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When the Pedagogue in Sophocles Electra arrives on stage disguised as the Phocian stranger, his eighty-three-line speech, the plays centrepiece, is a lie. There are other deception speeches in Sophocles - Lichas lies about who Iole is (Truchiniue 248-go), and the False Merchant indicates that Philoctetes is in a different sort of danger than he really is (Philoctetes 542-627) - but uniquely in Electra do we have a deception that is consciously adopting the form of an established component of Greek tragedy, the messenger speech. Since the speech is constrained neither by facts within the play nor by precedent outside of it, Sophocles has the opportunity to present a showcase demonstration of how he sees the messenger speech functioning: a messenger speech how-to, if you will. The audience knows this character is the Pedagogue of Orestes in a way that none of the on-stage characters do, and it is likely that the characters disguise is no different than the clothes he was wearing in the opening scene - supposedly Phocian garments like those worn during his years in exile, and which conform to the standard iconography for the tragic messenger, with a cloak, staff, and pointed cap @ilos) as described by Green. The speech describes the death of Orestes in a four-horse chariot race at the Pythian games4 and his
* I would like to thank the editors and anonymous reviewers for their valuable help, Paul Wilson, Robert Schmiel, Patrick Finglass, and those in the audience when the paper was delivered in Sydney. This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. I See C. P. Segal, The Electra of Sophocles, TAf A 97 (1966) 473-545, which generally concerns issues of truth and falsehood in the play, and especially the table on 480. The total length of the speech (680-763) does not include line 691, deleted by Porson. For the symmetry of the plays structure generally, see E. Brann, A note on the structure of Sophocles Electra, Cf 52 (1957) 103-04. 2 M. Ringer, Electra and the empty urn: metatheatre and role playing in Sophocles (Chapel Hill 1998) (S. El. 682) in just this way; see also A. G. Batchelder, The 165-66, takes the phrase np6a~qpdryGvo~ seal of Orestes: self-reference and authority in Sophocles Electra (Lanham MD 1995) 94-96. J. Barrett, Staged narrative: poetics and the messenger in Greek tragedy (Berkeley 2002) 132-33, believes the speech provides a compelling case study for understanding the tragic messenger-speech more broadly. 3 J. R. Green, Tragedy and the spectacle of the mind: messenger speeches, actors, narrative, and audience imagination in fourth-century BCE vase painting, in The art of ancient spectacle, ed. B. Bergman and C. Kondoleon (Washington DC 1999) 36-63, a revision and expansion of Messengers from the tragic stage, BICS 41 ( 1 996) 17-30 + plates, isolates many features from vase iconography. 4 N. B. Crowther, Reflections on Greek equestrian events: violence and spectator attitudes, Nikephoros 7 (1994) 121-33 (121 n. 4). identifies the race as the tethrippon based on fifth-century practice at Delphi. Crowthers article is important for this study because it establishes the social historical reality of the Pedagogues narrative for Sophocles audience.



subsequent cremation. Its straightforward, linear telling of an athletic event gone wrong contrasts with the ambiguities that permeate the rest of the play.' Functionally, the speech paves the way for Orestes' disguised arrival, carrying an urn in which his own ashes are supposed to lie. In the prologue, Orestes had instructed the Pedagogue:

A6yy 61: xpi,

@ W K d o C XUP'

701@8,dZi @VOC pkv E i

LV6pbC @UVOTdoC 4KOV' 6 yhp

pkyiuroC uCroiC suyxLvei boputjdvov.

&yye~~ 8 .e dpKov xpoorle&iC,6eOiiveKa 76eVT)K' 'OpdUrqc E< drVCXyKUfUC t6XqCI & e h a l IIuelKoiolv EK rpoxqkctrov ~i4pov KuitoeeiC. &ti 6 pceoC E ~ T L T ~

Tell this story, that you are a foreigner come from Phanoteus the Phocian - for he is the greatest of their allies - and tell them, speaking on oath, that Orestes is dead by an accident, having fallen from his moving chariot at the Pythian games; let that be your tale. (44-50, trans. Lloyd-Jones6) Perhaps the use of the verb &yyeAA&in line 47 is enough to telegraph to the audience that a lengthy rhgsis will come, but it need not.' Later, at line 11 1 1, the verb LyyeiAui is used to describe this speech.' None of what the Pedagogue says is strictly necessary for the plot of the play. Orestes' aims would be accomplished with the single trimeter, such as line 673, rd0vqK' 'OpCa~qc. 6v PpuXEi Suveelis Ad y o (with r d e v q l i 'Opdorq~echoing the same words in the same position in line 48), or with the next statement the Pedagogue makes, line 676,8av6vr' 'Opdoqv vcv TE K U x6Aur ~ Adyo. In Libation Bearers, seventeen lines from Orestes himself served this same function.' As de Jong notes, however, the purpose of a messenger speech is not to relate what happened, but rather how it happened,'" and it is precisely this which Clytemnestra asks, at line 679, r@rp6xy 6r6AAurur; Within the play, the detail provides a certain amount of corroboration of an evidentiary nature, so that Electra can later affirm, in her despair, that she
s B. Goward, Telling tragedy: narrative technique in Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides (London 1999) 1 16. 6 Except where noted, this and subsequent translations are from H. Lloyd-Jones, Sophocles I: Ajax, ('bulk') for Electra, Oedipus Tyrannus (Cambridge MA 1994). Musgrave's emendation in 47 ~ Y K O V Reiske's dpltov should be considered. Certainly the length of the Pedagogue's narrative would

correspond to such an injunction. 7 J. Gould, "'. .. And tell sad stones of the deaths of kings": Greek tragic drama as narrative', in Myth, ritual, memory, and exchange: essays in Greek literature and culture (Oxford 2001) 319-34 (330), notes that the Pedagogue never calls himself an &yyd.oC, but 'nonetheless displays every feature of the genre'. 8 This may be compared with the much more aggressive reference to messengers in E. El. 759-60, about which see I. J. F. de Jong, Narrative in drama: the art o f the Euripidean messenger-speech (Leiden 1991) 119. and C.W.Marshall, 'Theatrical reference in Euripides' Electra', in Euripides and tragic theatre in the latejiifrh century, ed. M. Cropp, K. Lee, and D. Sansone (= ICS 24-25 (1999-2OOO)) 325-41 (325-26). 9 A. Ch. 674-90. See R. Kitzinger, 'Why mourning becomes Elektra', ClAnt 10 (1 99 1 ) 298-327 (300), and Barren, Staged narrative (see n. 2 above) 152-53. 10 de Jong. Narrative (see n. 8 above) 32-33.



heard it ro6 7cAqaiov nap6vroc, f p i ~ GAAuro From someone who was there when he died (927). The length of the speech also more closely conforms to what an audience would expect from a messenger, or at least from a Euripidean messenger. While comparison with other Sophoclean messenger speeches is no doubt relevant, part of my argument is to suggest that the Pedagogues speech has Sophocles entering into a competitive dialogue with Euripides, as if challenging Euripides at his own game.*This perhaps reverses the Aristotelian expectation of the agonistic relations between the playwrights, but rather acknowledges that the two were ongoing rivals from the year 455 until Euripides departure for Macedon after 408. The speech closes with three lines in which the Pedagogue - in the role of the Phocian stranger - offers a summary judgment on the particular event. His conclusion labels the event in absolute terms:

rois ti itjoijaiv, o i m p ~ i t j o p v , pdyiara x&vrov&v cixwntyb K ~ K ~ (762-63) V .

And for those that saw it, as we did, the worst disaster of all that I have beheld. It is only in the closing couplet that the speaker establishes himself as an eyewitness to the events using both singular and plural forms. Claims of personal, though incidental, involvement and concluding evaluations (particularly when marked with romCra, as here at line 761) are standard features of the messenger speech in Euripides. Prior to the conclusion, the emphasis on autopsy comes only for some of the fictional philoi of Orestes at line 756, among whom the speaker numbers himself - and as the Pedagogue is indeed numbered, though the on-stage audiences do not know this. Before this, the emphasis is on speech and not vision: rb sckv @p&iao (I will tell you all) the opening line of the speech con~entionallyl~ - promises (680). The speech has had a curious history in the scholarship on the play. Long condemned as extraneous or ornamental, when indeed it was considered at all, recent studies of the play have all sought to re-invest the speech with some central dramatic integrity. Since 1995, we may

1 1 Measuring this statistically can be misleading, but approximations bear this out (for now, I will not consider spurious lines, etc.). Using the handlist of messenger scenes identified by Barrett, Staged narrative (see n. 2 above) 224 as a point of reference (though there may be reasons to question the inclusion of a number of these instances), we can say that the longest speech in each of the Sophoclean scenes Barrett identifies ranges from five lines (Antigone 1301-05, though note the lacuna) to eightyfour (Electra 680-763; the next longest is Oedipus at Colonus 1586-1666), with an average of about forty-five lines. In contrast, the longest speech in each of the Euripidean scenes ranges from seventeen lines (Helen 605-21) to one hundred and ten (Phoenissae 1090-1 199 and Bacchae 1043-1 152). with an average of about eighty-two, if we discount Rhesus and the sung messenger in Orestes. The speech in Sophocles Elecrra is almost exactly the Euripidean average. Some discussion of the speechs length can be found in S. L. Schein, Electra:a Sophoclean problem play, A und A 28 (1982) 69-80 (76). 1 2 B. Vickers, Towards Greek tragedy: d r a m . myth, society (London 1979) 569. 13 de Jong, Narrative (see n. 8 above) 5 n. 1 1 : Of the 22 Euripidean messenger-speeches, eight open with a first-person predicate ...five close with one..., and see 183-84, 191-92. 14 Barrett, Staged narrative (see n. 2 above) 26 and n. 8.



isolate in particular Batchelder, Ringer,16and Macleod. These studies identify meta-theatrical and ironic interpretations of the speech and the play, and while I d o believe that such terms can be applied legitimately in this context, in the first instance I want to discuss how the speech functions for the playwright as he communicates with his audience. That is to say, I want to consider the speech as part of Sophocles message to the audience, rather than as part of the Pedagogues deception, as an instrument of Orestes revenge, or as the proximate cause of Electras increased suffering. This requires us to view this play (or any other) as a composite unit, in which each character, motif, speech, visual effect, and narrative device contributes to an organic whole, which the playwright-director presents to a heterogeneous audience, no one member of which will interpret the whole identically. How this relationship is built between the playwright and the audience, through the responses of on-stage characters and delivery by the speaking actor,
I5 Batchelder, The seal (see n. 2 above). Batchelders reading posits Orestes and Aegisthus as rival playwrights, to be seen as creative poets, each directing their own successes. This operates completely within the dramatic frame, however, and involves no illusionistic rupture. Yet this can be challenged, for Sophoclesis then modelling his own profession in two characters whom many have seen as unsympathetic. In passing, she compares the Pedagogue to a playwright (91), which is closer, but contradicts her overall interpretation, which requires Orestes to be directing the Pedagogues performance. 16 Ringer, Electru (see n. 2 above). Ringer picks up on Batchelders argument (see previous note), seeing the Pedagogues speech as a tragedy-within-a-tragedy (162): The Paedagogus imitation of a tragic messenger represents the most fully developed instance of the play-within-a-play in Greek tragedy, and its metatheatrical resonance constitutes Sophocles most personal contribution to his handling of the Omtes myth (163, corrected; and see 162: This quasi-theatrical presentation will lead Orestes closer to his goal but nearly rupture the traditional outcome of the myth and the bonds of the play that enframe it.) I believe tragedy is not an apt model for the Pedagogues performance. The speech is a narrative component of an ongoing deception that will extend to the reaction of the various internal audiences (and see Kitzinger, Why mourning [see n. 9 above] 300 [cf. 3011: at the heart of the play, is a speech act that changes the way the audience hears and views the characters and what they do, because it activates the audiences awareness of possessing a knowledge of truth and reality that is different from the actors [or, rather, the characters]). As an internal drama, the speech should not be separated from the action that follows it. When Orestes enters carrying the urn (a stage property invested with a false meaning), this creates a physical analogue to the false speech of the Pedagogue. 17 L. Macleod, D o h unddike in Sophokles Elektru (Leiden 2001). Macleod offers a reading in which she steers between two camps which she identities as affirmative and ironic: J. H. Kells, Sophocles: Electru (Cambridge 1973) for example, turns the whole play into a continuous exercise in dramatic irony so that Orestes and Elektra rather than Aigisthos and Klytaimnestra are condemned in the end as the villains of the piece (12). This is, I would suggest, a particularly static sort of irony against which she is arguing, and the regular denigration of ironists (e.g. on 1 10). with whom any metatheatrical reading is associated, is little more than an attack on a straw man. Macleods interpretation hangs on a particular interpretation of lines 33-37, where Orestes describes the oracle he received at Delphi. Orestes of course gives a paraphrase, which, as in Tr. and fh.. should leave some room for dramatic ambiguity. Macleod however requires the audience to understand the prophecy as requiring matricide achieved by dolos, and this is hardly an automatic inference, as Kitzinger, Why mourning (see n. 9 above) 303 n. 17, rightly notes. This confuses prophecy with advice: better is Kitzinger 327, Apollo, in his divine wisdom, has prophesied that the murder will take place 66l.q. For Macleod, the messenger speech is the dramatic actualization of the d o h sanctioned by Apollo, and we shall see it is intimately related to the operation of dike in the play (20). The speech contains a truth, buried inside it, about the ultimate fate of Clytemnestra. Macleods messenger inexplicably is giving a warning to the queen, which she is unable to hear. This does not seem to be an interpretation that will have been shared by many in Sophocles audience.



is the focus of this essay, using the Pedagogues speech as a point for discussion: this is certainly not meant to be a complete assessment of the play. Certainly there are many diverse opinions about the nature and function of the messenger speech; the messenger was a bravura performance, often by the protagonist, with the ability to call up genuine terrors and to evoke a visual imagination to an unprecedented degree.lgBut how the speech achieves this effect is elusive, and it is something I think Sophocles is attempting to explain in the Electra speech, developing this organic view of the play. An assumption of heterogeneous appreciation seems particularly well suited to Efectru precisely because the play has received such wildly divergent interpretations over the past century.

How to listen to a messenger speech

It is possible to identify the distinctive qualities of the Pedagogues speech more precisely. It is after all a messenger speech only for the other characters in the play. By examining the responses of the internal audiences of the Pedagogues speech, it is possible to see how Sophocles models how to listen to a messenger speech. Their experience when he arrives is a common one in Greek tragedy: an unnamed, apparently lower-class, older individual appears unannounced and, following a single line announcing a momentous event, upon request expands the narrative at considerable length. However, the (external) audiences knowledge is superior to that of each of the interior audiences because we have witnessed the preparation for this scene. The audience knows that the speaker has a separate agenda, and is playing a role - and, if as audience members some of us are prone to recognize the theatrical frame, we understand that this is true for both the character and the actor. Sophocles has his characters treat the speech not as a deception but - since the deception is effective 18 I use this term to designate the actor competing for the prize, who we must presume usually played the biggest part in a play (in at least some of the plays in a tetralogy). This is not the case in El., however, as it is presumed the protagonist would play Electra, the largest single part in extant Sophocles; but even this we cannot know. Certainly assigning the messenger to the lead actor is possible in many cases and required in some: C. W.Marshall, The rule of three actors in practice, Texr and Presenration 15 (1994) 53-61 (54). 19 G.B. Shaw, in a letter to Gilbert Murray 14 March 191 1, presents a sketch based on Sophocles Oedipus so that he might demonstrate to the Regius Professor the weaknesses of Greek drama. This is how Shaw sees the Messenger:

Voices [in the Audience] - Messenger. Messeng-e-e-e-rm.Cut the cackle. Dry up. Messengem. ...(Tumult). Enter Star Actor, as Messenger. Thunders of Applause. Voices - Brayoo Icks! Give it mouth. Pile it on. Silence for the Messenger. Silennnnce!


The Messenger proceeds to wallow at great length in the blood of Jocasta, who has butchered herself in a most sanguinary manner. The audience hangs on every drop. When he adds, in minute detail, how Edipus plucked his eyes out, the whole house is one ecstacy. (The Ogord Book ofletters, ed. F. and A. Kermode [Oxford 19951 449-54 [452]). 20 de Jong, Narrative (see n. 8 above) 118 n. 4, provides a list of passages that imply messenger speeches were appreciated by audiences, and were meant to entertain. 21 It is worth emphasizing that when we speak of the messenger, we are denoting a function and not a role. The role is an unnamed shepherd, guard, soldier, domestic servant, or whatever, who for the purposes of this one scene serves the function of messenger. The manuscripts may use either designation, and occasionally (as at Ant. 1278) use both.



as an utterly conventional messenger speech. The dofos will succeed only if this speech is seen as conventional. To succeed dramatically, Sophocles uses the Pedagogues speech as a representative type for the tragic messenger speech. By definition, a messenger speech relates an event that has transpired offstage to onstage characters who were not there. For the plays audience the dramatic interest lies both in the content of the narrative and in the onstage reaction of the characters listening to it. In this play, Sophocles gives the Pedagogue three internal audiences, each of whom responds differently to the news of Orestes death.22Each of these contributes to the message that Sophocles presents the fourth, external or theatrical audience. It is Electras grief that has most captured critics of the speech, but it goes unnoticed (or at least uncommented on) by the Pedagogue. While Clytemnestra does make reference to Electra while speaking to the old man (with the deictic rqv6 in 7981, even this is meant more for Electras ears than the Ped-agogues, as is ~ poqc 1.798) she had used with suggested by her recapitulationof a phrase ( r q nohuyh6aaou Electra immediately before the Pedagogues arrival (see 641, nohuyhdaay boa). The Pedagogue does not know who Electra is at this time. The chorus response (764-65) - as part of another conventional feature, the two-line tag at the conclusion of a long speech (which can itself be Seen as a device facilitatingaudience recognition of change of speaker) -emphasizes the end of the male line from Agamemnon. Further, the use of np6ppiCov in 765 echoes its only other use in Sophocles, earlier in the play and also in the mouth of the chorus, at 512, establishing a connection between Orestes reported death and that of Myrtilus, which it perceives to be the origin of the suffering of Orestes family (508- 15). In contrast to Electra, Clytemnestra welcomes the news of Orestes death, as the Pedagogue expects (002 @kpov f i ~ 16youc o I 46cic 666-67) and I believe there is no ambiguity in the urgent requests for detail she offers at 675 and 678-79: she wants the bloody details for her delight. Her joyful response to the news of her sons death, which I expect would be manifest in her gestural response during the Pedagogues narrative, therefore contrasts with Electras increasing despair. Both of these internal audiences - intended and unintended, from the Pedagogues perspective- are undermined however by the playwright. However real Electras grief appears, the audiences superior knowledge of the situation ensures that the grief is seen as the product of Electra being misinformed. There are reasons for an (external) audience to view her laments as hollow, since they arise from the deception. Similarly, Clytemnestras maternal pangs immediately following the speech (see 766-72). unexpected as they are, betray any automatic condemnation of her exuberance, even though we do see her quickly repress any affection she displays for Orestes (773-87). Each of these responses must also be gauged by the audience as it processes the verbal cues from the Pedagogue. Whatever we make of Clytemnestras response, there are multiple and conflicting elements that do not allow for a unified and homogeneous appreciation. As far as the Pedagogue is concerned, his speech is targeted for Clytemnestras ears, and is calculated to have an effect only on her. The chorus may be seen as a necessary ancillary audience but is in no way primary and can be seen to provide a conventional, sympathetic response to contrast better with the unsympathetic view provided by the Queen. Divergent responses from the internal audiences are paralleled with the messenger speeches that close Iphigenia in

Ringer, Electra (see n. 2 above) 172.



Tuuris and Helen, where Thoas and Theoclymenus hear news and respond differently to the sympathetic choruses.23 In Sophocles, the contrasting responses of Jocasta and Oedipus to the Messenger in Oedipus Tyrunnus 924-1072, and of the Messenger and Deianeira to Lichas speech at Truchiniue 248-90,24 are the result of one character - Jocasta and the Messenger possessing unstated information which leads to a more extreme response. In misunderstanding the meaning of the announced news, Oedipus frustration and anger at Jocasta (see 1070) is from the audiences perspective completely misplaced, but designed to heighten the impact of Jocastas departure two lines later. In contrast, in the False Merchant scene in Philoctetes, the additional information that Neoptolemus possesses - that the Merchant is really an agent of Odysseus - leads to a less extreme response. In fhilocretes, the wounded hero is the only character on stage being deceived; in Electra, the Pedagogue is the only character not being deceived. In all these Sophoclean cases, there is less deliberate ambiguity from the playwright than in Electra. The presence of extreme or incongruous responses may also be seen to have an analogue in the Odyssey, where the Phaeacians are surprised that Odysseus response to Demodocus account of the sack of Troy is tears and not enjoyment.Odysseus, like Electra, has a different relationship to the events described than the speaker realizes. Following the unexpected response from Clytemnestra (in which she distinguishes herself from the Euripidean barbarian kings) we see the plays structure balance the responses of Electra and Clytemnestra in the stichomythicexchange (788-96),as it had before the narrative, when each character responds to the monostichsannouncingthe news of Orestes death (674-75,677-79). The presence of three internal audiences, including two named characters with differing responses to the news, is found elsewhere only in the first messenger speech of Bucchue. Further, because both are deceived, neither the response of Clytemnestra nor that of Electra possesses an authority that can guide the audience in its response. Different audience members will be led to different conclusions depending on which aspect of the conflicting internal response catches their fancy, as has been the case with the plays critics. While I assume that there would be gestures denoting the reaction of Electra and Clytemnestra, and that their responses would tend to suggest different emotional states as they hear the Pedagogues report, it remains possible that there is no reaction from one or both of these characters: that Clytemnestra, say, stands immobile and unresponsive to the news. This, however, also constitutes a reaction for the audience watching the scene in the theatre of Dionysus. The characters immobility will be understood by an audience member to have some emotional value (though precisely what that value is may differ from one audience member to another). In a masked performance particularly, this is a necessary feature of the creation of character, since everything that a character is seen to feel is the result of audience projection of this kind. The actor may attempt to control what feelings the audience projects - through the use of gesture, and the words of the text, etc. - but how an audience member perceives a character is ultimately only the product of what that individual has imposed on the (see n. 8 above) 109-10. Barrett, Staged narrative (see n. 2 above), does not consider either of these characters who are identified as messengers to be messengers in a structural sense. 25 de Jong, Narrative (see n. 8 above) 189-90.E. Hel. has Menelaus, Helen, and the chorus listening, but Menelaus and Helen are not opposed. Ringer, Electra (see n. 2 above) 227 n. 5 I , discusses the reflexivity in the messengers of Ba. and S . El.

23 de Jong, Narrative



stage character. I am suggesting that even if both Clytemnestra and Electra remain visibly unmoved by the report, the structure of the scene and the antagonism between the characters in what has preceded will cause many audience members to perceive their lack of reaction as connoting opposite emotional values. We may read additional meaning in any apparent coherence to a conventional model of the messenger speech, or the avoidance of key features. It is possible, for some experienced theatre-goers in the audience, that the fictionality of the speech will be marked by the absence of certain expected features in a way that it is not for the on-stage characters, who, even in their fictional worlds, do not possess the experience of regular theatre attendance. Is the absence of any direct or indirect speech, for example, to be seen as Sophocles avoidance of a device used to add verisimilitude?%There are only two minor declined opportunities 27 for orutio recta at 693 and 750, and the action of this narrated story passes in silence.28Similarly, the Pedagogue presents details in his narrative that strictly speaking go beyond the perception of a spectator in the horserace, such as mention of the horses breath on the drivers backs in 7 18-19? do such details add verisimilitude to the narrative, or are they another potential clue for the on-stage characters that the narrative is invented? Responses in the Athenian audience will again differ, and some may even see a degree of authenticity because tragic messengers conventionally do exceed the level of detail that should be available to them as characters. Further, there is a sense that the Pedagogue is focalizing, but any explicit claim of autopsy is left to the speechs finish. See for example 688-93, where the summarizing context contrasts what the speaker does know and what his (intended) audience should:

~6x0s p&vbv xaljpoiai xoIIti ooi Idyo, roioij6a v 6 p b ~ Epya K a \ K~&TT)* &v 6 i o e * doov yhp tAaeKfjpucav ppapijs. [t6p6pov 6ia6Iov xdvraeh tt vopiCerai,t] ~06rov C V C ~ K ~ntivra V tdrxclviltra
O ~ oi6a K

To tell much in few words, I do not know of the deeds and triumphs of any other such man; but one thing you may know, that he carried off all the prizes in every contest that the judges proclaimed[, the races on the double track that are the custom], and men called him fortunate. 3
de Jong, Narrative (seen. 8 above) 174: direct speech lends immediacy and makes it seem as if we are hearing that character himself speak. The Euripidean messenger makes abundant use of this technique. The absence of speech may provide some in Sophocles audience with an additional means for identifying the falsity of the story as it experiences it. Does this mean there is a valence of additional authority when speech is cited verbatim in an extended narrative? Is there an attempt at recreating voices accurately (particularly when the actor playing the messenger has also played the character being cited)? The false messenger in S . Ph. similarly avoids direct speech. 27 V. Bers, Speech in speech: studies in incorporated Oratio Recta in Attic drama and oratory (Lanham MD 1997)58. 28 Gould, Greek tragic drama as narrative (see n. 7 above) 330-31. 29 Barrett, Staged narrative (see n. 2 above) 163. 30 Goward, Telling tragedy (see n. 5 above) 116, observes that this passage has produced a very marked frequentative stress. By building up a picture of continuous victories [the Pedagogue] had enhanced the picture of Orestes as a typical hero whose fall is preceded by conspicuous success.


21 I

Through the manipulating rhetoric of the speech it is possible to identify a number of ways in which Clytemnestra is provoked by what he says. For the audience, which has been told the speech is a deception but also sees the onstage reaction of the internal audiences, a process of ongoing evaluation of the messenger speech is possible by looking at their silent response: this too becomes a rhetorical weapon for the playwright. The on-stage responses of the characters provide a demonstration of the effect a messenger speech can and should have on an audience: emotional, conflicting, and possessing an opportunity for vicarious participation. Sophocles has crafted a situation in which the audience must identify to some extent with both Electra and Clytemnestra. However much we choose to sympathize with Electra, like Clytemnestra we nevertheless enjoy the fictional narratives that messengers present. It may not be for the same reasons, but our emotional involvement, like that of both these characters, is mixed. I want to suggest something further, however: that the audience is able to remain engaged with the messengers speech to an enhanced degree because it knows that the Pedagogue is lying.32The enjoyment of tragedy depends on the audience being stirred by fictions. It is the hypothetical nature of the disasters that allows for pleasure in a typical audience member.33By recognizing the fictional nature of the speech, the audience is allowed to become emotionally involved in the reported disaster: we become affected because we know it is only a play. The presence of internal audiences complicates this picture considerably, since their position does not map directly onto ours. We are allowed to know that the Pedagogues words are false but Electra and Clytemnestra cannot. The choruss i>s EO~KCV, it seems in 765, can be seen as a reminder to the audience of the speechs fictional nature which does not telegraph any substantial meaning to the on-stage characters. Now some might argue that the audiences knowledge that the chariot accident is false means that we cannot be caught up by the Pedagogues rnuthos. While such an approach is not borne out by accounts of modern audiences responding to the play, I am suspicious of it for another reason: the inference suggests that increased audience knowledge (about how theatre works, about literary precedents, about actors behind roles) actually diminishes the enjoyment of drama. I resist such an anti-intellectualist approach to theatre (or popular entertainment of any form), but do acknowledge that our increased knowledge does change

31 de Jong, Narrative (see n. 8 above) 1 IS: His focalization is on the one hand a form of selfexpression, and on the other a rhetorical weapon used to influence his addressees emotions and opinions. 32 This is also argued by Ringer, Electra (see n. 2 above) 228-29 n. 59, with references. 33 A. D. Nuttall, Why does tragedy give pleasure? (Oxford 1996) 17: It does not require the cynicism of a La Rochefoucauld or a Mandeville to perceive that a normal woman - not a morally depraved person -could luxuriate in such grief as she never could in the face of real, actual pain. See also 76: The simultaneous presence of hypothesis and probable mimesis means that our theory is still Aristotelian, but I have now substituted an active term for the passive catharsis. The human capacity to think provisionally, to form hypotheses, to imagine what may happen before it happens - is fundamental to our nature .... 34 By extension, such an approach would posit an ideal audience member for a tragedy being one that has no experience of the theatre. But that ignorance would extend to the dramas fictional nature, precluding the opportunity for engagement with the play as a fictional work. This circle is not rigorous, but it does suggest a default position in which audience knowledge is a good thing, which might enhance the enjoyment of a play.



how we respond to the ~peech.~ We know the outcome of the details related in the speech (that Orestes will die, and that he is in fact alive) and this gives us the experience of watching a con in progress. Knowledge of the Pedagogues deception does create a sense of tension or suspense, and as audience members we may choose to disengage our knowledge that the speech is a lie and thereby permit a moment-by-moment enjoyment of the speech as we voluntarily share the perceptions of the characters on-stage with the Pedagogue. However we choose to relate to the speech, there is an element of suspense. Knowledge of what constitutes a good tragic messenger speech creates a point of contact for much of the audience and provides another avenue of pleasure and engagement. But how is this engagement to be measured? The playwright must maintain three relationships to create engagement: with the story, with the performance idiom, and with the audience. In the first place, the creation of a clear and polyvalent narrative is the key to the narrative relationship. The presence of ambiguities is necessary for a complex appreciation of the work. Secondly, confidence in the dramatic idiom accepts the conferred form of the story: naturalism and the creation of dramatic illusion are issues separate from this question. Finally, whatever the idiom, there is an appropriate audience response. The playwright depends on the audience knowing how to behave in a performance space, and while such behaviours are culturally conditioned, they are implicit in the artistic contract the poet creates with his audience. It is this third relationship that is foregrounded by narrative theory. Platos Ion models all three of these in a non-dramatic idiom. Ion, supremely confident in Homers authority and in his ability to deliver his memorized lines, clearly is unabashed to admit that he provokes emotional outbursts and tears. Within tragedy, there are a number of models for the performance idiom that come from outside of drama, each of which expects a different type of audience response. The chorus draws in part on an audiences experience of dithyrambic competitions, and an audience member used to processing information from a singing and dancing strophic chorus will be more skilled at incorporating the chorus into tragic narrative than are we today. Similarly, ug6nes draw on the audiences experience of the courtroom. The messenger speech, too, depends upon its audience being used to receiving narratives from a single voice. This is. fundamentally,the way Athenian audience members will have experienced Homeric epic, as performed by rhapsodes like Ion.MThe messenger speech expects its audience to process the story as it would epic, not through action (drama) but through an inner visualization. Collard speaks of the mild if consistent epic colour of all Tragic &yy~Aika,~ and it is almost conventional for modem critics to.acknowledge epic aspects of the tragic messenger speech. From the viewpoint of an Athenian audience member, however, rhapsodic delivery is the more immediate referent. This is a different mode of delivery from, say, sfichomythiu, and the different idiom expects a different type of audience response to create engagement. Part of the experience of tragedy is to be asked to participate in this way. There is always audience participation in the creation of a performance event, and inner vizualization is central for this process, nowhere more than with the Pedagogues false messenger speech.
35 Marshall, Theatrical reference (see n. 8 above) 325-3 I . 36 Further, Barrett, Staged narrative (see n. 2 above) 165, argues the tragic angelia

more generally stand[s]out as particularly privileged among the multiplicity of voices on the tragic stage. 37 C. Collard. Euripides: Supplices, 2 vols. (Groningen 1975) 2,278.



How to deliver a messenger speech

The exemplary nature of the Pedagogues speech can also be found in its content and structure, and a close reading can I believe identify a number of features that affect the pace set by the actor playing the Pedagogue, providing guidelines on how to deliver a messenger speech. Previously we have seen the one-line introduction and the three-line conclusion as a means to segue into and out of the narrative proper, establishing a conventional messenger frame. Within the Pedagogues narrative, we can isolate a number of features that can be seen as details Sophocles introduces in order to create verisimilitude (for the internal and external audiences) and coherence to the expected form of the messenger speech. The dramatic situation of the Pedagogue trying to manipulate Clytemnestra requires this. First, there are features that have been introduced to the entirely fictional narrative for the sake of the external audience, to reinforce the qualities that make for a good messenger speech. Second, there are features that have been introduced to help the actor delivering these lines to have the necessary effect on ail relevant audiences. Both of these are elemental, and in many ways prior to those features which introduce interpretative elements. We are not in a position to answer questions such as why Orestes is made an athlete and what the role of Apollo and the Pythian games play in the story, or to examine the relationship between the false messenger speech and Clytemnestras false prayer to which it appears an answer, until we understand fully these prior matters. I wish to isolate a number of features of the Pedagogues speech that can be seen as details Sophocles has introduced to demonstrate the performance possibilities of a messenger speech. None is especially surprising, and many have been identified in commentaries on the play. I have already noted the presence of epicisms in the speech, and suggested that this may create associations for the audience with rhapsodic performance. Sophocles foregrounds the epicisms not just with aorists lacking temporal augment (such as are seen at the beginning of two successive lines, 7 15-16),* but regular association to Nestors advice to Antilochus in Iliad 23 and the chariot race there3 informs great passages of the speech. In particular, Sophocles takes Nestors advice and (unlike Homer) actually shows its implementation in a race? Further, the unrecognizable body of Orestes at lines 755-56 may evoke S a r p e d ~ n ,though ~ it may equally be drawing on a tragic precedent in the fate of Euripides Hippolytus. These literary inter text^^^

38 The temporal augment is omitted from the opening word of lines 71 5 and 716 (and also in Sophocles at Tr. 904, 905; OT 1249; OC 1606, 1607, and 1624). This helps to create an epic feel. See also D. L. Page, Euripides: Medeu (Oxford 1938) 155-56, and, for Homeric influence on the play generally, see J. F. Davidson, Homer and Sophocles Electru, BICS 35 (1989) 45-72. In Euripides, all the examples are late (Bu. 767, 1066. 1084, 1134, and IA 404): it is not therefore a typical feature of the messenger speech particularly. While they are found in the messenger in A. Pers. 3 13,376.4 16,458, 506, and Ch. 738 and 930, the five Sophoclean examples constitute the extant uses in the fifty years following the Oresteiu. 39 Antilochus is told by his father to avoid crashing at the turning post (H. Il. 23.334-43). See most recently Barrett, Staged narrative (see n. 2 above) 138-40, for the influence of Il. 23.262-652 on the Pedagogues speech. 40 Goward, Telling tragedy (see n. 5 above) 117. 41 March, Sophocles: Electru (Warminster 2001) 188. 42 And others too: for example, Crowther. Reflections (see n. 4 above) 122-23 and I23 n. 12, suggests that the chariot collision in A. Gluucus offotniue (fr. 38 Radt) - the play was produced in 472 with Pers. - influenced the Pedagogues speech.



are complemented by reference to events earlier in this play as well. Of the several allusions to the play's prologueP3we may single out the proclamation of Orestes' name at 693-95. This is the closest thing to direct speech in the play, and the grandiloquent description of Orestes contributes to the Pedagogue's attempt to manipulate Clytemnestra:
'ApyeioC pEv avaKaloCpevoC, bvopa 6' 'Optorq~, roc rZ, K ~ C L V ~' E V lltGo~ 'AyapEpvovoC ozptreup' kyeipavr6C note.

He was proclaimed as an Argive, by name Orestes, son of Agamemnon who once gathered the famous armament of Greece." Note especially how 695 picks up key elements of the play's opening lines (1-2), & ro6 arpazqyfpavzoC kv Tpoig norE I 'Ayapkpvovoc slai ...4s It has also been suggested that the speech draws on a real chariot race at the Pythian games in 462 BC, in which only one of forty-one chariots finished the race!6 Like a typical messenger, there are elements of gnomic generalizing:in addition to passages already discussed, we can look at 696-97, which March renders 'So far, so good. But when a god sends harm, not even a strong man can escape.' Sophocles and his audience know that part of the effect of the messenger speech is to allow for a universalizing interpretation despite the precision of localizing details, and gnomic passages contribute to this tension. Finally, we may observe the presence of Athenian colour in the charioteer who eventually wins the fictional race (707,73 1-33; that he wins is not explicit, but his is the only remaining chariot after Orestes crashes, whereupon that becomes the focus of the Pedagogue's narrative). Often seen as a ham-fisted means of enlisting audience sympathy by the playwright (none of the onstage audiences care if an Athenian wins), the presence of the 6 ~ 1 ~ 6 Athenian 5~' in the race does support my claim that despite knowing that the event related is false within the story, the audience's involvement is ongoing and entirely typical for a messenger speech. In demonstrating how to write a messenger speech, Sophocles incorporates these elements in order that the 'double p e r c e p t i ~ nof '~~ the scene may be reinforced. In addition to these, it is possible to isolate a number of features that may be seen as directed to the performer delivering these lines. Indications of pace and timing are of course subjective, but I believe it is possible to see ways in which Sophocles uses the speech's structure to direct his actor. For example, the three movements of the narrative are represented by a kind of verbal paragraphing in the speech. Three times, in 68 1,698, and 720, is there a trimeter beginning with the word KcivoC, always referring to Orestes. 'That man' - both absent and present in various senses - is the focus of the narrative, and this paragraphing Goward, Telling tragedy (see n. 5 above) 116-17. are perhaps also marked by the presence of resolutions in each of them, and at the beginnings of 694 and 695.Other resolutions are found in the speech at 702, 707, and 708 (in the description of the other charioteers) and at 715 (about which see n. 38 above). 45 There is also an echo of imagery between 25-28 and 737-40. 46 See Pi. P.5.49-54. and Crowther, 'Reflections' (see n. 4 above) 121: 'Sophocles could have been thinking of this race'. 47 For this word, see Ringer, Efectra (see n. 2 above) 173. 48 Ringer, Electru (see n. 2 above) 173, discusses Clytemnestra's double perception. Hers is not the same as that of the Athenian audience, but there are many points of overlap.

44 These lines



ensures that Orestes remains prominent for Clytemnestra while teasing out the moment of the death. Following the line of introduction, the first paragraph (68 1-97) introduces Orestes at the games, and has him win many contests. It concludes with his name being announced in the lines we have seen to echo the opening of the play - bvopa 6 Dpdarqs in 694 is the first time he is named in the speech; it will happen only once again. The paragraph addresses Clytemnestra directly, has gnomic passages, and exalts Orestes beyond what he would appear to deserve based on the play so far. But Clytemnestra has been told, twice, that this is the story of Orestes death, and there is an odd sense that nothing in this paragraph actually concerns that: here he is Aapxpbc (685), adPac (685), and by implication iaxdov (697). There is a sense that the Pedagogue is cheating her of the story promised, though we in the audience know (or at least begin to suspect) that he is trying to make the process of losing her son excruciating for her. This is confirmed as the next paragraph begins, ~ c i v o y c h p &AAqsfipdpas (698): the death took place on another day! Again, the Pedagogue is teasing out the story: the twenty-two lines in this paragraph serve only to get Orestes horse out of the starting gate. It is only with the third paragraph, which begins almost at the speechs midpoint, that trouble starts, and it is for the Aenian horseman (724), and the Barcaean one (727), Kav.te%&v&AAos&AAov66 6vbs K a K o i r I E0paue K & V ~ T C ~ (728-29, ~T& And thereupon one smashed and knocked into another, as a result of one original mishap, tr. Kells). Orestes is not named, but the speech has avoided using his name anyways; he remains missing in action. There follows a shipwreck metaphor and mention of the Athenian, and Orestes is still lost in the scramble. Then:

ijAauve 6 EoXaroc pdv, i)u.tdpaq Exov n6Aouq, DpdoTqC, r Q .tdA&l niurtv Odpov.
But he drove last, keeping his colts to the rear, Orestes, putting his trust in the finish. (734-35, my trans.) The reintroduction of Orestes name, accompanied by three clauses all emphasizing endings: show that again the Pedagogue has provided a mere distraction to the actual death of the hero. That the deception is deliberate (on the part of Sophocles and the Pedagogue) can be seen in the image of Orestes before we lost track of him, if 722 indicates he is blocking his pursuer, rbv x p o o ~ & i p & v o He v . is, in these early laps, explicitly not the last chariot, and the misleading seed here planted adds to the uncertainty in the crash.

49 Lloyd-Jones translates

the final phrase confident in the result. The meaning rather is that Orestes is waiting for the final stretch; see Crowther, Reflections (see n. 4 above) 128: Delaying tactics were used by contestants in the equestrian events: Orestes held his horses in last place in the Pythian games trusting in his finish. Forms of d c i v recur at 779, 1062, 1344, 1399, 1417, and 1510 (J. C. Kamerbeek, The plays ofSophocles. Commentaries. V. The Electra (Leiden 1974) 104). 50 The transposition by Dawe of lines 718-22 after 740, and by Piccolomini of 720-22 (rejected by H. Lloyd-Jones and N. Wilson, Sophoclea: studies on the text ofsophocles (Oxford 1990) 56) finds its greatest support from this disjuncture. However, while it changes the particulars, such a move does not affect my overall interpretation of the speech. Of the editions, only R. D. Dawe, Sophocles: Electra, 3rd edn (Stuttgart 1996) 32-36, marks paragraph breaks in the Greek text, indenting at 698 and 723, the latter being the first line after the transposed passage. The paragraphing I am suggesting might then argue against the transposition. Similarly, the translation of Lloyd-Jones marks paragraph breaks at 698, 720,734, and 749.



Two other passages suggest elements of the pacing Sophocles has written into this speech. Twice in the third paragraph of the speech the Pedagogue steps back from his narrative, and gives a summary of the story so far. These can be seen in terms of de Jongs categories of the messengers focalization as interspersedcriticism and engagement. Both times he contrasts a before and after, and both times the before is marked with the orthos root (for those wishing to find grounds to doubt Orestes morality in this play, this creates a clean separation from the ambiguous present and the upright past). L1.723-24, K a i npiv pbv bpeoi ndvre< kozaoav Gi4por~I knersa 6... (At first all had stood upright in their chariots; but then...), introduce the initial collision through which Orestes and the Athenian eventually emerge. Soon after, lines 741-43, ~ aTOGS i pbv & A h < ndvza< Lo@ahfiS6p6pou< I hpeo68 6 zhfipwv bpebc C< 6per3v Gi+pov. I Enerra... (Throughout all the other rounds the man and his chariot remained upright; then ...r),52 inaugurate the next turning-post accident, which leads to Orestes fictive demise. Having established that such implicit directions for the actor are found in broad strokes within this speech, I wish now to consider the possibility that there are guides on a more fundamental level. The study of texture seems to have made little impact on the scholarship of Greek drama since it was introduced thirty years ago. Texture is a measure of the coincidence of high-pitched accents (acute or circumflex) with the six regularly-recurring longs in the six-beat iambic line. Two waves run through each line. If the metre provides a regular pulse for the speech, the accent can be either coincident with this pulse (in which case it is homodyne) or it may be non-coincident (in which case it is heterodyne). This is a variable that the poet can control if he so choose^.^' As an experiment, I have applied these measures to the Pedagogues speech to determine if there were indications that a homodyne line might be delivered by an actor more smoothly, quickly, and clearly than a heterodyne line.56If valid,
51 de Jong, Narrative (see n. 8 above), identifies five categories of focalization in the Euripidean messenger: concluding evaluation (discussed on 74-76), interspersed criticism and engagement (77-79). epithets (80-87), comparisons (87-94), and denomination (94-103). 52 Note the awkward triple use of the opB root as the Pedagogue over-emphasizes how upright Orestes was. 53 Crowther, Reflections (see n. 4 above) 126: the nature of turning posts would frequently lead to accidents, because of the sharpness of the turns. 54 R. Schmiel, Texture in the Oedipus Tyrunnus, CW 66 (1972) 30-41, applied the study of texture to Sophocles, adapted from W. F. Jackson Knight, Accentual symmetry in Vergil (Oxford 1939). I would like to thank Robert Schmiel for his useful comments on the remainder of this section. 55 See W. F. Jackson Knight, Romun Vergil, rev. edn (Harmondsworth 1966) 293: Homodyned lines are free, and run very quickly; heterodyned lines are constricted and lack freedom, and are likely move slowly; and Schmiel, Texture (see n. 54 above) 3 0 When acute or circumflex accents fall on these positions of expectation, the movement of the line becomes more dynamic, when they fall elsewhere movement is restricted. 56 Schmiel, Texture (see n. 54 above) 30, defines homodyne as 60%or more coincidence of accent with regular longs, a neutral line with 40-59%coincidence and a heterodyne line as having less than 40% coincidence. Because I was sceptical about such markers in the poetry, I have expanded the range of a neutral line by 20%:for my purposes, a line is homodyne only if it has more than 70%coincidence (commonly represented by lines where three of four accents fall on the pulse), and heterodyne if it is less than 30% (commonly represented by lines where one of four or zero of three accents fall on the pulse). (This also avoids borderline cases such as two of five, which falls on the 40% mark.) The difference between the two is significant: by Schmiels calculations, the 83 lines of the Pedagogues



texture might prove to be an additional tool that could be used in determining an aspect of that ever-elusive quality, the tone of a passage. Above, I suggested that throughout this speech the Pedagogue is teasing out information in an effort to delay the climax of his narrative, the death of Orestes. The use of paragraphing, summarizing statements, focalization, and of proper names have all been discussed. Texture corroborates the discussion of these features. In what I have called the first paragraph (68 1-97), there are several heterodyne lines at the beginning (681,683,684,688); the speech begins slowly. The first of the twelve homodyne lines comes at 690, the direct address to the intended audience, Clytemnestra. The following two lines are slightly homodyne preparing for the name Orestes, and 695, the echo of the opening line of the play, is also homodyne. Like the first, the second paragraph opens with a slower, heterodyne feel (697,699). As the horses are introduced (701-08), the rhythm varies: 702 and 707 (which introduces the Athenian) are heterodyne lines; 705 and 708 are homodyne. If this analysis has any validity, here we see indications of the Pedagogue altering the pacing of the delivery of this list. This, too, is a stalling tactic: Orestes and his horses are already in the starting gate when the list begins. Commentators have noted the geographical plausibility of the entries, but far more relevant is the effect that the changing pace has on the audience. Here, I suggest, are indications for an actor on how to deliver these lines, varying the pace and teasing out the information. Five of the following six lines (709-14, but not 71 I , as the horses leave the starting gate) are slower heterodyne lines. The paragraph ends again with a varied pace: 7 15 is homodyne, 7 16 heterodyne, 7 18 homodyne, and 7 19 slightly heterodyne. The third paragraph again begins slow, with heterodyne lines in 720 and 72 1. The false lead planted in 722, that Orestes is not at the back of the pack, is given a strong homodyne texture; Sophocles wants his audience to take note of this. As the crash begins, again the texture becomes unstable. LI. 725 and 727 are heterodyne, apparently underlining the abruptness of the crash, but as one horse after another succumbs to the common disaster, we are given the homodyne 1.728, with the emphatic &AAo<&AAov, which is perhaps echoed in 739, &AAos &AAoe.Emerging from the wreckage is the Athenian, in three consecutive heterodyne lines (73 1-33; when the Athenian was introduced in 707, the line was also heterodyne). Orestes driving last continues the heterodyne texture, as his chariot gradually emerges from the confusion. 734 is heterodyne, 735 is slightly heterodyne, and 736 is heterodyne. The next

speech contain 27 homodyne lines; by my more restricted definition,there are only 12. Nevertheless, these are (potentially) twelve strong, dynamic lines. In his study of OT, Schmiel, Texture (see n. 54 above) 34 notes that the messenger is the least homodyne long speech in that play. So in El., there are 30 heterodyne lines of the 83, even by my stricter definition; Schmiel would say there were 38. A summary of all the lines in the Pedagogues speech can be found in n. 63 below. 57 See Schmiel, Texture (see n. 54 above) 41, for comments on the limited claims of this approach. R. Schmiel, Texture in Euripides, QUCC 20.2 (1985) 77-88, provides further analysis of the textural differences between prologues, messenger speeches, and rhbeis generally. 58 de Jong, Narrative (see n. 8 above) 103-06, calls this the sign of the you. 59 By this I mean they fit Schmiels criteria but not my own; see n. 56 above. 60 Crowther, Reflections (see n. 4 above) 127, explains that the bloody foam describcd in lines 7 18- I9 is a result of the nature of the bit.



strongly textured line is the homodyne 742: which we have seen to be a valorization of the fictive Orestes with its threefold use of the orthos root. Just as the initial crash was textured with heterodyne lines, so at 744 and 745 the pace becomes rough, but when Orestes falls at 747 it is with a smooth homodyne feel. As the horses go askew at 748 the texture again turns heterodyne, as it is in 750 when the Pedagogue describes the crowds response, which Crowther characterizes as typical pity for a favoUrite.62 The homodyne texture returns at 752 as Orestes continues to fall to the ground, echoing its most recent use in 747. When he is finally released from the reins, all bloodied, in 755, the momentum is slowed abruptly with a heterodyne line. This pace endures as Phocians are selected to carry the body (759) and as the Pedagogue begins the transition to the final conclusion (761). The final two lines, the homodyne 762 and the slightly homodyne 763, introduce the emphasis on eyewitness, as we have seen, using the same texture that had first been introduced in the speech with the address of Clytemnestra in 690. The application of texture, at least in this speech, seems meaningfully to reflect the alternation of pace that had been suggested previously in this section when looking at the structure of the speech. Its further insights - providing a poetic basis for the alternation of pace when introducing the list of horses, a fento delivery for the Athenian colour, and an emphasis on contrast between the frenzy of the multiple crashes and the inexorable fall of Orestes towards death - are surprising corroborations of hitherto ineffable features of the speech. If nothing else, this does suggest that texture may be a meaningful diagnostic tool to add to our critical toolbox in evaluations of abstract concepts such as tone, as well as providing some indications of how a speech may be acted.63

61 Though see n. 63 below on 741, which is slightly homodyne or (following the manuscripts) homodyne. 62 Crowther, Reflections (see n. 4 above) 130, on 749-51: where the spectators reacted sympathetically to the fate of Orestes. 63 Here in brief form are the measures of texture in each line of the Pedagogues speech, following the Oxford Classical text of H. Lloyd-Jones and N. G. Wilson (Oxford 1 9 9 0 ) :680 (24,i.e. two of the four accents in the line fall on the pulse); 681 (W2, heterodyne); 682 (U5); 683 (U4, heterodyne); 684 (1/5, heterodyne); 685 ( 4 1 6 ) ;686 (315); 687 (215); 688 (014, heterodyne); 689 (U4); 690 (3/4, homodyne); 691 (corrupt; deleted); 692 (U3);693 (213); 694 (U4); 695 (314,homodyne); 696 ( 3 1 5 ) ;697 (114, heterodyne); 698 (2/5); 699 (M, heterodyne); 700 ( 2 1 4 ) ; 7 0 1 (2/6); 702 (0/4, heterodyne); 703 (1/3); 704 (34); 705 (415, homodyne); 706 ( 1 1 3 ) ; 707 (M, heterodyne); 708 (3/4, homodyne, though note the resolution in btkarov); 709 (114,heterodyne); 710 (l/4, heterodyne); 7 1 1 (U4);712 (114, heterodyne); 713 ( 1 1 4 , heterodyne);71 4 (015, heterodyne); 715 (314, homodyne);71 6 (1 1 4 ,heterodyne); 71 7( 2 1 4 ) ;71 8 (3/4, homodyne); 719 ( 1 1 3 ) ;720 (014, heterodyne); 721 (0/2, heterodyne); 722 (4/4, homodyne); 723 (U3); 724 (U3); 725 (114, heterodyne); 726 (416); 727 (0/4, heterodyne); 728 (414, homodyne); 729 ( 2 1 4 ) ; 730 (Y4); 7 3 1( 0 1 2 , heterodyne); 732 (013, heterodyne); 733 (114, heterodyne); 734 (115, heterodyne; 1 1 4 if there is no sense pause following ptv); 735 (U6);736 (114, heterodyne): 737 (2/4); 738 (U3); 739 ( 3 1 5 ) ; 740 (U4); 7 4 1 (U3, accepting Reiskes emendation; 3/4following the manuscripts); 742 ( 3 1 4 , homodyne); 743 ( 1 1 3 ) ; 744 (115, heterodyne); 745 (115, heterodyne); 746 (~3); 747 (415,homodyne); 748 (014, heterodyne); 749 (113); 750 ( 0 1 3 .heterodyne); 751 (4/6); 752 (4/4, homodyne); 753 (U4); 754 (113); 755 (114, heterodyne); 756 (U5); 757 (U4); 758 (315); 759 (114, heterodyne); 760 (3/6); 7 6 1 (115,heterodyne); 762 (4/5, homodyne); 763 ( 3 1 5 ) .



Conclusion: Sophocles and Euripides

It must be asked why the Pedagogue is doing this: why is he manipulating Clytemnestra in this way and at this length when it potentially undermines the appearance ofjustice of the revenge, and potentially reduces its chance of success? As always, there are many explanations available to different audience members. But surely part of the answer lies in the extradramatic fact that it is not really the Pedagogue doing this, but it is Sophocles. Sophocles is aware of the theatrical elements comprising this speech, and presents that awareness on an explicit enough level, so that it is available to the audience as it experiences the play itself. Sophocles consistently manipulates the audience, the actors, and the on-stage characters within a quotational frame that acknowledgesa standard component of the tragic theatre, the messenger speech. The scene is therefore metatheatricalin a number of ways and recognizes its own theatricality at a number of structural levels. While different audience members will recognize some or potentially all of these as they experience the play in performance, there is no authorized hierarchy to these levels. While the approaches of a number of recent critics have been right in identifying Sophocles recognition of these frames, I believe they do so with a rigour that cannot be seen to be mandated within the original performance context. There is, simply, too much going on for this to be all there is. To what extent the tragic messenger speech is perceived to be a device associated in particular with Euripides remains an open question. Certainly, as we have seen, Euripidean messenger speeches are longer on average than Sophocles, and I believe it is likely that a component of what Sophocles is doing in the Pedagogues speech is answering his rival playwright Euripides. Further, there are indications that Sophocles engages with Euripides elsewhere in the play. Nothing of what I have said so far is affected by the notoriously uncertain date of Sophocles play: if however I am correct about the plays engagement with Euripides generally, and if the play postdates Euripides Electra,M then a number of additional resonances can be detected. I will touch on three of these. The opening words to Electras entrance monody - & 460s kyv6v (86) - must exist in some relationship with the similar words evoking the darkness in Electras opening trimeter in Euripides play, 54, & vC< p k h v a . If I am correct about the directionality of the reference here, Sophocles is introducing light to the darker vision of Euripides. Whether that promise is carried out, or if it is another misleading gesture, depends in part on how one reads the Pedagogues speech. Similarly, the role division of this play requires that both killer and killed are played by the same actor. It is not possible for an audience to ignore the blurring of voices as the Orestes actor draws his sword, enters the palace, screams as Clytemnestra, and emerges, as Orestes,

64 See most recently March, Sophocles: EIecrra (see n. 6 above) 20-22.



with a bloodied sword! This may be seen as a development on the likely connection between the voices of Orestes and Aegisthus in Euripides play.& It is also possible to see a development in the Sophoclean anagndrisis from the preceding plays. The prolonging of a recognition is evidently an artistically desirable technique. If we take as a benchmark the point where Electra acknowledges Euripides identity, and experiences an emotional reversal, Euripides Electra waits until 577, about 42% of the way through the play, to effect the recognition, and this can be seen in absolute terms as three hundred and forty-four lines longer than Libation Bearers, where it occurs at 233, almost 21% of the way through the play. Similarly, Iphigenia in Tauris seems designed to postpone the recognition between Orestes and his sister. So it is with Sophocles Electra, where, through the false messenger speech, and the striking use of the urn as a stage property: Orestes and Electra are not even onstage together until 1 100 - longer than the length of Libation Bearers! - and the recognition is not accomplished until 1224,81% of the way through the p l a y ! * This too, I suggest, represents a development from Euripides. Sophocles self-conscioususe of these theatrical techniques too will be interpreted variably by the different parts of the audience. This recognition of heterogeneous audience response demonstrates some of the ways that the Pedagogues speech needs to be approached. Through the use of on-stage audiences that provide contradictory responses, Sophocles invites multiple interpretations from his external audience, and can provide a model of how to listen to a messenger speech. By carefully regulating the tone and pacing, the speech can also provide

65 Marshall, The rule (see n. 18 above) 59; 57-59 argue that one actor plays Electra, another Orestes, Clytemnestra, and Chrysothemis, and the third Aegisthus and the Pedagogue. Ringer, Electru (see n. 2 above) 131-32, unaware of that argument, assigns Chrysothemis to the Pedagogue and Aegisthus actor. Not only are there visually effective thematic benefits to be gained from doubling Clytemnestra and Chrysothemis (realized, for example, in the 1999 Compass Theatre production of Elecrru, translated by Kenneth McLeish and directed by Neil Sissons), and in my own 1990 production, but the required backstage movement for Ringers suggestion is implausible in practice. For the doubling of Clytemnestra and Orestes, see also M. Damen, Actor and character in Greek tragedy, TJ 41 (1989) Comparative 316-40 (328), and B. Johnston, The metamorphoses of Theseus in Oedipus at Colonus, D r u m 27 ( 1993) 27 1-85 (272-73). 66 Marshall, Theatrical reference (see n. 8 above) 337 n. 55. 67 See C. Segal, Visual symbolism and visual effects in Sophocles,CW 74 (1980) 125-42 (134-37), Ringer, Electra (see n. 2 above) 185-99. Also relevant is the story of Polus playing Electra at Aulus Gellius 6.5. 68 D. Grote, On the Pedagogoss deception speech in Sophocless Elecrru, Electronic Antiquity 3.6 (1 997; available on-line at, URL accurate as of 27.0505). argues the speechs theatrical purpose is to make the recognition more plausible, especially in comparison to Aeschyluss frail recognition scene. I would agree, but believe there is more at work. The Pedagogues speech does add verisimilitude, but it also delays the recognition. In other aspects of the recognition, we see Sophocles directly challenging antecedent versions. The choice of the signet ring as a recognition token (S. El. 1222-23)-by which Sophocles proclaims this story as truly his own (Batchelder, The seal [see n. 2 above] 123, cf. 117-23 generally) - is hardly a more trustworthy marker than even the Aeschylean tokens which were risible by the time of Euripides play. Again, Sophocles problematizes the situation. The authority of the sphrugis is undermined by its easy transferability, and again we should expect there to be multiple, conflicting evaluations of the token from various members of the audience.


22 I

guidelines that to some extent are recoverable for the actor on how to deliver a messenger speech. Understanding this is necessary before we can proceed to the next question, which is how to interpret a messenger speech.
Universig of British Columbia