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Headword: *)atuzome/nh
Adler number: alpha,4397
Translated headword: distraught
Vetting Status: high
[She who is] frightened by events and in grief. Electra says: "foolish [is he] who forgets his parents pitiably passing away. No, closer to my heart is the mourner who eternally wails, 'Itys, Itys,' that bird distraught, messenger of Zeus." The [phrase] closer to my heart means pleasing to my heart. That is, I emulate her who is constantly lamenting Itys.
Greek Original:
*)atuzome/nh: e)kplhttome/nh toi=s sumbebhko/si kai\ o)durome/nh. *)hle/ktra fhsi/: nh/pios, o(\s tw=n oi)ktrw=s oi)xome/nwn gone/wn e)pila/- qetai. a)ll' e)me\ a( stono/ess' a)/rare fre/nas, a(\ *)/itun ai)e\n o)lofu/retai, o)/rnis a)tuzome/na, *dio\s a)/ggelos. to\ de\ a)/raren a)nti\ tou= h)/rese/ mou tai=s fresi/. toute/stin e)kei/nhn zhlw= th\n a)ei\ to\n *)/itun stena/zousan.
Sophocles, Electra 145-149 (web address 1), with comment (on the feminine participle which is the present headword) from the scholia there.
Through her references to Itys and to "that bird mad with grief, the messenger of Zeus," Electra likens herself to Philomela. In the Attic version of the myth, Philomela was raped by her brother-in-law Tereus, who cut out her tongue to prevent her confession of the crime to her sister Procne (pi 2475); instead, Philomela embroidered the deeds of Tereus and thus revealed them to Procne. Procne then killed her son Itys and fed him to Tereus. The gods changed the fleeing sisters into birds. In the most widespread version of the myth, Philomela became a nightingale. Modern commentators often understand the nightingale, here the "messenger of Zeus," as a "harbinger of spring." Kammerbeek, however, reads the nightingale as a type of "inconsolable grief" because its love is faithful, and points out that Penelope compared herself to a nightingale (Homer, Odyssey 19.521-23).
Pierre Grimal, The Dictionary of Classical Mythology, trans. A.R. Maxwell-Hyslop (Oxford [Blackwell] 1986) s.v. Philomela.
J.C. Kammerbeek, The Plays of Sophocles: Commentaries (Leiden 1974) pp.37-38.
Sophocles, Electra, ed. and commentary by J.H. Kells (Cambridge 1973) p.91.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; imagery; mythology; religion; tragedy; women; zoology
Translated by: John Arnold on 22 June 2000@15:26:04.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (supplied headword; modified translation; added keyword; cosmetics) on 27 August 2002@07:50:27.
David Whitehead (another keyword; tweaks) on 8 June 2005@05:27:33.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 29 April 2012@06:02:25.
Catharine Roth (upgraded link) on 13 August 2013@22:00:14.


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