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Imperative in subordinate clause: command (in drama)


ἀλλ’ οἶσθ’ ὃ δρᾶσον; τῷ σκέλει θένε τὴν πέτραν

‘’ (Aristoph. Birds 54)

In dramatic texts the imperative sometimes occurs in a subordinate clause. It is not clear whether the 'main verb' is parenthetic or not.

Syntactic usage

In an indirect question the imperative (usually δρᾶσον or ποίησον 'do!') is often preceded by οἶσθα; 'do you know?' or οἶσθ' ὅ 'do you know what...?' According to Rijksbaron the original function of οἶσθ' ὅ can be compared with an advisory 'Do you know what?'

Example Sentences: 

κρᾱτῆρές εἰσιν, ἀνδρὸς εὔχειρος τέχνη,

ὧν κρᾶτ’ ἔρεψον καὶ λαβὰς ἀμφιστόμους

There are mixing vessels, the art of a skillful man, whose top and handles you must crown on both sides. [provisional translation]

ἀλλ’ οἶσθ’ ὅ μοι σύμπραξον· οὐχ ἅπασα γὰρ

πέφευγεν ἐλπὶς τῶνδέ μοι σωτηρίας·

ἔμ’ ἔκδος Ἀργείοισιν ἀντὶ τῶνδ’, ἄναξ