Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Persuasions Of Philoctetes

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

There have been many political interpretations of Sophocles' Philoctetes. Critics generally agree that the play represents Odysseus as a contemporary politician/sophist. Some go farther, and take him as a representative of democracy, while Philoctetes represents a class antagonized by the democracy. Because Philoctetes is prominent in discussions of Greek values among classicists, specialists in ancient philosophy, and a broader intellectual public, its relevance to the political issues of its original moment are especially significant. A Philoctetes would almost inevitably have political resonances. Among its most striking innovations was a Trojan embassy. Already in the Little Iliad, the Achaeans learned from the captured Trojan prophet Helenus that they could not win without Philoctetes. This story presents an obvious question: Would Helenus not have shared this information with Trojans, and would not the Trojans have taken action? This chapter reads intertextually to define political themes that are conspicuously absent in Sophocles' Philoctetes.

Keywords: Achaeans; Helenus; Little Iliad; Odysseus; Philoctetes; political themes; Sophocles; Trojan embassy



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation