I ...
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5 votes
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On what basis are lines attributed to the whole chorus or just the chorus leader?

TL;DR: The assignment of lines to speakers comes down to the judgment of the editor or translator, based on their sense of what is dramatically most appropriate in a given case, and whether their goal ...
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4 votes
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How is Aias's initially informal reintroduction speech reflected in the original text?

I’m not convinced that the quoted speech lacks “normal capitalization or sentence structure” as suggested in the question. If we remove the line breaks and add a couple of commas (remembering that ...
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3 votes
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Purpose of the stage direction "Burst of light, fading. Distant rumbling." in "Philoktetes"

Scully’s interpretation of this passage is that Philoktetes and Odysseus are offering competing interpretations of some kind of omen, and Scully gives us a “burst of light” and “distant rumbling” as a ...
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3 votes
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In which act/scene of Antigone (Sophocles) is this passage?

This is a translation of lines 332–348 of Antigone. We can’t assign it to an act or scene, because if classical Greek plays were divided into scenes by the playwright, they never wrote down these ...
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3 votes

In which act/scene of Antigone (Sophocles) is this passage?

This text occurs on this translation Christophe Strobbe posted at ACT 1 332 / 384, where it is translated as: Wonders abound in this world yet no wonder is greater than man. None! Through the ...
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2 votes

Why are "doves" used in this simile from "Aias"?

Not all birds flock together, so "doves" echoes that they are in a group. Not all birds are so easily startled as doves are -- geese for instance -- so "doves" narrows it down to ...
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2 votes
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Why is Seamus Heaney's "The Cure at Troy" so often quoted in political contexts?

Philoctetes versus The Cure at Troy In Sophocles’ Philoctetes, the action goes straight from Neoptolemus’ farewell (line 1407) to the appearance of Heracles (line 1408). But Heaney inserts a speech by ...
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2 votes
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Why does the chorus pray to Rhea in "Philoktetes"?

Richard Jebb has a note that explains this. 391–402 Mindful of their young chief’s precept—πειρῶ τὸ παρὸν θεραπεύειν (149)1—the Chorus seize this moment in order to deepen the impression left on the ...
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1 vote

Purpose of the stage direction "Burst of light, fading. Distant rumbling." in "Philoktetes"

Quick non-scholarly take based on what I feel, not what I know (as of 24.02.2022). Signs of natural disaster occur in Antigone as well (Creon decrees vindictive measures - gods impose sanctions – ...
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