18 JULY 1931, Page 16


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.]

SIR,—The authorities are against taking was as " Passionate." Both the English-Greek dictionaries I have looked into give it for " fierce," not for 'paSsionate," and one of theni, for " ferocity " gives abparst. Similarly Liddell and Scott render dwor as " savage, rude, fierce, cruel," never as " passionate," and illustrate by 6i.tat Kal c'eyrdtacup, froin Demosthenes—. Clearly " cruel " or " fierce " (not passionate " and unfeel- ing." But Jebb, as all do in portraying Antigone, mist tone down and Christianize her, though in temper and spiritual attitude she was no St. Joan or Nurse Cavell. Sophocles, who so 'often, like Shakespeare, indicates how he wants a passage delivered or a personage perfOrraed,' dOei so here, in Making the chorus exclaim " How clear the strain of fierceness, drawn from her fierce sire,—Yon child's ! " and to render it as any- thing milder is to flout the dramatist's stage directions.I am,