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Foreign Bodies: Sophocles Antigone 1080-1083

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image of Mnemosyne

The article seeks to place Wunder’s deletion of Antigone 1080-1083 beyond reasonable doubt. The standard interpretation of the lines makes them intrusive both in their immediate context and in the play as a whole: we find that a ruling which Creon has not issued has led to pollution which does not make sense at cities which do not exist, provoking them to hatred which Creon will ignore and which will have no effect within the play or beyond it. An alternative interpretation, taking the lines as a generalisation, is no more successful, and the lines themselves are poorly written. An appendix discusses other possible interpolations in the speeches of Tiresias, concluding that lines 1004, 1013 and 1079 are probable instances.

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