Sophocles: philoctetes and the homeric epics, IN Perysinakis

Tags: Philoctetes, Sophocles, Neoptolemos, Odysseus, the Iliad, Achilles, Homer, Heracles, Homeric epics, P.E. Easterling, Achilles' death, Philoctetes Sophocles, Zeus, sack of Troy, Agamemnon Achilles, Philoctetes-Neoptolemos
Content: I. N. PERYSINAKIS SOPHOCLES5 PHILOCTETES AND THE HOMERIC EPICS*1 Among the ancient critics Sophocles was called the «most Ho meric of poets»; he was the tragic Homer ju st as Homer was the epic Sophocles, as Polemo put it; or «he delighted in the epic style», as Zoilus put it in the Deipnosophistae; he was regarded as an im ita tor of Homer and his only genuine disciple*12, while A ristotle had com pared the a rt of Sophocles w ith th a t of Homer (Poet. 1448a 26). Forty-three of Sophocles' one hundred and tw enty-three plays were on Trojan themes, and of the seven extant plays A ja x and Philoctetes are on Trojan themes, and include prom inent Homeric characters. Among modern scholars Pearson argued th a t Sophocles «laboured to create afresh the heroic figures of ancient legend, and to present under new conditions the m ajesty of life which Homer had first por trayed»3, and Haigh had observed th a t regarded from a wider point of view «the dramas of Sophocles m ay be said to reproduce, in more ways th a n one, th e old Homeric spirit»4. There are, indeed, im por tan t similarities: as P.E. Easterling put it «Sophocles seems more in terested than either of his great rivals in heroic behaviour and (in the extant plays at any rate) characteristically chooses models of human experience th a t are very like those of the epic». «Moreover», she continues, «he sets these patterns against a background of th o u ght which is close to th a t of Homer and archaic poetry, portraying man as frail, helpless, vulnerable, and at the same tim e capable of * The present article has benefited both in English and the argument expressed from the reading and the illuminating criticisms of Dr A.J. Gossage and Professor P.E. Easterling who read a previous draft of it; I am grateful to them. Any inadequasies or errors that remain are of course my own. 1. Selected bibliography see at the end. 2. Diog. L. 4.20, Athen. 277e and L if e 20; cf. now in Radt pp. 75, 39. 3. T h e F r a g m e n ts o f S o p h o c le s I (Cambridge 1917) p. xxiv. 4. A.E. Haigh, T h e T r a g ic D r a m a o f th e G re e k s (Oxford 1896) p. 203.
I. N. Perysinakis
great achievements»1. W ebster, too, connects Sophocles w ith Ho mer not only in his depicting of the plots, but also in the technique of contrasting characters and borrowing vocabulary12. The degree of Sophocles' dependence on epic stories for his plots has its bearing on the comprehension of Sophoclean tragedy, but, as Kirkwood pointed out, «it gives no evidence about th e playw right's dependence on the poetry of Homer in his portrayal of the majesty of life»3. Besides by comparison w ith Homer's heroes the actions of Sophocles' heroes are far less involved w ith the gods «so th a t howe ver profoundly Sophocles m ay have been moved by his reading of Homer he was surely tackling new problems and offering new sorts of answer»4. Therefore, regarding Sophocles' Philoctetes, the problem of ends and means, Odysseus' sophistic arguments, or the sophistic study of civilization and language as a possibility of communication, are clear departures from his epic models; and these m atters were con tem porary issues, though he is less obvious th an Aeschylus or Euri pides in his acknowledgement of contem porary life. Nevertheless Philoctetes* dependence on Homer and the exami nation of Homeric passages and qualities in it has its bearing on the comprehension of this tragedy, and probably will reveal what Sop hocles means, by shedding some light especially on disputed topics of the play. Easterling observed in conclusion, on Sophocles' response to Homer when composing Ajax, th a t «we have the paradox of an auth o r's distinctive originality finding expression through his rea ding of another's work»5. The present study may be justified if it can show th a t this principle is valid, too, for Philoctetes, or if it may be seen as contribution to this literary principle, if regarded as a gene ral one. The obvious Homeric features of Philoctetes are the characters of Odysseus (though he is a character rather contem porary to Sop hocles), of Neoptolemos as son of Achilles, and of Philoctetes; but the two last-m entioned, though Homeric in most ways, are not active characters in the Homeric epics. The Trojan camp is present as a kind of background to the play, but only at a distance.
1. «The Tragic Homer», p. 1. 2. Gf. pp. 49, 87, 145, etc. 3. Kirkwood, ifA ja x » p. 55. _ 4. Easterling, ib i d . p. 1. 5. ib id . p. 8.
Sophocles* P h ilo c te te s and the H om eric epics
There are eighteen quotations of Iiomer, m ost of them lexical, in the Teubner te x t of the Scholia to the Philoctetes. Modern critics of the Philoctetes make references here and there to Homer. P o rtra ying Achilles, B. Knox in his influential analysis of Philoctetes as the ideal figure of the Greek aristocratic tradition cites II. 9.312, quoted appositely by the scholiast on Phil. 941. F uqua connects th e same lines, Phil. 96-9, w ith Od. 3. 120-3, in his general attem p t to connect Philoctetes w ith Odyssey12. Commenting also on Neoptolemos9 lies, Knox adds: «Achilles withdrew from the battle and threatened to sail home to Phthia; Neoptolemos claims he has withdrawn from the battle and is on his way home to Scyros (240)». Analysing P h i loctetes and discussing the hero's stubborness, A. Lesley differenti ates Philoctetes from Achilles in th e Homeric Embassy3. Commen ting on Philoctetes* refusal of engagement, Harsh argues th a t the Greek spectator m ust immediately have thought of Achilles in the Iliad and especially of the great and deliberately verbose speech by which Nestor fires Patroclus to action while Achilles stands inacti ve45. Rose's article will be referred sometimes in its relation to Homer. K. Valakas* dissertation, investigating «the Homeric epics and Sop hocles», especially A jax, sheds some light on a num ber of points of Philoctetess. And E. Schesinger offers a detailed analysis of N eopto lemos9 role in the deception and adds a suggestive analysis of the Em bassy in Iliad 9 as a parallel to the dram a6. B ut it was Charles Beye who dedicated a whole article on the relation of the Philoctetes to the ni n th book of th e Iliad7*. The sim ilarity between th e two scenes extend «to the spiritual and social dilemmas of the two heroes, or to the mo tives of the participants and their personal qualities». Beye notes m a ny similarities and differences between the Philoctetes and the Em
1. pp. 121, 123. 2. p. 52; cf. also pp. 29, 34, 49-50 (and rt. 46). 3. Lesky, pp. 173-4. 4. p. 410. 5. Hom eric «Mimesis» and the «Ajax» of Sophocles, pp. 38-44 (Ph. D., Univ. of Cambridge 1987; I acknowledge my thanks to the author for allowing me read the thesis). 6. «Die Intrige», pp. 103-5. 7. «Sophocles* Philoctetes and the Homeric Embassy» ( 101 (1970) 63-75); the citation is from p. 64. Some other allusions are found in R. Garner, F rom H om er to Tragedy. The A r t o f Allusion in Greek P oetry (London 1990), pp. 146-8. For a thorough analysis of S'. El. from a prospect similar to our study see J.F. Davidson, «Homer and Sophocles' Electra» (BIO S 35-36 (1988-89) 45-72).
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bassy in the Iliad, but he makes an analysis of the tragedy from a wider perspective, not in close examination of the Iliad or the epics. My argument presupposes most of the recent criticism on the Philoctetes. It reinforces some interpretations already brought out, or justifies some decisions made by Sophocles. Its main points are concentrated on Sophocles* treatm en t of the oracle, the controver sial persuasion theme, on friendship and on Heracles9 epiphany as a dens ex machina, as well as on the drawing of the characters; th a t is, on th e main problems discovered in Philoctetes. Some other mi nor points, especially in the first epeisodion, are connected with Homeric passages or topics. And all these themes are considered in an ongoing examination of the play, the whole argum ent being thus run `vertically* (in three sections) and `horizontally9 (in five main topics).
PROLOGUE: Odysseus-Neoptolemos and Odysseus-Achilles A t the very beginning of the play --before Neoptolemos* name is m entioned-- Neoptolemos is addressed as a child of (v. 3) which recalls th e well-known adjective of Achilles, * (IL 1.244, 412, 16.274), with all its connotations, while Odysseus9 obedience to th e orders of th e Atreidae, as it appears e.g. in IL 2.173-277, 9.165 ff., 19.154 ff., is expressed by (v. 6, re peated indirectly at v. 53, cf. 1024). As in the Iliad t Odys seus is an instrum ent in th e P hiloctetes; he describes himself as the servant of Zeus (990). Achilles disobeys Agamemnon in the epic, as Philoctetes does in the tragedy, while Neoptolemos moves from his alignment with Odysseus to the polar opposite with his father and Philoctetes. In the prologue of his plan Odysseus asks Achilles' son to be (v. 61). Commenting on Jebb cited A ristotle's definition of it in (HA 488b 19) ix and Knox rightly argues th a t Aristotelian context does not favour Jebb's ex planation1. But, I think, there is no need to follow with Knox Aris to tle's technical discussion of the word. It is obvious th a t Sophocles uses the word as a synonym of (cf. 336, 475, 799, 874, 1402, etc.)12. And each author m ay have favoured one word or another to 1. pp. 125, 187 (n. 18). On the word see also Calder, «Apologia» pp. 170 ff., O.M. Kirkwood, S o p h o c lc a n D r a m a pp. 242-3; etc. 2. See e.g. F. Ellendt's L e x ic o n S o p h o c le u m s .v .
Sophocles* P h ilo c te te s and the H om eric epics
express the most valued excellence in society, as e.g. Herodotus who used th e word in th e traditional meaning of (9.93.1, 5.62.3). Therefore M. Nussbaum is right observing th a t th e word etymologically and synchronically is recognized as closely conne cted w ith one's nature and heritage, even as emphasizing consisten cy and fidelity to nature, and th a t being is being tru e to one's genetic heritage and being tru e to w h at is one's own essential nature {)1. A m an's actions should be in accord w ith and ex pressive of his character. She also rightly reletes th e adjective w ith the word in a Pre-socratic cosmological usage12: ((substantial character, substance of a thing, existence», which m ust constitute the more usual meaning of the word in relation to its other meaning «development». The im portance of on the Philoctetes has been recognized rightly by th e critics3. B u t it is im p o rtan t to realize th a t it m ust be seen not only in relation to Neoptolemos, as it is usally examined, but also in relation to Philoctetes himself. B ut probably Nussbaum is not right in arguing against Adkins th a t the opposition between com petitive and cooperative values is a spurious one45. Adkins rightly, I think, m aintains th a t Greek m ora lity of the period of Sophocles is characterized by a tension between these two groups of virtues; he frequently cites Philoctetes to illus trate the confusion of values of which Sophocles here makes use as a p art of th e moral scene of th is period6. A t any rate, P. Rose in his ex cellent paper discussing the influence of the sophistic views of the origin and development of hum an society and values on Sophocles' Philoctetes many times investigates heroic terminology, Homeric 'sham e culture' vocabulary6. And there is no doubt th a t in depicting Philoctetes Sophocles used behavioral patterns and values of the Ho meric world, as described by Dodds and Adkins; as for the drawing
1. pp. 32 (and note 21), 40. 2. Citing Ch. Kahn's Anaxim ander and the Origins of Greek Cosmology (N. Y., Columbia Un. Press 1960), pp. 200-3 (and notes). 3. R. Myth examines the role of the theme of in the Philoctetes, «Gottheit und Mensch im P h ilo ktet des Sophokles» (S tu d i in onore di L u ig i Castiglioni (Firenze 1960) pp. 641-58; K. Alt, «Schicksal und im P h ilo ktet des Sophokles» (Hermes 89 (1961) 141-74); D. Holwerda, Physis (thesis, Groningen 1955); Rose pp. 82, 87, 88, 89. 4. p. 47. 5. M R pp. 189, 183, on vv. 119f., 1234, 1248; etc. 6. pp. 64 ff., esp. 68, 73, 74, 76, 77. Cf. vv. \234, 1247, 1251, 475-6.
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of Neoptolemos* character, the values applied to him are m eant in accordance with the character speaking, and therefore in the most of th e cases these values are seen ambiguously, depending on the sta ge of th e plot. In a moment of the play crucial for Philoctetes in the third epeisodion, Odysseus addressing Neoptolemos says: , (. 1068), which recalls the well-known Homeric formula (II. 1.131, 275, 24.52, 15.185, etc.). Odysseus and Neo ptolemos are about to leave the stage and Philoctetes has asked the la tte r: «Y our voice has no word for me, son of Achilles? Will you go aw ay in silence?» (vv. 1066-7; D. Grene's transl). The possible meanings of here («as», «in th e m anner in which» or «since»1) makes much more ambiguous the passage. Finally, when Neoptole mos expresses the crucial decision: , , Philoctetes exclaims in delight: (1402). And in this way the cycle from the beginning of the deceit to Neoptolemos' recove ring his real nature closes with the same word. B ut most im portant for our study is the dialogue (54ff.) in whi ch Odysseus develops his plan and persuades Neoptolemos to under tak e to deceive Philoctetes, especially lines 79 ff. The first words Neoptolemos says of himself 86-91: , , * , 9, , . 9 9 are a reply to Odysseus* words, especially vv. 79-82: , , · 9 , · 9 , Odysseus replies in 96-99: , , ' 9 , , 9 .
1. See the controversy: A.W.II. Adkins, M R pp. 37-8; id . «Homeric Values and Homeric Society», J H S 91 (1971) 1-14, pp. 8-9; A.A. Long, «Morals and Va lues in Homer», J H S 90 (1970) 121-39, pp. 127-8.
Sophocles* P h i l o c t e t e s and the H om eric epics
Lines 86 ff. recall unanimously from an tiquity Achilles5 famous lines to Odysseus in the Iliad 9.312-4: 5.4 * % · , . > . In these lines Neoptolemos in fact makes three points: (i) he speaks the tru th (ii) he prefers deed to deceit and (iii) he prefers (94-5), which, one m ay observe, seems to be a retreat from competitive excellence. Achilles too appears to prefer straightforward words and hate diplomatic language, and Odys seus has found by experience th at everything can be made to succe ed by speech- and its abilities. Of Achilles5 rhetorical ability (i.e. to use the right argum ent) we are told again in II. 19.217-9, where Odysseus, addressing Achil les, says: , , . Achilles himself confesses th a t he was not the first in the speech in the assembly (II. 18.105-6, cf. 11.788-9). On th e other hand, of th e Odysseus5 rhetoric we are told by A ntenor in th e Teichoscopia (II. 3.221-24): 9 , 9 9 , 9 9 9 9 . Explaining his plan, Odysseus had already told Neoptolemos to try to deceive Philoctetes5 mind with ?, (55). Odysseus speaking false or using is, of course, a commonplace in th e Homeric epi cs. B ut one reference is particularly significant, th e preface of O dys seus5 speech to Achilles in the Odyssean Nehyia when after Achilles5 question about his son and father he answers: ... (507). These three passages 79 ff. 86 ff. and 96 ff., express the contrast between (artifice) and (heroic virtue, m ight) the first being represented in the Homeric epics by Odysseus in the Odyssey and the second by Achilles in the Iliad. In the fifth century th e characters of Achilles and Odysseus had become «mythical and literary prototypes of two entirely different worlds of thought and feeling», the first being the type of , and the la tte r of ~
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&. One m ay say from the beginning th a t the first p art of Philocteles is governed by and the second by arete, as we will see at the exodos. In the so-called first ending Achillean arete trium phs over , b u t in the real ending arete is fused or conflated with , since Philoctetes chooses to go to Troy where symbolically he is incorporated into THE COMMUNITY. A Homeric hero m ust be * . This is w hat Phoinix is to teach Achilles. (II 9.443, cf. 11. 783-4) And Menoitios advises Patroclos ot (: Achilles) ' ol (: Achilles) , and Achilles will . (II. 11. 788-9). There are b etter speakers in the as sembly than Achilles; he better performs deeds and Odysseus words. Neoptolemos as he appears in the lines above prefers deeds, too, but during the deceit he exercises words and prefers results and success to deeds, when he decides to take Philoctetes to Malis. Philoctetes always is, like Achilles, a m an of deeds. It is characteristic th a t in the moment of Neoptolemos' most im portant decision, to bend to Philoctetes* supplication to tak e him home (i.e. an act), Philoctetes uses the mo st heroic language (475-6). And Odysseus, as he says openly, is a m an of words. Therefore the double task of the Homeric hero is bisected into its components, and v12. And this theme can be traced through the whole play: Sailors coming to Lemnos may pity Philoctetes but none of them ta ke him home, i.e. act in accordance to their words (307-11, cf. 497 ff.)C f. 407 ff., 555-6, 1306-7. Besides, the logos and ergon distinction constitutes p art of w hat we would call «the language of Philoctetes» (see infra). Achilles and Odysseus are contrasted within the epic tradition. In the cyclic epics it appears there is a rivalry between m ight and trickery, as the ' , narrated in the L ittle Ilias, concer ning who was * affter Achilles, suggests. No doubt one is reminded of the two heroes confrontation in the N ekyia. Their di alogue Od. 11.473-537, which is between th e respective heroes of the two epics, constitutes a contrast between Iliad and Odyssey.
1. Knox p. 121 and 186 n. 5. On the characters of the play cf. Craik, «Melo drama» pp. 23 ff. Blundell, passim; «Character» pp. 320-1, 328-9; Nussbaum, pp. 29 ff., 39 ff., 45 ff. 2. Cf. Taplin, p. 71. Taplin socs word and deed joined in the formulaic line o. g. II 1.211 (but cf. 204) and in Phil. 895-924 ho finds an extraordinary fusion be tween the language of words and of deeds.
Sophocles' P liilo c te te s and the H om eric epics
In answer to Achilles' asking after his father and son in the Nekyia, Odysseus gives an account of Neoptolemos' deeds in Troy, tou ches upon the two heroic activities of Neoptolemos, and , especially in relation to the wooden horse, and ends w ith his departure (11.504-37). Achilles' special interest in his son was to know whether he was (493). In this account it was Odysseus who fetched Neoptolemos from Scyros to Troy (508-9), and Neoptolemos ' , >' . 0 9 9, ivl 9 , , )> 9 ahfj (510-16). And when the best of the Argives were inside th e wooden horse and they were wiping their tears away and the limbs were shaking under each man of them (523-27), 9 /' 9 ... ... 9 , . 9 ' , ^, ... (528-35). Analysing Achilles' position in the O dyssey, A. Edwards conc ludes th a t «In his second speech, Odysseus presents a Neoptolemos who equals the achievement of his father as a spearfighter, b u t sub mits to Odysseus as his mentor. For Achilles' son also distinguis hes himself in the council, and fights successfully from the am bush by which Troy is finally conquered...Y et a t th e same tim e th e O dys sey preserves the as the privileged mode of fighting and pro motes Odysseus as its preeminent strategist. Ultim ately this cont rast of spearfight and am bush m ust be viewed in its ethical dim en sion, a contrast of force w ith cunning. The first N ekyia presents a di rect confrontation between these heroes.... Once again the Odyssey accepts the Iliad on its own term s, presenting an Achilles familiar from the poem. Y et through a subtle manipulation of theme and di ction Achilles is so situated in the poem as to yield alm ost willingly
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to a reinterpretation and revaluation within the Odyssey's priorities and value system . The O dyssey's strategy here is one of . It lays a verbal, poetic ambush for Achilles and the tradition which promo tes him as an ethical and spiritual model))1. The quarrel between Odysseus and Achilles in Demodocus' first song, , when ' ' , ' ' (Od. 8.73-82 )12, m ay be seen in term s of and . The first N ekyia, a postscript to the whole Trojan War, comments upon the previous quarrel implied in Od. 8.73-82 and constitutes Odysseus' final justification. In this sense, the T rojan prisones's choice of Odysseus in the L ittle Iliad, is a choice of over , and thus a choice of the centuries. The quarrel between Achilles and Odysseus in the first song of Demodocos dramatizes the antithesis of two different traditions of composition, the antithesis of two inherited central themes built into the Iliad and the Odyssey, namely the qualifications of Achilles and Odysseus respetively for the title «best of the Achaeans». The cont r a s t ap p aren tly took the form of a quarrel between the two heroes over whether Troy would be taken by might advocated by Achilles or by artifice advocated by Odysseus. The scholia to Od. 8.75 and 77 point to such an epic tradition. We can say th at the quarrel of Achil les and Odysseus is an alternative traditional theme th a t would have been suitable for testing the heroic w orth of Achilles in a different di mension: the conflict of Achilles in the Iliad contrasts martial with social superiority, the conflict in Odyssey 8 is based on a different axis, i.e. m ight against artifice3. B ut the epic them e of such a conflict is also maintained as an un dertone in Iliad 9, by means of including Odysseus in the Embassy to Achilles. The scholia A to II. 9.347 take verses 346-52 as an allu sion to the same tradition. And this is most im portant for our study, which relates Philoctctes especially to the ninth book of the Iliad. We begun this investigation with II. 9. 312-4, in which Achilles rep lies to Odysseus with an ad hoc definition of , th a t applies to the epic behaviour of Odysseus. Therefore the words of Achilles in the Iliad, the epic character of Odysseus, and the first song of Demodo cos in the Odyssey show a traditional enmity between these two pre eminent heroes of Greek epic. The Nekyia appears as a convenient future of the Iliad.
1. A. Edwards, pp. 68-9. 2. Edwards, pp. 38 if.; Macleod Colin, C o lle c te d E s s a y s (od. by O. Tapin, Oxford 1983), pp. Iff. 8. Cf. Q. Nagy, T h e B e s t, chs 1-4.
Sophocles' - P h il o c te t e s and the Hom eric epics
From the contrast between Achilles and Odysseus9 in the epic tradition, and especially in the Homeric apics, Sophocles appears in the prologue to choose Odysseus in preference to Achilles and sub stitute Odysseus in the la tte r's position tow ards Neoptolemos, fol lowing, in his construction, material from the Odyssey. Besides, we must take into account Achilles' plans regarding Neoptolemos and the role planned for Patroclus, in case he himself had no from Troy (II. 19.326-37; cf. 24.486-92): , / / ] / \ ^ . Achilles in Homer had substituted Patroclus, his alter ego, for himself. We m ay say th a t in Philoctetes Sophocles makes Odysseus substitute himself in the place of Patroclus, besides th a t of Achilles. Nostos, of course, is a m ajor them e of the epics: Achilles' pote ntial nostos is an im portant them e to which he refers frequently in the Iliad; Achilles' fear for Peleus and his desire to defend him is an im portant feature of the Ilia d ; it constitutes an im portant them e in crucial parts of the plot. Nostos, too, occurs, as we will see, in the Philoctetes; it refers to Philoctetes9 coming home (no m atter if via Troy). In the N ckyia Achilles himself is portrayed as prefering nos tos over heroic . And Odysseus dwells on Neoptolemos9 coming back (535ff.). A nother nostos is a t stake in th e P hiloctetes: if direct from Lemnos, an unaccomplished one, if via Troy, a victo rious and real nostos. The audience m ust have had in mind this interpetation of Achil les - Odysseus - Neoptolemos9 relationship. Using Homeric m aterial Sophocles has substituted Odysseus for Achilles in his relation to Neoptolemos. The lines under discussion, 79ff., 86ff., and 96ff., repeat the well-known contrast of the two heroes in the Homeric epics. Odysseus has won Neptolemos over from Achilles (and Philoctetes). The first part of the Philoctetes is seen in this spirit; it is an ambush brought about by the co-operation of Odysseus and Neoptolemos. Philoctetes' invincible bow, almost magical for the conquest of Troy, is another trial Odysseus has to win. In the Odyssey all those who try to prevail are against justice and the social order; the only we apon of all those who try to resist and overcome them is th eir . Therefore the deceit () in the Philoctetes is a kind of am bush. The is 1. The m erchant's scene, too, and Odysseus' 1 . Cf. its elem ents in Edw ards, pp. 22-3, On the emphasis on see Machin, pp. 264-5; Vidal-Naquet, passim.
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w aiting for Neoptolemos is another one. All three parts of the ambush may be traced in our play: the planning in the prologue of the play, in the discussion between Odysseus and Neoptolemos; the concealment in the false stories of Neoptolemos; and the attack in the case of Odysseus9 appearance and his quarrel with Philoctetes. Be sides, Philoctetes from becomes, like Helenos, (609, 616, 630). Even Heracles' epiphany as a deiis ex machina seems visually like a 'peaceful' ambush. Heracles himself had set two ambushes, as in the case of Augeas' stable (Pi. O. 10.26-34) and in the Garyonais of Stesichorus (181-86 P). After all, Heracles' toils, hardships etc. belong equally to Odysseus' character. Ne vertheless, Achilles parallels himself to Heracles in II. 18.117 ff. saying th a t not even he escaped from destruction; and there is a strong relationship, as we will see, between Philoctetes and Heracles. The most obvious analogy between Philoctetes and the Iliad is th a t the whole play constitutes an embassy like the ninth Book1. Sophocles from the very beginning of Odysseus' plan calls the enter prise which he and Neoptolemos are undertaking together as (60), recalling verbally in this way the famous allegory in the Iliad (502 ff.), which gives the name to the ninth Book. In the false mer chant scene Diomedes and Odysseus, a Homeric pair, are said to have sailed to fetch Philoctetes to Troy (570ff.) and Phoinix and the sons of Theseus are also said to be pursuing Philoctetes, while, according to the plan, another embassy to Neoptolemos was undertaken by Odys seus and Phoinix (343 ff.); thus there are three enbassies w ithin one, modelled on the Homeric one. Notice, also, th a t Philoctetes refers to th e message he used to his father to fetch him home as ' (495). And as in the Iliad 9.165-6 the ambassadors, like those who partici pate in an ambush, are eminent members of society (). But the most striking similarity between Philoctetes and the Iliad is Philoctetes' position in relation to Achilles' position during the . The m ost often repeated feature of Philoctetes is his loneliness and isolation. His wild condition and solitude has been interpreted emphatically and connected rightly with civilization and Philocte tes* joining th e com m unity12. When Philoctetes introduces himself in a Homeric way indeed (219-21, cf. Od. 3.70-4, 9.252-55, 1.170; cf. Phil. 643)- he describes himself as *),.... ,
1. Cf. Beye,. pp. 63-5. 2. Cf. esp. P. Vidal-Naquet; Rose passim; antithesis of p o lls vs. individual is a reaction to epic individualism, Beye, pp. 68 ff. C. Segal, T r a g e d y , passim. T.
Sophocles* Pkiloctetes and the Homeric epics
(226-8). These characteristics are repeated m any times: (265, cf. 269), (47 cf. 182-3), 9 (1070). Philoctetes was cast (1018; cf. 1028 ), to which Jebb compares the Homeric , , (II. 9.63)*. Achilles himself describes his position in Iliad: ' 9 / , (9.647-8; cf. 1.412, 356, 9. 110-11). Achilles' tragedy is measured in the term s of : the best of the Achaeans has been an , the. m ost miserable creature in the scale of honour in hum an society2. Philoctetes, also, is in double sense: he lives like a wild animal isolated from any civilization, which Sophocles takes to mean horror, far from any romantic image of a peaceful life in the frie ndly company of beasts (cf. 183-6), and, as a result, he had became tough, harsh and stubborn bacause of the injustice done to him. The first meaning underlines the first part of the play, while in the exodos the second meaning is more obvious. Because of his hatred of Agamemnon Achilles had an (II. 9.629). Neoptolemos in his sincere attem pt at persuasion addresses Philoctetes (1321): 9 - a most striking both textual and them atic echo. Achilles, too, had came to loneliness after he had been deprived of his (II. 1.348 ff.)3 and after this scene the ambassadors find him in 9.186 f. singing to a lyre. The am bassadors do not find Philoctetes singing - probably in a stark contrast - but his lone liness, both internal and external is the same; and the reason for th a t loneliness is the injustice done by Agamemnon (or A treidae and Odys seus in the case of Philoctetes). It has been observed th a t Achil les rests rath er th an acts, in contrast e.g. to Aeneas in the Aeneid*; and Philoctetes suffers rather th a t acts as other tragic heroes do; their weapons are inactive- at least, deprived of their proper use, in the case of Philoctetes; the heroes' prowess is abrogated. The tragedy of both characters lies in their loneliness and suffering. The euphemistic -1234
A. Sinclair, A H istory of Greek Political Thought (London 1967), pp. 53-4, shows how the loyalty of a citizen to the pohV-community can be reconciled with the individualism which esp. Protagoras seems to proclain. 1 . Cf. Kamerbeek on v. 1028; cf. Schlesinger, p.' 150, emhasizes the use of , . 2 . A.W .H. Adkins, «'Honour*» and `punishment* in the H om eric Poems» (BICS 7(1960) 23-32). 3. Cf. of Odysseus (1123-4). 4. . Clarke, H om er's Readers (N. Jersey, London, T oronto) pp. 11 0 -2 0 .
I. N. Perysinakis
( ) (508-9) from this aspect constitutes a meaning ful ambiguity. Furthermore, the similarity between these two heroes and their conditions are extended to their response to the embassy and their re storation into society. The first is connected w ith the oracle and the various stages of 'persuasion* and the second with the denouement of the play.
FIR ST EPEISODION: Philoctetes-Achilles and NeoptolemosAchilles. In the first epeisodion (219-675) Neoptolemos speaks to Philo ctetes and develops Odysseus' instructions. Philoctetes5 arrival spe ech and Neoptolemos' introduction of himself and the news about the rest of the Achaean heroes at Troy portray both Philoctetes and Ne optolemos w ith Homeric colouring1. According to Odysseus' plan Neo ptolemos should say to Philoctetes th at he was Achilles' son: «no ne ed to lie about that» (57). B ut th a t was his fatal mistake. Neoptolemos appears to Philoctetes, and speaks to him, as a real son of Achilles, b u t this allows his real nature to undermine Odysseus' lies. Little by little he abandons Odysseus' plans and finds his true self in the later part of the play. The first epeisodion gives the opportunity for working out of the problems in Neoptolemos' soul, and thus constitutes a continuing irony throughout the scene and a contribution to the verbal ambiguity. In his narrative of his hatred of the Atreidae he m atches up to both Achilles and the Achillean character of Philoctetes. Neoptolemos' words in the second epeisodion «I have been in pain for your sorrow for a long time» (806), repeated three more ti mes (906, 913, 966), signify the turning-point of the play and may be seen as a reference to this work out12. Line 812 especially is one of the most significant ambiguities of this sort in the play: «I may not go w ithout you, Philoctetes». Neoptolemos means in accordance w ith the oracle; Philoctetes means in accordance with his request to Neoptolemos; both finally serve the am biguity. Also, Neoptolrmos' ascertainm ent th a t «Odysseus is a cunning wrestler, but even the cunning are sometimes tripped up» (431-32) is a clever com binati on of the - Ј theme, as it is related to Odysseus' famous wre- 1. The S c h o lia on vv. 334-5 cite I I 21. 278. Cf. also 16. 700 if., 790 ff., 806 if. 2. I am not investigating hints of Neoptolemos* pity as early as possible in the play, but it seems that Neoptolemos* acceptance of Odysseus* plan (120)
Sophocles* Philoctetes and the H om eric epics
stling ability (II. 23.700 ff.) and his profession of speech; b u t also the couplet prepares for the failure of Odysseus' plan and constitu tes a double irony both to Odysseus and Neoptolemos himself. The same couplet may point to Neoptolemos' words in 1244, , which constitutes another irony of th e play. When, introducing himself, Philoctetes mistakenly believes th a t his name had never been heard by Neoptolemos (249 ff.), he is by heroic standards at the worst point of his loneliness and isolation: he is indeed in the place of and . Homer's readers of course have Achilles in mind even when the Achaeans win; but Philoctetes' equivalent position is 'o u t of the play'. And when Neoptolemos says th a t he is sailing home (240, cf. 58) he p u ts himself in the first stage of Achilles' various stages of departure ho me from Troy in the Iliad (1.169-71, 9.357 ff.) or in his desired b u t never fulfilled nostos in the Odyssey. And the hybris of the Atreidae to Neoptolemos (342) puts the latter again in Achilles' position. Neoptolemos' hate is called (328, 374, 368 ), another word for (II. 9.675, 553). Neoptolemos' sim ilarity to Achilles (357-8; cf. Od. 11.522)1 works symbolically to link the Odyssean Neoptole mos of the prologue with the Achillean one of th e later p a rt of th e play. Notice also th a t Neoptolemos, like his father, is ready to refu te the Atreidae (374, 363, 369). All this quarrel is modelled on th e quarrel scene in the first book of the Iliad. Neoptolemos m ay like quarrels like his father (II. 1.187, cf. 9.255 ff., 699, etc.). On the other hand Odysseus is called (377) echoing probably Odysseus' in the Odyssey (11.203). Neoptolemos' (360) may correspond to Achilles' in the Iliad (1.349; cf. Od. 11. 530 for Neoptolemos). Neoptolemos' loss of Achilles' arms, except th a t it refers to the well-known motif of the ' , corres ponds to Achilles'own loss of Briseis. Philoctetes in his first long speech complains th a t it was the A t reidae and (314) th a t left' him at Lemnos. A. Long no tes four uses of the periphrasis with , three of them in the first p art of Philoctetes (314, 321, 592)*12. This Homeric periphrasis and its m ust always be kept in mind; cf. W innington-Ingram , pp. 283-4. Segal, Tragedy p. 341. Cf. Steidle, who detects early hints of Neoptolemos* distress, pp. 174-81, Scmhidt, pp. 168 ff., A lt, p. 160; for a contrary view see Erbse, pp. 189-93, esp. the last. 1 . Cf. fr. ad. 363R (=363N 2) where Philoctetes (probably) is addressing Neo ptolemos: ^, * el. 2 . Language and Thought in Sophocles (London, 1968), p. 102 (n. 138).
I. N. Perysinakis
repetition has an ironic ring after Odysseus' profession of allegiance to the tongue1. The irony m ay be placed in the - antithe sis, b u t the irony also m ay be more intensive if we think th a t, though being Odysseus' feature, this periphrasis prepares for the fi nal joining of Odysseus and Philoctetes, since is characteristic of Achilles and Neoptolemos. This Iliadic periphrasis of Odysseus and his role in relation to Philoctetes may echo Odysseus' nature of ca using or suffering pain (Od. 19.407-9). Sophocles had played, after Homer, with Odysseus* name (fr. 965, Vita 20, R adt p. 39). Philo ctetes, too, suffers pains and sorrow. But another man, Achilles, ca uses pains both to Trojans and Achaeans, but at the same time him self suffers pains and sorrow, as his very name suggests (cf. . 1.1-2 )12. Odysseus and Philoctetes are in a polar relation. Odysseus* higher position corresponds to Philoctetes' lower place in their story. Odysseus' corresponds to Philoctetes being and unknown. But, as it appears, it must be changed. Odysseus' yielding to Philo ctetes (1052-53) and their final joining must be seen from this per spective. The supposed embassy to Neoptolemos (343 ff.) is an embassy within the real embassy to Philoctetes. One also has to observe th at its pretence, because of its place in the deceit epeisodion, is under mined by the concession of ' do' oih· (345), which, though said to contribute to the tru th of the message, in fact contri butes to am biguity and irony. In the false m erchant scene the mission of Diomedes and Odysseus gives more am biguity (570 ff.; cf. II. 19.331-3, Od. 11.508-9). W hat the embassy said to Neopptolemos (345 ff.) continues in fact Thetis' oracle in the Iliad (see infra). A fter Achilles' choosing the alternative of glory and permature death it was god's decree th a t Troy should be taken only by Neoptolemos. This doom of Troy m ust be seen in connection with vv. 196 ff. and the plan of the gods for the coming of its fulfilled time. It has also been overlooked by critics th a t this oracle for Neoptolemos is a model of the oracle for Philoctetes. The conquest of Troy either by Neopto lemos or by him together with Philoctetes is called (352, 1344). In both oracles nothing is said of Odysseus* role, but by putting Odysseus as the eminent member of the embassy Sophocles legitimately advances Odysseus* role in the capture of Troy, (after all his is
1. Cf. M. Blundell, «Moral Character» p. 329. 2. Cf. tho one-paragraph exposition in L. R. Palmer, The Interpretation of
Sophocles* Philoctetes and the H om eric epics
always necessary for T roy's fall), thus expressing his affirm ation of Odysseus' spirit in his age. Neoptolemos repeats th a t he is sailing to Scyros in 383. I am suggesting th at Neoptolemos' going home echoes Achilles' threat to leave Troy (see above). The dialogue between Philoctetes and Neo ptolemos concerning the Achaean heroes in Troy offers more eviden ce. Given, the replacem ent of Patroclus by Odysseus in Achilles' po sition towards Neoptolemos (see above), Philoctetes' question abo ut Patroclus (433-4) may be seen as another irony on the p art of the poet. B ut a striking irony of the play is Neoptolemos' answer to Philoctetes' question about a man «quite unworthy bub dexterous and clever w ith his tongue»: * ; (438-41). Odyseus would never be indermined b etter1. Neoptolemos' words th a t «war never takes a bad man b u t by chance, the good man always» (436-7) supplemented by his assura nce th a t he «will never abide the company of those where the wor se man has more power th a n the b etter and the good are always on the wane and the covards rule» (456-8) probably refer to Achilles' words in the Iliad 9.318-20: ... , · / Ifj * / ' (cf. 1.576. ). In the same context Neoptolemos advancing his 'potential' friendship with Philoctetes says: , (459-60), which m ay be modelled on Achilles* speech to Odysseus in the same ninth book 393 ff.: ' , ... . Notice th a t suggestions of home occur twice in the same conttext: II. 9.393, 414 ((), ). One is tem pted to say th a t we may see Sophocles working on Achilles' speech to Odysseus from his Iliad. Finishing his false story in vv. 461-67 Neoptolemos speaks of his departure for a third time. In the same passage he mentions his and . It is a common belief th a t the play is full of stops and starts, and D. Seale has emphasized th e element of surprise and the repeated pattern of departures th a t become non-departures, which exploit the audience's ignorance and uncertainty*12. In 639-40 Mycenaean Greek T exts ;(Oxford 1963) p. 79, and G. Nagy's relevant chapter in The Best pp. 67 ff. 1. On Thersites cf. Huxley G., «Thersites» pp. 33-4. 2. 94 f., 98 ff.
I. N. Perysinakis
once more (cf. 464-5) Neoptolemos repeats th a t he will sail when the wind a t his prow falls. And the them e of fair w eather follows el sewhere in the play (855, 881, 1402). A t the very end Heracles him self advises departure, using the words and (1451-2). All these proposed departures together w ith other actions (such as entrances to the cave 674, 539, postponem ent 1075, etc.) constitute the well-known Homeric feature of 1. In (1408) another stop is planned; Heracles «exploits» it, and af te r his appearance Philoctetes in fact continues, in the of 1452, the of 1408, so as to make the two endings coincide. But all these cases may have been coined from Achilles' emphasis on (11. 9.362), which is in accordance with his first decision to depart. In all these cases one also has to observe the ambiguity of the desti nation of the : in 529 the journey is «where we choose to go»; in 781 the voyage is «to where god sends us»; even in 1402 is left w ithout destination. Only at the end in Philoctetes* farewell to th e island, and only after his acceptance of Heracles* message, (1466 ff.) and the previous ambiguities (cf. 627) become one-way. Another am biguity in Neoptolemos* farewell m ay be seen in his wish (462-63) which m ay prefigu re Heracles* epiphany and Philoctetes' final and restora tion. Of the same am biguity are Philoctetes* profane questions (451-2), repeated with less uncertainty (1036), which prefigure the ending of the play and Heracles* epiphany restoring justice. The chorus's words especially, (843), refer to the god's appearance. The supplication scene is an im portant p art of the Philoctetes plot: in this scene Odysseus* plan reaches its culmination. And this is one of the differences between Philoctetes and Achilles: both the se heroes are supplicated, but Philoctetes also supplicates; Achilles does not supplicate, a t least in person. B ut w hat is im portant from our point of view is th a t in the supplication scene Sophocles uses the Homeric (and epic) them e of nos tos. First the supplication is made in terms of the heroic values (475-8) and Philoctetes* return is always related to his father and his (492, 488, cf. 58, 240). It has been observed12 th a t Philoctetes' land has been placed in the land
1. as the whole , , Teichoscopy, Theomachy; cf. scholia vetera ad. 14. 153, 6. 392 and Erbse, Scholia Vetera, vii (under narratio). Philoctetes* entrances from his caye, in particular, correspond to the main phases of his relationship with Neoptolemos (219 ff,, 730 ff., 1263 ff.), cf. Tarrant p. 126. 2. Avery, «Heracles» pp. 290-3; Taplin, «Mapping» pp. 73-4.
Sophocles* Philoctetes and the Homeric epics
of Heracles and th a t means th a t Sophocles could always keep H era cles in his audience's consciousness. Through th e association of He racles with Oita the impression line 453 wo uld give to an audience would he th a t Philoctetes is somehow H eracles'son, or a descendant of Heracles (1131-2), in addition to being the possesor of his bow. Philoctetes' services to Heracles on Mt. Oi ta can be' regarded as similar to those which Philoctetes wants from Neoptolemos. Philoctetes is a benefactor of Heracles (670), ju st as Neoptolemos could be a benefactor of Philoctetes. From the very be ginning of the play (v. 4) Malis, to the south of Thessaly, is placed close to Achilles' P h th ia (in Iliad 9 and elsewhere), from geographi cal and tex tu al point of view. Spercheios is a river god of Peleus' te r ritory (16.174 ff., 23.142 ff.). It appears as if Sophocles tries to n a r row the distance from Scyros to Malis and from Malis to P hthia and to make Philoctetes and Achilles-Neoptolemos neighbours, just as they share the same heroic code (479, 488 ff.). It has also been observed1 th a t Philoctetes sometimes thinks of his father as dead and other tim es as alive and the answer offered is th a t Philoctetes thinks his father is dead when he is depressed and alive when he is more cheerful: 493-7 doubt, 665 alive, 1210-1 dead, 1371 alive. And this m ust be right. B ut one could add th a t this again is modelled on Peleus' condition in the Iliad} which varies in accor dance to Achilles' feeling and sitution, which again is formed in ac cordance w ith the development of Thetis* (see infra, ora cle section). F athers and th e care of fathers in their old age consti tu te a standard nostos them e12. Achilles speaks of his father's fortu ne a t length in I I 9.393 ff., 18.329 ff. (cf. 434 ff.), 19.321 ff., 24.534 ff. (cf. 486 ff.). Achilles will be unable to nurse his father in his old age, in spite of his good fortune when he was young. Poias shares Philoctetes' potential homecoming and he will thank Neoptolemos for his help. Therefore two nostoi are referred to in the Philoctetes, th a t of the homonymous hero and th a t of Neoptolemos. Neoptole mos will fulfil his father's nostos, never m aterialized, from Troy; if Philoctetes comes straight home ; from Lemnos his nostos will be not a real, fulfilled one, b u t incomplete and w ithout the due spoils, b u t if he comes through Troy he will come victorious and he will dedicate the spoils from the campaign on Heracles' pyre in memory of his bow 1 . Jebb, note to 1209 f. and A very, «Heracles», p. 293 (. 1 ). 2 . Gf. B.G. Fenik, Typical B a ttle Senes in the Iliad (1968), passim ; J . Grif fin, Homer on Life and D eath (Oxford) 1980) ch. iv. pp. 108, 123 ff.
. N. Perysinakis
(1431-3). The false nostos of Neoptolemos correponds to the desired nostos of Achilles in the Odyssey (11.501-3, see above); it is as if Ac hilles were to fulfil his threat (in the Iliad) to leave Troy. Neoptole mos* (and Philoctetes') actual jorney to Troy corresponds to the re al deeds of Achilles. If, obeying to the call of friendship, Neoptole mos brings him to Malis, according to the so-called first end, he will lose w hat his father lost in obeying the call of friendship to Patroclos and staying at Troy. One has also to observe th a t the supplication scene is reminis cent of T hetis' supplication to Zeus in the first book of the Iliad. (484) is actually Philoctetes' plea to Neoptolemos, ju st as , in a close correspondence, is T hetis'plea to Zeus (1.514). The fact th a t Zeus (1.528) corresponds to Neoptolemos' willingness to help Philoctetes. Philoctetes's appeal to Neoptobemos is about a plea to Zeus- (484). Philoctetes addresses the chorus (and Neoptolemos) as and Neoptolemos addressed him as after his appearance on the stage (219, 232). Philoctetes' posi tion, no doubt, does not allow him to exercise the duties of friends hip: a t least they should learn each other's name (231-3). Philo ctetes, like Achilles, has been placed in the position of an , , th a t is th a t of a beggar. And Zeus is (Od. 9.270). And as J. Gould had obser ved and are social institutions which perm it the acce ptance of the outsider within the group and which create hereditary bonds of obligation between the parties»1. A part from any other re ason which makes Neoptolemos stand by his oath (1367, 1398, 526, 811 ff. - it appears e.g. th a t Philoctetes' words are in the end stro nger th a t deeds-)123it is also this obligation imposed on the person supplicated which makes Neoptolemos respond to Philoctetes. Besi des, w hat Philoctetes seems to claim from Neoptolemos is th a t thro ugh Neoptolemos has been bound to him and this binding has been sanctioned through the taking of oaths (cf. //. 7.302, 22.265-7). Sophocles presents Odysseus' conception of success, as P. Rose observes, in term s of commercial profit and a markedly unheroie vi ctory. Odysseus* materialism has a less anthropological flavour8. He
1. «Hikcteia», J I I S 93 (1973) 74-103, pp. 92-3. 2. Gf. Taplin, «Mapping» pp. 71, 72 and «Significant action» pp. 38-9; one would use Euripides* famous line from I lip p o l y to s (612) to describe Neoptolemos* obligation both to Odysseus in the prologue and to Philoctetes in tho deception. 3. p. 92; cf. also Alt, pp. 155-6, and Steidle p. 170.
Sophocles* Philoctetes amd the Homeric epics
tells Neoptolemos th a t victory is a sweet .possession (81) and uses 'profit* as an argum ent against hesitation (111). Philoctetes himself describes the island in which he lives as a place where no m erchant can find profit (303), he calls Odysseus the «bought» son of Laertes (417), while when he recognizes Odysseus he exclaims «I have been bought and lost!» (978). The m erchant scene is prepared in a similar m aterialistic spirit (584, 552, 579) and reproduces Odysseus* well-kno wn materialism from the Odyssey (cf. esp. 8.159-64). Neoptolemos, too, speaks of sack of Troy in m aterialistic term s: «It is a glorious heightening of gain» (1344, cf. 352-3). One could say th a t he uses Odyssean language for Achillean deeds. Perhaps this possessive language is connected w ith the nam e of Philoctetes itself. J. Daly has emphasized the linguistic interplay con cerning the name of Philoctetes in vv. 670-731. These lines p u t double emphasis on Philoctetes* name, not only retaining its trad i tional sense «fond og gain» (670-1), b u t bearing also the connotation th a t «the best is a » (673). Besides, these lines are ironic both for Philoctetes, for his thankless treatm ent by the Greeks, and for Neoptolemos. For it is only through his association w ith the suf fering Philoctetes th at Neoptolemos comes to understand fully the burden of his words. The changes of h eart he undergoes are central to Neoptolemos* development as a character and to th e developm ent of the play. And it is this burden of friendship under which he will try to persuade Philoctetes. Last, but not least, under this meaning of friendship finally Philoctetes will bend- having been persuaded by Heracles. Line 673 is ironic, too: he will exercise w hat he himself said about the bow: he will show once more kindness, like Heracles, while Neoptolemos by showing kindness to Philoctetes will be in Philocte tes* position when he kindled the pyre for Heracles. Therefore, the episode began with Philoctetes in absolute isola tion and solitude and its end finds him in a position of friendship on which I would say the rest of the play rests. Neoptolemos m atures in the course of the play, as Telemachus does in th e O dyssey. N eopto lemos appears to have departed from his «imposed task»: the merc hant scene serves in this direction; through the false m erchant he has alienated himself from his mission. In 249 ff. Philoctetes* name was unknown to Neoplemos; in 673 it is th e basis of th e plot. P ro bably these lines (670-73) are the turning-point for Neoptolemos'
1. «The name of Philoctetes»; cf. Clare Campbell, « Theophany» pp. 81-2
I. N. Perysinakis
sincerity to Philoctetes. These are in the middle: the reciprocal giving of the bow is based on them . Furtherm ore, the whole episode and the prologue draw on the O dysseus-A chilles speeches in Iliad 9, which fail both to persuade Achilles and to make him leave. The first, since Odysseus does not offer w hat Achilles really needs, the second bacause Achilles, like Philoctetes, is not y et ready to decide about his own nature. They do not speak the same language.
EXODOS (1218-1471) Philoctetes, too, uses his own language: one must speak of «the language of Philoctetes» in the same sense as A. Parry spoke of «the language of Achilles»1. Achilles has no ready-m ade languge, no ter ms, with which to express his disillusionment with society and the external world. Y et he expresses it, and in a remarkable way; i.e. by misusing the language at his disposal. Offers to Achilles are not enough to restore his offended honour: to undo what has been done (II. 9.374 ff. 387); hence his stubborness, similarly with Philoctetes. The alternatives of the prologue, i.e. force, guile or persuasion are absolute human behaviours, but they are alien to Philoctetes; his otherness and disillusionment w ith society is shown by his response to them . Constructions like th a t w ith the `redundant' of the Iliad (9.387, 651-2, etc.), are not found in the tragedy, but they may cor respond to Philoctetes* persistence in not going to Troy. On the ot her hand, Achilles' concessive clauses «not if he gave m e-or gave alln o t if he gave me- n o t even so» (<5* , 9 , 9 , , . 9.37985) may be echoed in expressions like th a t of w . 624-5: «I shall be persuaded to go to Troy as much as it is likely th a t I shall come back from Hades after my death, as his father did». Philoctetes' final cha nge of heart does bring him back from Hades-metaphorically-, but one m ay see the am biguity and the irony underpinning the whole play, the character of Philoctetes included, in spite of the audience's sym pathy. Also Philoctetes'curse on Ilium (1200), apart from the fact th a t it is p art of his language, may echo Achilles* curses in the Iliad (9.377, 1.158 ff.). Furthermore, the word-versus-deed, or the truth-versus-falsehood antitheses are part of the language of Philoctetes. An examina tion of the play shows that Odysseus characteristically uses dei} Phi loctetes chre, while Neoptolemos' usage shifts at a crucial point of the 1. ( 87 (1956) 1-7); now in A. P arry , The Language o f Achilles and O t her Essays (Oxford 1990). Cf. also M.D. Reeve, «The Language of Achilles» ( CQ 23
Sophocles' Philoctetes and the Homeric epics
101 '
play. The agent who uses chre emphasizes the importance of some action, which is his own action, whereas th e agent who describes his position with a dei seems to be emphasizing instead the importance of some state of affairs. The precise meaning of Odysseus' dei certa inly embraces duress and perhaps divine destiny1. The difficulty of communication is not due to the formulaic language, but to the heroic code of excellence; Philoctetes lives enti rely alone. As Podlecki puts it, Philoctetes is a case-study in th e fa ilure of communication, involving three individuals who fail to co me to terms with one another because they are, in effect, speaking with different voices*12.
1. The Oracle The prophecy of Helenos is one of the m ajor issues of the play; though it is not referred to explicitly in the prologue, it takes some length in it, since Sophocles uses this prologue in a Euripidean way explaining the plot of the play. Almost all critics agree th a t there is a progressive revelation of the term s of the prophecy3. Speaking of the poetics of Greek tragedy M. H eath uses th e prophecy of Helenos to illustrate w hat he calls `definition', according to which the «more clearly defined something is in a play, the easier it will be for an au dience to detect inconistencies». He goes on to argue th a t «Sophoc les never needs to tell us clearly and unequivocally th e term s of the prophecy, so he leaves it ill-defined and draws on it in unobtrusive ly inconsistent ways at different points in the play: its vagueness m a kes possible its fluidity»4. One may also say, w ith Gill, th a t Sopho cles does not allow Neoptolemos to state th e term s of th e oracle un
(1973) 193-5) ;J. Hogan, «Double and the Language of Achilles» (CJ 71 (1975-
76)305-310); D.B. Claus, «Aidos in the Language of Achilles» ( 105 (1975)
13-28); P. Friedrich-J. Redfield, «Speech as a Personality Symbol: The Case of
Achilles» (Language 54 (1978) 263-88), to mention only some of the subsequent
1. Cf. Nussbaum, p. 30 who cites S. Benardete's, «Chre and Dei in Plato and
Others» (Glotta 43 (1965) 297); cf. also Blundell, «Character», pp. 316-7.
2. pp. 233-4, 245, 246 ff. The Philoctetes and the Sophists from the point of
view of their teaching on logos and language, apart from what already has been
said by scholars (Rose, E. Craik, Schlesinger pp. 122-4, Segal,Tragedy pp. 333 ff.,
etc.), is the subject of another paper.
3. Hinds, p. 170.
4. p. 114.
I. N. Perysinakis
til he responds both in action and feeling to its spirit. The direct re velation of divine will by Heracles comes as a reward of Neoptolemos' response to the oracle*1. Sophocles' revealing of the oracle is modelled on Homer's hand ling of T hetis' in the Iliad. Achilles in 9.410 ff. is a t a neu tral position: he is fated either to die a t Troy w ith everlasting glory or to live a long life in P hthia b u t w ithout glory. From this position on, as he is guided to choose the first alternative, Thetis' becomes clearer, so th a t after Patroclus' death, mourning in fact her own son's death, Thetis describes herself with the excellent adj. and says th a t she will never again receive Achilles as he returns home to the house of Peleus (18.52 ff.). And it was this motif which Nestor used to urge Achilles, through Patroclos, to join the war (R . J l. 794 ff., 16.36 ff.): i.e. the name of n o sto s, or suggestions of it, is used ironically for the no-n o sto s of Achilles. Furthermore, when the future has already been decided, Thetis «was mourning the death of her blameless son, who so soon was destined to die in Troy of the rich soil, far from the land of his father» (24.85-6, cf. 131-2; R. L attim ore's tran s.). A part from Helenos' prophecy, the nostos theme and the supposed oracle to Neoptolemos follow the function of The tis' f . Also, Sophocles* handling of the prophecy reminds us of Homer treatm ent of the term s of the embassy. Nestor establishes the need for an embassy on grounds never understood completed by Agame mnon (II. 9.109-13). Odysseus in his speech does not repeat Nestor's arguments, nor does he convey what Achilles said to Phoinix and Aias, the second and the third stage of his decision-making (677 ff.). And this is im portant for the plot not only of the ninth Book b u t of the whole plot of the Iliad. Sophocles similaly reveals the tru th little by little and leaves his _ audience to digest it little by little in ac cordance with his plan. Sophocles uses the prophecy in the prologue --not explicitly-- (68-9, 101-16), in the parodos (191-200), in the first epeisodion (in the false m erchant scene, 604 ff.), in the second stnsimon (vv. 83942), and in the exodos (in 1324 ff., and 1418 ff.). The first adequate statem ent of the term s of the prophecy is in vv. 1324 ff., when Neo ptolemos has found himself and speaks of his genuine , arguing
1. pp. 144, 144. 1. Ono could follow tho prophecy of Thetis in tho I lia d : 1.352, 414 ff., 505-6: Achilles and Thetis appear to know and use the prophecy in respect of one of its
Sophocles* Philoctetes and the Homeric epics
on the grounds of the ((helping-friends» them e; this stage of the plot corresponds to the embassy scene in the Iliad, to which we will come later. The prophecy in the disguised-merchant scene (604 ff.), like the whole scene itself, serves some other purposes: it has been designed to increase the audience's anxiety through the am biguity of the word, and to initiate developments or explain the behaviour of all three principal characters of the play. Sophocles appears to follow the same technique th at Homer had already used to create tragic ef fect. The revealing of the prophecy goes parallel to the plot and the poet's intentions. Sophocles had a parallel for such a technique in Homer. One of the term s of the prophecy is th a t Philoctetes m ust come to Troy, and he m ust come willingly, and another th a t together with Neoptolemos he will sack the city. To the whole argum ent on this point offered by such studies as those of Hinds, Garvie, Buxton, Knox, Bowra, Kitto, etc., I would like to draw attention to some usa ges of the verb and add another meaning of the verb rein forcing Easterling's point th a t «the Greeks after all used for both ideas» (i.e. obedience to a command and compliance in response to argum ent)1. In his long elegy on the Muses after speaking about god-given, permanent wealth, Solon adds: 3v 9 * , <\) ; ; (13.11-13W). Also, in his Eunomia Solon says again (viol, (4.5-6W; cf. . 11, and Theogn. 194, 380). In LSJ9 both these cases are classified under B. 2 w ith the meaning «listen to one, obey», «yield, succumb to, comp ly with». In the second quotation in a kind of personification appear to *persuade' th e leaders of the asty to undertake arrogant deeds. In the first case in a personification again wealth appears to alternatives, that of the short life, while Achilles is called (505) from his being short-lived ( ); cf. also 11.794 ff., 16.36 ff., 49-51 (where iro nically the fuction of the oracle shapes Achilles* fortune), 18. 95-6 (which seems to be the turning-point of Achilles' fortune in the I lia d ), 115-6, 19.408 ff., 21.108 ff., 275-8, 22. 359-60, etc. For an analysis of the Homeric use of Thetis in the per spective of her mythology, see L.M. Slatkin. 1. pp. 33-4. Cf. Garvie, pp. 220 ff.; Buxton, pp. 118-32; cf. Linforth, p. 115, Knox, 119 f.
L N. Perysinakis
'be persuaded' by , i.e. by deeds which are not in accor dance w ith dike, w ith w hat is due to someone traditionally. In both cases we m ay say th a t we have the beguiling or fauning action fo ate, which seduces man to undertake an arrogant action which in its turn destroys him. It is im portant th a t this wealth , but it is a result of disapproved actions. Thus, m ay mean «obey or be persuaded or be obliged as a sequence of actions perfomed, tho ugh w ithout one's will, or a t least, w ithout prior deliberation, witho u t considering the consequences». Iliad 9 gives a parallel to such a condition. Agamemnon indeed had fallen into ate (116, 119) and Nestor is looking for ways to per suade Achilles: ' (112)- of which Agamemnon forgot the latter. But the closest paralel to such a condition is Achilles* position in Iliad 18.113. Achilles participates in the war, at the same time willingly and unwillingly; willingly beca use he wants to avenge his friend and obliged just because of that. Philoctetes is in a quite similar condition, and, as we will see, their condition has some analogies, which constitute a major argument of this study. Philoctetes* position m ay be th a t described by Dio Chrysostom (52.2) th a t Philoctetes «was led off to Troy, >. The passage is taken to mean th a t the holding of Philoctetes' bow as a hostage by Odysseus is a predom inant pattern to the plays of the three writers and the phrase «the persuasion by compulsion» is applied adequately to the Sophoclean play as well, though perhaps in Euripides Philoctetes was pesuaded both by rhe torical devices and by the fact th a t his bow was being held hostage1. A survival of this motif m ay be seen in Odysseus* threats in w . 983 ff., 1003 (see infra). But may be seen from the point of view of the Greeks at Troy; Euripides may have exploited the patriotic motif to persuade Philoctetes to come to Troy, but the Greeks certainly are in in this play (1039, cf. 601, 1340). Notice also the reverse of the situation between Odysseus and Neoptolemos: Odysseus was taken by cons train t and trickery when he sailed to Troy (1025), while Philoctetes who originally came of his own free will (1027), is now to come to Troy, according to Odysseus* plan, by deceit, or, according to the oracle, again of his own free will. A t this place one should notice with regard
1. M. G. Hoppin, p. 6 and n. 14; cf. Kieffer, Arete p. 39.
Sophocles* Philoctetes and the Homeric epics
to the three possibilities of Philoctetes being taken to Troy, deceit, violence, persuasion (102-3), th a t Philoctetes himself, from the other side of the coin, begs Neoptolemos not to give up his bow to anyone willingly or unwillingly or through any deceit (700-2 )x. Neoptolemos' words in the parodos (191-200) sound like a conti nuation of Agamemnon's passionate tone in Iliad 4.163-5, repeated by Hector in his speech to Andromache in 6.447-9: '7 (cf. Aesch. Ag. 126: ? ?>). Agamemnon in particular adds: (168). One feels th a t in th e parodos we are w ithin the , with all its sinister connotations. Notice also the opta tive of past sequence in Neoptolemos' speech (199), because th e gods arranged this long ago, as W ebster observes ad loc. The preposition (-) means «intensively, to the end of, completely, thoroughly». Helenos' prophecy th a t Troy must fall this summer accords with this interpretation (, 1340; cf. 922). Thus, the oracle and the mean th a t the fullness of tim e will come w ithin the (plot of the) play, and so they prepare for th e end. From this point of view, too, Neoptolemos appears to continue in m any verses of the play (1347, 114, 346-7) his father's aim of capturing Troy. One also has to observe, following W innington-Ingram , th a t the hexameters in vv. 839-42 do not suggest the sudden insight of an oracle, as most critics following Bowra understand them (implied al so by Jebb ad loc.), b u t heroic action2. There is a discord between th e Homeric metre and the unheroic enterprise in which the son of Ac hilles has allowed himself to be engaged. And this suits very well the other shame-culture terminology represented in the play by Philo ctetes, and by Neoptolemos after his change. As we shall see, Neoptolemos' speech in 1314 ff. echoes A jax's spe ech to Achilles in Iliad 9.624 ff. Neoptolemos speaks w ith evvoiji (1322) as a hetairos would have done, and as Ajax does, using the «helping-friends» argument, which Achilles has already accepted in his speech to Phoinix (9.612-16). Philoctetes' cure from the disease is one of the oracle's term s, (1334), which m ay be taken m e taphorically, too, is a term th a t one m ight have used in speaking ge nerally to a hero when he was angry, (a synonym of ) is also said of Menelaos by Homer himself in an apostrophe,1
1. Lines usualy overlooked, cf. Garvie, p. 214 n. 7. 1. «Tragica» pp. 48-50; Bowra p. 281; with very few exceptions, e.g. Rose p. 73, this suggestion has been_neglected.
I. N. Perysinakis
when his anger against Antilochos was softened, after the latter gave back the mare he had won wrongly (II. 23.597-600; cf. 24.119). The se lines in which m erit is recognized and rewarded may be seen as foreshadowing Achilles' overcoming his grief and showing pity to his enemy's body in th e final book of the Iliad, after his presiding at the ceremony and rising to m agnanim ity among his peers in book 231. The bow is an im portant element of the oracle and constitutes an im portant theme in some parts of the play: an especially contro versial one in the second stage (974 ff.). After Odysseus has been cu rsed by Philoctetes, he abruprly changes his mind and goes off saying «We do not need you, since we have these arms; there are good ar chers w ith us like Teucer and myself who know how to use the bow» (1054 ff.)12. I t has been much disputed w hether or not a t this point Odysseus is bluffing3, b u t I follow those critics who find th a t Odys seus pretends to leave Lemnos as a strategem to make Philoctetes agree to come. The whole scene and Philoctetes' desperate cry «Will you appe ar before the Argives in the glory of my atm s?» (1063-4) may echo the famous Hoplon Crisis of the L ittle Iliad. I would also suggest th a t Sophocles may have built this scene on Patroclus* request to Achilles (according to Nestor's advice) to send him to participate in the com bat: «Give me your arm our to wear on my shoulders into the fighting; so perhaps the Trojans m ight th in k I am you, and give way from their attack» (IL 16.40-3; cf. 11.796 ff.). The circumstances, of course, are not th e same; b u t the basic idea is similar. On the other hand, Odysseus and Philoctetes have some features in common. First, lines 1052-3 are significant: «It is my nature to seek to win in everything, except regarding you: I willingly yield to you now». Here the heroic competitive values yield to the co-opera tive excellence in favour, as it appears, of the social community. Odysseus* cunning strategy does not hesitate to sacrifice itself in or der to achieve its purpose. Later in the exodos (1253) he threatens Neoptolemos th a t , which is remi niscent of both Nestor's and Achilles* words in the Iliad (1.254-8, 19.
1. Cf. C.W. Macleod, I lia d B o o k x x i v (CUP 1982), pp. 31-2. 2. On Teucer's ability see: . 8. 273-334, 12.350, 363, 15.437 ff., 23.859 ff., and O d . 8.215 ff. (on OdyssousJ. 3. Hinds, pp. 177-8 and n. 4; Garvio, p. 220; Eastorling, «Criticism» p. 30» «Character» p. 126; Erbse, p. 184; Kitto, pp. 98, 124. Opposing views see Blundell,
Sophocles' Philoctetes and the Homeric epics
63-4, respectively) th a t Achilles' anger was sorrow for the Achaeans and happiness for the Trojans and Hector. Odysseus' threat, too, (1254-5), though typical in such conditions, may recall Achilles' position in Iliad 1.194, 219-20, when he starts to draw his sword against Agamemnon. Both, Achilles and Odysseus, retreat, but for opposite reasons: Achilles is moved by competitive values (1.213-4) and Odysseus by cooperative ones. Also, Odysseus and Philoctetes are known in epic tradition as skilled archers. And the bow, as Gill observes*1, is the visible symbol of the capacity for heroic action and carries w ith it th e obligation to exercise th a t capacity in action. The (1421) implies both th a t glory «is owed» to Philoctetes in return for his labours and th a t he is «obliged» to accept the chance of glory th a t his labours have given him. For this reason it is against the bow's original nature to be used against the Greeks as Philoctetes promises to Neoptolemos (1406); it was given to Heracles by Apollo as a reward for his arete (D. Sic. iv, 14,3) and Heracles presented it to Philoctetes for noble deeds. On the other hand, Odysseus' famous bow comes from Eurytos, given to him as a gift from Iphitos, and in some way connected w ith Heracles (Od. 21.31 ff.). Achilles was killed by an arrow and it is the bow again by which Troy m ust fall - in fact, for a second tim e (1439 f.)- in a kind of «<> » concept, as the whole embassy to Philoctetes m ay be interpreted. W ith T roy's fall are related (i) Odysseus' skill a t ar chery and cunning strategy; and (ii) Philoctetes' skill a t archery and Neoptolemos' (continuing his father's) prowess. For this reason all these three heroes m ust take p art at the same tim e in the siege of Troy. Therefore w ith Philoctetes' and Neoptolemos' (ultim ately) heroic nature, Odysseus' intelligence and revolutionary spirit is united. The bow rather helps in a kind of reconciliation between these two heroes. They m ust measure up to the ideals symbolized by the bow. The fall of Troy may simply symbolize the co-exi stence and combination of these tensions, the past heroism and the present technology and spirit, in the fifth-century city.
p. 208, «Character», p. 315; Rose, pp. 92-3; Robinson, pp. 45-6; Knox, pp. 134-5; Schmidt, P h ilo k ie t pp. 188-9; Steidle, p. 171, Odysseus means what says; Bowra, pp. 286-7. Cf. also on the bow, Harsh, pp. 412-4, Rose, pp. 69-70; Musurillo, pp. 121- 2. 1. pp. 139, 145 (n. 6).
I. N. Perysinakis
2. Friendship- Deiis ex machine, Neoptolemos' speech in 1314 ff. is an excellent contribution to the persuasion issue, and it has been modelled mainly on A jax's spe ech to Achilles in II. 9.624 ff. Neoptolemos' argum ent is based on the ahelping-friends» concept (1383) as Philoctetes himself acknowled ges (1351, cf. 1322). Achilles had pronounced in the opposite direction (9.612-16). Persuasion, after all, is expected to benefit those who are persuaded (1268-9, 1351, 1383). Phoinix had suggested to P atroclos th a t he could persuade Achilles to participate in the war: a (II. 11.792-3); an agathos may be per suaded by an agathos. is the way to persuasion, is its polar opposite, according to Peleus' advice to Achilles (II. 9.2568 ). Odysseus and A jax try to excite Achilles' sense of honour and make him participate in the war: . 9.237 ff., 300 ff., 624 ff. Neopto lemos, too, tries to stim ulate Philoctetes: 1344-47. Trying to bend Achilles, A jax in II. 9.628 ff. observes th a t he has made the proud-hearted spirit within his body; Neoptolemos observes of Phi loctetes: ' (1321). Also, both Odysseus and Phoinix have used the friendship ar gument. Odysseus has asked Achilles to take pity on all the other Achaeans- note especially (301)- and Phoinix mentioned in his argum ent the im portance of friendship (585 ff.). Ajax espe cially has based his argum ent on and (630, 640 ff.). Frie ndship is a means of persuasion and serves the «helping-friends» the me; b u t it has another dimension to be discussed below. B ut m ost im portant of these echoes is the position in which Phi loctetes finds himself after Neoptolemos' friendly speech; it is equi valent to Achilles* position after the end of A jax's speech. It is wellknown th a t after Achilles' outspoken declaration th a t he will leave for Phthia, in the first and the ninth books of the Iliad (169-70, 35663, respectively), after Phoinix'speech he retreats to a second stage of his decision to withdraw to Phthia: we shall decide tomorrow, as dawn appears... (618-9); and after A jax's speech he retreats to a third stage of his decision: I shall not think again of the fighting until H ector comes to the ships of the Myrmidons (650-55)l. Philo ctetes* desperate exclamation ; * (1350-51, cf. 1376-7) corresponds to Achilles* position af te r A jax's speech to him ; 1. Cf. C.H. Whitman, H om er and the H eroic Tradition (Cambridge Mass., Harvard Univ. press 1958), pp. 188 ff.; Scholia Vetera on w . 309 (p. 461), 651-2 (p. 535).
Sophocles* Philoctetes and the Homeric epics
(645). Both of them are in perplexity; they have yielded from their previously irrevocable decision bu t still they are not in a position to do w hat is proper according to the values of their society. They fail to yield as they bear in mind the injustice done to them or the pains they have suffered. Philoctetes* words in 1354 ff. (how can his eyes endure to see him living w ith his destroyers?) correspond well to II. 9.646 ff., when Achilles' h eart swells up in anger as he remembers the disgrace th a t Agamemnon wrought upon him before the Argives (cf. 16. 52 ff.). It has been observed th a t there are three stages in the action of the tragedy, in which each m ethod is tried in tu rn , b u t w ithout cle arly defined frontiers. Each slides naturally into the next, and each is carefully prepared in th e one which precedes1. Sophocles likes tr i adic composition. One m ay add th a t Sophocles p u t deceit first so as to have latitude for manoeuvring in the case of failure, as it was plan ned. There was no hope for violence from the beginning. If persua sion had failed, Sophocles would have had no other alternative; I ta ke the epiphany of the god to serve this theme. Neoptolemos, like Achilles, moves from stage to stage in his decision making towards the end of the play. From the statem ent «I shall sack Troy» (114, cf. 343, 353), he moves to «I shall sack Troy w ith you» (920), nex t to the opposite «You will sack Troy with me» (1335) to the final «You will sack Troy» (1345),12 which may echo Achilles' advice to P atro clos not to take Troy and make him , and his unfulfilled wish th at only he and Patroclos should emerge from the slaughter and ta ke Troy (II. 16. 80-100). Also, in these successive stages N eoptole mos* transform ation takes place. The relationship of Heracles to Philoctetes embodies the type of friendship of the benefactor to the benefited in a heightened fo rm, and develops the friendship theme from a higher level. Herac les' persuasion differs from th a t of Neoptolemos in the special a u thority conferred by Heracles' im m ortality. His philia is different, too. It antedates the present crisis and has never been marred by dece ption. Heracles, like Neoptolemos before him, is helping a friend and returning favour for favour with Philoctetes; Philoctetes ends by being persuaded by one friend and thereby helping another3. As M. 1. Garvie, p. 215; Kitto, pp. 122, 124; etc. 2. Cf. Blundell, H elping Friends p. 224 (n. 136). 3. Ib. p.222;cf. also, Gill, «The Bow» p. 143. On friendship in the play cf. Rose, pp. 69-70, 76, 77, 98, Segal, Tragedy pp. 331-2; for Odysseus' lack of - words see
1. N. Perysinakis
Blundell p u ts it, «it is of crucial importance for success at Troy th a t Neoptolemos and Philoctetes work together as friends and allies... The significance of this partnership is underlined by the Homeric lion simile w ith its use of the dual (1436 f.). Friendship is to be rooted in reciprocity of m utual protection (1434-7J»1. This duality is sug gested, too, by the partnership of Achilles and Patroclos, when Ac hilles calls on Zeus, Athene and Apollo to let him capture Troy only in combination with Patroclos (16.97-100). A fter explaining who he is Heracles uses a polite Homeric inju nction for sym pathetic hearing (1417), which as Rose sug gests does not mean «obey» (as in LSJ9) b u t expresses the usual con fidence conveyed by the word th a t a careful hearing will win agree ment. After all, Heracles' speeech is described by the heroic term (1410, 1417, 1447), instead of used for Odysseus and Neo ptolemos: th a t means th a t Philoctetes needs another kind of « » to be persuaded*12. Philoctetes' response to Heracles ovx (1447), which means not obedience but acquiesence in persuasion, combines the double motivation of authority, obeying a philos w ith superior status, w ith th a t of persuasion. I t echoes the , ' formula (cf. e.g. II. 24. 120). The vocabulary used is po litical and so the oracle is incorporated in political terminology. The intervention of Heracles counts as the final trium ph of persua sion which brings Philoctetes willingly to Troy3. Under the divine pronouncem ents of Heracles we can see an ironic tru th in Odysseus' claim for the primacy of the tongue. The fact of Heracles* arrival is in some ways more significant than w hat he says. But the deus ex machina has been disputed as one of the anomalies or inconsistencies of the play. It has been obse rved e.g. th a t the second conclusion of the play does nothing to de stroy the effects of the first conclusion, th a t it in no way weakens or
Nussbaum, p. 36, Rose pp. 89-90, Blundell, «Moral Character» pp. 308 if. J. Redling, T h e D ram atic F u n c tio n o f Philia in the L a ter P lays o f Sophocles (Ph. D. diss., Univ. of Michigan 1971), analyzing the importance of friendship in P hi loctetes, offers a good outline of reversal situations, p. 84. 1. lb. p. 224. On the famous simile cf. also Wolff, A Note, pp. 149-50; Segal, «Imporishablo piety» p. 158. Jobb citos II. 10.297, 5.548, Aesch. Cho. 938 Eur. Or. 1401. 2. p. 101; cf. Machin, p. 275 (n. 25); Winnington-Ingram, pp. 299-300; Segal, T ragedy pp. 338-9. 3. Blundoll, H elping p. 221; cf. also Easterling, «Criticism» pp. 31, 33 ff.
Sophocles' Philoctetes and the Homeric epics
cancels any of the dram atic points th a t have been made in the first conclusion, and th a t its lightness does much to emphasize th a t it is the first conlusion which is th e true one th a t Sophocles wishes to le ave dominant in our minds; Sophocles added the second conclusion simply to suggest th a t history and theology had not been left out of account, w ithout altering the true focus of the play. Another obser vation is th a t the zigzag developm ent of th e plot and its arb itrary solution is deliberately framed for effect, an effect best described as m elo-dram atic1. The deus ex machina does indeed form a fitting climax of the play*12. A part from the observation th a t divine and heroic epiphanies may have been more common in the Sophoclean corpus th a n is usully supposed. Heracles appears as the visible standard against which man is measured. The dens ex machina represents th e m ental chan ge of Philoctetes3. Heracles has been viewed not as an external emis sary from Olympus, but as the divine impulse of Philoctetes himself; almost a mere symbol of Philoctetes* thought. The god is a p a rt of the hero, a kind of inner divinity. In the tragic outlook of Homer and Sophocles the gods frame the hero's sufferings in the dimension of eternity4. Heracles' appearance may correspond to A thene's epip hany in the first book of the Iliad (193 ff.). One may also observe th a t while Euripidean epiphanies serve to cut the knot of the plot, the deus ex machina in Philoctetes does not appear necessary for the play; the god serves friendship. In the Iliad it is the friend's death th a t moves Achilles to the fighting. In the Philoctetes it is the friend's appearance th a t «persuades» Philoctetes to participate in the war. Therefore Philoctetes' going willingly to Troy is equivalent to Achilles' participating, of his own will, in the war: he acts willingly, as he would not wish, and unw il
Rose p. 101, Buxton, Persuasion pp. 128f, Rickert, pp. 160-4. Contra Podlecki, «Word» p. 245, Robinson, «Topics» p. 53. 1. Robinson esp. pp. 52 ff. Cf. also Craik, «Melodrama» pp. 22, 28-9. For an interpretation of the Sophoclean endings see D. H. Roberts. 2. Bovvra, pp. 301-6, Whitman, Sophocles p. 187, Seale, «Surprise», pp. 98 ff. Gill, «Bow» pp. 142-4, Blundell, H elping p. 221. On the deus ex machina see also: Linforth, «Philoctetes» pp. 152-54; Alt, pp. 173 f.; Schmidt, pp. 243 ff; Machin, pp. 270, 275 (n. 25); Beye, pp. 74-5; Segal, Tragedy p. 339; L. Pearson, Popular Ethics in A ncient Greece (Stanford 1962) pp. 198-9; Schlesinger takes it as So phocles' third major innovation; etc. 3. Reinhardt,Sophocles pp. 190-91; cf. Fuqua, «Studies» p. 45; Erbse, pp.200f. 4. Whitman, Sophocles 177, 187-88; Bowra p. 302; Kieffer, «Arete» p.49. The
. . Perysinakis
lingly, though he wants i t ! Of course Philoctetes does not avenge any friend's death, b u t nevertheless the motif works. Achilles does not fight for the sake of gifts, though they are not neglected (II. 19.1468; 9.602 ff., 24.594-5); the gift for Philoctetes m ay consist of his he aling. Kleos is common for both. Homer had Patroclos to move Ac hilles to battle. Sophocles had «to invent» the deiis ex machina on the same grounds of friendship which was the motive for Ac hilles in th e Iliad; and this was Heracles. For this reason Heracles* appearance had been prepared carefully throughout the play. If So phocles had felt any difficulty in his dramatic technique to have Phi loctetes persuaded , after all, he would not have made him some fifty verses earlier say «never, if of my will I m ust see Troy» (1392). The reconciliation a t the end of the play is modelled upon the of the nineteenth Book of the Iliad (56 ff., 35, 75). The «> (1445) exclam ation sounds like Achilles' surprise after the appearance of Patroclus* soul (//. 23.69ff., 94 ff.); or Heracles' epiphany in the tragedy sounds like a mythological exemplum in the Homeric epics. Above all, however, it is the (fegcbreov-relationship between Ac hilles and Patroclos which we may investigate between Heracles and Philoctetes (and Philoctetes and Neoptolemos, too), which justifies the epiphany of Heracles. The meaning of as an adjective of Patroclos goes beyond the dimensions of a w arrior's companion; it denotes the ritual substitute of Achilles. Patroclos and Achilles are two irreconcilable aspects of the same character; the failure of his own nostos is equated with the death of his , as the death mo tif is stressed during Patroclos' aristeia. In Achilles* words, P atro clos and Achilles are equivalent warriors, so long as Patroclos stays by Achilles' side; once he is on his own, however, the identity of P a troclos as w arrior is in question (II. 16.241-45). The fatal imperso nation of Achilles by Patroclos reveals th a t the is no lon ger the equivalent of Achilles, once he leaves his side and goes beyo nd the limits Achilles had set for him (16.87-96 )*. I am suggesting th a t Philoctetes and Heracles, too, are found in the func tion, both in heroic and cult / ritual relationship, i.e. Heracles' frie ndship with Philoctetes is built on Achilles* ritual relationship to Patroclos and Philoctetes is Heracles' ritual substitute.*1 function of the gods, esp. in tho Homeric epics is a large theme in literature, cf. e.g. W. Willcock, «Somo aspects of the* Gods in the Iliad» (BIOS 17(1970) 1-10). 1. In the sonse D. S. Sinos, examines Achilles-Patroclos* in Achilles, chs. 2, 3, 5; Nagy, The Best pp. 33, 292-3.
Sophocles* Philoctetes and the Homeric epics
T hat means th a t Heracles persuades Philoctetes, his alter ego, just as Patroclos persuades Achilles to allow him to participate in the war. In fact it is about the same kind of and for similar ac tion through the duality of both heroes; or each hero, in each action persuades the converse side of himself. The very epiphany of H era cles corresponds to Achilles* sending Patroclos into b attle to help the Achaeans. Neoptolemos, like Ajax, has ju st failed to persuade Phi loctetes (: Achilles); Heracles succeeds. Patroclos, too, persuaded Achilles in double way: first to allow him to participate in the war and second to make Achilles himself participate, as a result of P at roclos' death. And we know th a t in both these cases it is about Ac hilles' own fortune. Heracles had became im m ortal- on which per haps we may see an a ttem p t of the poet to distinguish the two faces of the same hero. B ut the emphasis on the invincible bow is an aspect of the heroes' identity. Sophocles could not ignore the legend th a t Heracles was immortal, th at Neoptolemos was killed, etc. But this last gave him the opportunity to transfer the Heracles-Philoctetes duality to Philoctetes-Neoptolemos, with all its consequences: Neo ptolemos' death, lion simile, etc. Besides, the end of the play m ay echo another sitution a t the end of the Iliad. Both Achilles and Philoctetes need a moving emo tional experience to convert them 1. Achilles needs to accept ransom for the body of Hector; Thetis brings Zeus* message to Achilles (24. 133 ff.), whatever Thetis' function m ay be. Sophocles employs th e being closest to Philoctetes, Heracles - who is alm ost substituted for Poias' relationship to Philoctetes - to build his plot. This dictates Philoctetes' statem ent. The poetic m aterial available, it appears, suggests to Sophocles the proper treatm ent, which fits both his reading of th e epic and the plot of the tragedy. As w ith Ac hilles, who supplanted the anger which he felt for the death of P a t roclos with the 9, which is evident in his own gesture to H ector's father at the final book of the Iliad, so Philoctetes softens (or ignores) his anger to the Atreidae and participates in the war. is the cause of Achilles' situation, and his attitu d e to Priam is due to his . is the cause of Philoctetes* persuasion, and his attitu d e to A t reidae is due to his . One may say th a t as in Homer w ith Ac hilles the appearance of divinity broadens the m ortal's vision, so too Philoctetes sees the whole m atter in a wider range.1
1. Cf. Harsh, «The Role», p. 413.
I. N. Perysinakis
Therefore, the appearance of Heracles may be the most self-con sciously archaizing aspect of the play: heroic, ritual, aristocratic and religious1. It also reconciles the heroes, the two ways of heroic beha viour, th at of Neoptolemos-Philoctetes and th a t of Odysseus. Arete has been emphasized in one heroic moment of the play par excelle nce: Neoptolemos is allowed to touch the bow in return for his arete and his beneficence (669). Heracles has enjoyed the glory of immo rtality (arete) (1420)12. And he foretells th a t Philoctetes will sack Troy (1425), which cannot b u t remind us of the 6?. in the epic cycle and consequently of Ajax and mainly of Odysseus, and goes back to Odysseus' words in 1052-3; note also th a t Achilles was of the Achaeans. But Heracles won arete through trials and sufferings. One asp act of the play is th e question of Philoctetes' guilt3 or w hat happens to a m an who has been subjected to evil; Philoctetes is the paradigm of the hero who fulfils his allotted role despite his suffering. One may say with Adams that, as far as one can tell, Philoctetes had no Athe nian cult, which may invalidate this emphasis on the heroes as an approval to an understanding of the play45, b u t the which is also due to Philoctetes in return for his beneficence, ta sks and sufferings (1421-22) may point to an aetiological myth, as vv. 1431-32 seem to do; such aetiological m yths are often put in the m ouths of dei ex machina} as Kamerbeek argues ad loc. The relationship m ay reinforce such a possibility in cult or ritual. But this m ust bring us to the «future of Neoptolemos», which may constitute the only disturbing irony of the play (1440 ff.), as Easterling puts it6. Sophocles likes making these ironical refere 1. Cf. Rose, p. 100. 2. Kieffer sees Platonic colour in this arete, cf. esp. pp. 49-50 and Pratt, «Or thodoxy» p. 288. 3. Cf. Linforth, pp. 153 ff. Philoctetes' position is similar to that of Oedipus in 0.7*. Neoptolemos seems to expess Philoctetes* fortune: it is necessary for men to bear their given fortunes, but no one can pity or forgive those who suffer wil fully (1316-20, 1326-7; cf. 1094-100). On Philoctetes* relationship to Oedipus in O.C. sec Erbse, p. 178. 4. Cf. Sophocles p. 135. On Iloracles* cult seo recently T.C.W. Stinton, «The apotheosis of Heracles from the pyre» (Papers given a t a Colloquium on Greek Dama in honour o f .. IVinnington-fngram , London 1987), pp. 1-16; Neo ptolemos cult is not impossible cf. Ch. Carey, A C om mentary on five odes of Pi ndar (New Hampshire 1981) pp. 145, 153-4. 5. «Criticism» p. 39; Taplin,'«Mapping» pp. 75 ff. Winnington-Ingram calls theso references «windows on a tragic future», p. 302 with note 70. Cf. Roberts, pp. 179, 186 ff.
Sophocles* Philoctetes and the Homeric epics
nces to other stories a t the very end of his dram as (ef. O.C. 1769 if., Eletra 1498, as Easterling notes, ib.). This is a well-known Home ric technique, too: In the neo-analytic approach Homer foretells Achilles' death; the death of Patroclos inside the Iliad foreshadows the death of Achilles outside the Iliad. Paris' m ention by Sophocles, especially in relation to the (1326), seems to point to th e Iliad and the epic material in front of him. The end of the play may finally, not be happy, but stands suspended and rather unhappy in the prospect of w hat happened afterw ards, as is th e situation in th e Iliad regarding Achilles' fortunes. Sophocles had in mind, as Jebb comments ad () (1433), the rest of the legend which ascribed the capture of Troy to Neoptolemos, the hero of Iliou Persis by Arctinus; (1428, cf. 114) refers, probably, to th a t epic. Besides, and (1428, 1429) may contain a reference to Achilles* purpose, which never materialized, of capturing T roy and the spoils from it (cf. II. 9.135 ff.) and once more to the nostos them e. It is th e reve rse of the prophecy of Thetis to Achilles and his final choice. The -relationship between Achilles and Patroclos is tra n sferred to Philoctetes-Neoptolemos through Heracles'epihany and his -relationship to Philoctetes. In this pespective the lion simile gains more sense and the dual is completely justfied, since the two heroes constitute in ritual the two sides of the same coin. Like P a troclos, Neoptolemos, too, is sent to help the Achaeans, and when he goes beyond the limits Heracles sets for him, he will meet hybris and death, just what happened to Patroclos when he transgressed his limits. From this perspective, Heracles' warning to be reveren tial may gain some deeper sense for us. Through Pindar's Paean 6 (but also N. 7), referred by m ost cri tics1, the allusion to «the future o Neoptolemos» (1440-41) justifies and makes more consistent the analysis suggested both in the prolo gue in terms of the conflict between Achilles and Odusseus and the substitute of Odysseus for Achilles in his position tow ards Neoptole mos, and in the parodos in term s of the -relationship betwe en Patroclos and Achilles transferred to Philoctetes and Heracles in his appearance as a deus ex machina (but to Neoptolemos and P hi loctetes, too). And through the first song of Demodocos in the Odys sey 8, which features the menis of Achilles and Apollo and, following another Iliadic tradition, pictures Odysseus as the prime offender of
1. E.g. Jebb a d 1440 f., Nagy, T h e B e s t pp. 59 ff., Roberts, p. 187.
. N. Perysinakis
Achilles, the same allusion to «the future of Neoptolemos» constitu tes an irony from another perspective. Sophocles knows this Iliadic tradition from the Homeric Cycle and seems to amalgamate and ex ploit the whole Homeric tradition. W hat is out of the Philoctetes re conciliates the pro-Achillean with the pro-Odyssean tradition, con cerning heroic moral patterns, might or artifice and the strategies for the fall of Troy. Another last similarity between Philoctetes and the Iliad is the aspect from which the whole play is seen. Heracles subordinates his words to the accomplishment of Zeus* will, recalling in this way the famous . of the Iliad (1. 5): .,. (1413-5; cf. 990, 555 (not those of Zeus)). Therefore the plot of the play itself, like th a t of the Iliad, is subject to the approval of Zeus. It is also im portant th a t both , and are found (or implied) in similar contexts in the Iliad and the tragedy: cf. e.g. in IL 1.212 and Phil. 1468 ( ... ). Be sides, the solution of the tragedy is viewed under the word-versusdeed relationship. And Sophocles appears to continue Homer, as an author himself of the «post-Homeric» tradition. The problem of pliysis is an im portant aspect of Philoctetes, b u t usully it is regarded in relation only to Neoptolemos, while it is essential to apply th e same question to Philoctetes himself. W hat C. W hitm an has argued about the nomos-physis antithesis in Antigo ne speaking of «Antigone and th e Nature of N ature»1 is valid of Phioctetes, too, only by substituting society in the place of nomos. By placing his heroes on the side of nature Sophocles raised the question of Human Potential at its fullest, as a phenomenon born of nature and nurtured on it and therefore committed to all th a t could be me an t by man. Philoctetes' final choice, like th a t of Antigone's in the storm of dust, frames a powerful ontological symbol of man, great in its love and self-sacrifice. This m om ent is both the moment of tr ue identity for Philoctetes and th e m om ent of true nature and soci ety. In it the problem of heroic plujsis versus society has ceased to be an antinomy, it has found resolution and unison in the heroic mo ment, where the intellectual and the instinctual are made one. The distinction between heroism and morality in Sophocles' Philoctetes is somehow bridged over. The tragic hero must save hi mself as the embodiment of those values th a t preserve society; he as serts w hat is the basis of society. And this basis is a kind of new uni 1. T h e H e r o ic P a r a d o x pp. 105-131, esp. the last.
Sophocles* Philoctetes and the Homeric epics
on of the idea of heroic self-assertion w ith w hat we call m orality. The heroic paradox is solved. «In the m idst of increasing chaos, to seek th e source of order in the structure of the individual soul is to frame heroism in an image of moral selfhood, an image th a t combines moral, hum an, and social com m itm ent, w ith large heroic self-assertiveness»1. In summing up, it has been suggested th a t in the Philoctetes there are m any allusions in particular to the Iliad b u t also to the Odyssey, most im portant of which are: Philoctetes and Odysseus in the pro logue have been pictured in terms of the Achilles - versus - Odysseus antithesis, as it is described in the Iliad b u t m ainly in the first Ne/nyia of the Odyssey and Demodocos' first song (8.73-82); the whole tragedy reminds us of the ninth book of the Iliad; the oracle of Helenos is treated on the model of T hetis' prophecy in the Iliad; Philoctetes' going willingly to Troy is modelled on Achilles' even tual participation in the war, both of his own free will, because he wants to avenge his friend, and yet unwillingly, ju st because of his friend's death; Philoctetes, ju st like Achilles, fulfils the oracle, th o ugh they behave of their own will; Neoptolemos' sincere attem p t to persuade Philoctetes echoes A jax's attem p t to persuade Achilles in the ninth book of the Iliad; the various stages of th e successive a tte m pts to persuade Philoctetes echo Achilles' three stages in making his decision about leaving Troy or being persuaded to participate in the war; the nostos theme in the tragedy and the stops and depar tures of the play correspond to Achilles' nostos and «departures» in the Iliad; Philoctetes' persuasion corresponds to the in the nineteenth book of the Iliad; th e deus ex machina is in vented as a consequence of the friendship-them e, corresponding in a way to Achilles' being persuaded by Patroelos; the epiphany of He racles is built up on the -function, i. e. Philoctetes is the ri tual substitute for the god, ju st as Patroelos is Achilles' alter ego, and Philoctetes' being persuaded by the god is, after all, th e reverse side of the same coin; finally the «future»`of Neoptolemos and his rela tionship w ith Philoctetes is built up on the same -relation ship, as if it were transferred through Philoctetes to Neoptolemos. And therefore, this interpretation solves some «illogicalities» in Philoctetes through Homer's work, which thus has its bearing on the com pre hension of the tragedy, and m ay have shown th a t the paradox of So phocles' originality finding expression through his reading of anot her author's mork is justified. 1. ib . pp. 19-43, esp. pp. 20-1, 37; Whitman cites C. M. Bowra, T h e G re e k E x p e r ie n c e (London 1957), ch. 2 «The Heroic Outlook», esp. pp. 22-3.
I. N. Perysinakis
BIBLIOGRAPHY The following works, which have contributed to formulation of my views, are cited throughout the notes by the author's name alone or by abbreviated tit le in cases where an author has written more than one relevant work. Some few cited works may not been referred to, but they have contributed to a better under standing of Philoctctes. The text cided is from Lloyd-Jones H.-Wilson N.G., Sophoclis Fabulae (OCT, Oxford 1990) and the translation is that by D. Grene, in The Com plete Greek Tragedies, Sophocles ii (Chicago and London 1969): Adams S.M., Sophocles, the Playw right (Toronto 1957). Adkins A.W.H., M erit and Responsibility (OUP 1960, Midway reprint 1975). Alt Karin, «Schicksal und im P hiloktet des Sophokles» (Hermes 89 (1961) 141-74). Avery H. C,, «Heracles, Philoctctes, Neoptolemus» (Hermes 93 (1965) 279-97). Bers B., «The Perjured Chorus in Sophocles* Philoctetes» (Hermes 109 (1981) 500-4). Beye Ch. R., «Sophocles' Philoctctes and the Homeric Embassy» ( 101 (1970) 63-75). Biggs P., «The disease theme in Sophocles' A jax, Philoctetes, and Trachiniae» (CPh 61 (1966) 223-35). Blundell M.W., H elping Friends and H arm ing Enem ies, A S tu d y in Sophocles and Greek E thics (CUP 1989); ead. «The Moral Character of Odysseus in Philoctetes» (GRDS 28 (1987) 307-329). K. I., (. 1, 1968) Bowra C.M., Sophoclcan Tragedy (Oxford 1944). Burton R.W.B., The Chorus in Sophocles' Tragedies (Oxford 1980). Buxton R.G.A., Persuasion in Greek Tragedy: A S tu d y o f «Peitho» (Cambridge 1982). Calder III W.M., «Sophoclean Apologia: Philoctetes» (G R B S 12 (1971) 153-74). Campbell Clare, « Theophany» (Theoria to theory 6 (1972) 81-5). Campbell L., Sophocles (2 vols, 2nd Edition, Oxford 1879-81). Cook A., «The Patterning of Effect in Sophocles* Phi loctetes» (Arethousa 1 (1968) 82-93). Craik E.M., «Philoctetes: Sophoclean Melo drama» ( A n t Cl. 48 (1979) 15-29); ead. «Sophocles and the Sophists» (A nt. Cl. (1980) 247-53). Daly J., «The name of Philoctetes: Philoctetes 670-73» (A JP h 103 (1982) 440-42). Easterling P.E., «Philoctetes and Modern Criticism» (IC S 3 (1978) 27-39; ead. «Character in Sophocles» (GScR 24 (1977) 121-9); ead. «Cons tructing Character in Greek Tragedy» (Characterization and Individuality in Gre ek Literature, Oxford 1990, pp. 83-99); ead. «The Tragic Homer» (BIC S 31 (1984) 1-8). Easterling P.E. & Knox B.M.W. (eds), The Cambridge H istory o f Classical Literature I Greek Literature (CUP 1985). Edwards A.T., Achilles in the O dyssey (Verlag Anton Hain 1985). Erbse H,, «Neoptolemos und Philoktet bei Sophokles» (Hermes 94 (1966) 177-201). Garvie A.F., «Deceit, Violence, and Pesuasion in the Philoctctes» (Stu. Cl. in on ore Q. Cataudella vol. I, Catania 1972). Gellie G. H., Sophocles: A Reading (Netley 1972). Gill Ch., «Bow, Ora cle, and Epiphany in Sophocles* Philoctetes» (G & R 27-28 (1980-81) 137-46). Greengard C., Theatre in Crisis: Sophocles' Reconstruction o f Genre and Politics in Philoctctes (Amsterdam 1987). Ilaldanc J.A., « Paean in the Philoctetes» (CQ 13 (1963) 53-56). Hamilton R., «Neoptolemos* story in the Philoctetes» (A JP 96 (1975) 131-7). Ilai^sh Ph.W., «The Rolo of thoBow in the Philoctctes of Sophocles» (A JP h 81 (1960) 408-14). Heath ~M.VThe Poetics of Greek Tragedy (Duckworth, London 1987).Henry A.S., « in Sophocles* Philoctetes» (C R 24 (1974) 3-4);»Sophocles* Philocletes and the Homeric epics
«Sophocles* Philoctets 849-54» (CPЈ68 (1973) 61-2). Hinds A.E., «The Prophecy of Helenus in Sophocles'Philoctetes» (C Q \1 (1967) 169-80). Hoppin M.G., «What hap pens in Sophocles* Philoctetes *>» (Traditio 37 (1981) 1-30). Huxley G., «Thersites in Sophocles'Philoctetes» (G R B S 8 (1967)33-4). Inoue E., «Sight, sound and rhetoric: Philoctetes 29ff.» [A JP 100(1979) 217-27). Jameson M.H., «Politics and the P h i loctetes» (CPh 51 (1956) 217-27). Jebb R.C., Sophocles: The Plays fand the F ra gm ents... IV Philoctetes (Cambridge 1902). Kamerbeek J. C,, The Plays o f S o p hocles. V I Philoctetes (Leiden 1980). Kieffer J.S., «Philoctetes and A rete» ( CPh 37 (1942) 38-50). Kirkwood G., A S tu d y of Sophoclean Drama (Ithaca, N. Y. 1958); id. «Homer and Sophocles* Ajax» (in Classical Drama an its Influence, ed. by Anderson-). Kitto H.D.F., Form and Meaning in Drama (London, Methuen 1964, pp. 87-137); id. Sophocles, D ram atist and Philosopher (Greenwood Press Connecticut 1981). Knox B.M.W., The Heroic Temper. Studies in Sophoclean Tragedy (Berkeley and Los Angeles 1964). Lesky A., Greek Tragic P o etry (transl. by M. Dillon, Yale U.P., New IIa\ren & London 1983: Phil. pp. 168-76; Greek transl. by N. Chourmouziades, v. A, Athens 1985, pp. 397-414). Linforth I.M., «Philoctetes: The Play and the Man» (CPCP 15 (1956) 95-156). Long A.A., L an guage and Thought in Sophocles (London 1968). Machin A., «Hontes et Refus chez ie Philoctete de Sophoele» (: Melanges Edouard Delehecque (Aix-en- Prove nce 1983) pp. 259-76). Musurillo H., The L ig h t and the Darkness (Leiden 1967). Nagy G., The B est of the Achaeans (Baltimore and London 1981). Nussbaum M. «Conseqences and Character in Sophocles* Philoctetes» (Philosophy and L itera ture 1 (1976-77) 25-53). Opstelten J.C., Sophocles and Greek Pessim ism (transl. J.A. Ross, Amsterdam 1952). Parry A., «The Language of Achilles» ( 87 (1956) 1-7; now in A. Parry, The Language o f Achilles and O ther Essays (Oxford 1990). Podlecki A.J., «The Power of the Word in Sophocles' Philoctetes» (G R B S 7 (1966) 233-50). Poe J.P., Heroism and D ivine Justice in Sophocles* «Philocte tes» (M nemosyne Suppl. 34, Lugduni Batavorun 1974), Pratt N.T., «Sophoclean «Orthodoxy» in the Philoctetes» (A JP h 70 (1949) 273-89). Radt S., Tragicorum Greecorum Fragm enta, IV: Sophocles (Gottingen 1977). Reinhardt K., Sopho cles (trans. H. and D. Harvey, Blackwell Oxford 1979). Rickert, G., ' and * in Early Greek Thought (American Class. Studies 20,1989). Roberts D.H., «Sophoclean endings: Another story» (Arethusa 21 (1988) 177-96). Robinson D.B., «Topics in Sophocles* Philoctetes» (CQ 19 (1969) 34-56). Rose P. W., «Sophocles* Philoctetes and the teaching of the Sophists» (H SC P 80 (1976) 49-105). Schmi dt J.-U., Sophokles P hiloktet, cine Strukturanalyse (Heidelberg 1973). Schlesinger E., «Die Intrige im Aufbau von Sophocles' P h ilo ktet», (R h M 111 (1968) 97156). Seale D., «The Element of Surprise in* Sophocles* P hiloctetes» (B IC S 19 (1972) 94-102); id. Vision and Stagecraft in Sophocles (London & Canberra 1982). Segal C.P., «Philoctetes and the Imperishable Piety» (Hermes 105 (1977) 13958); id. Tragedy and Civilization; A n Interpretation o f Sophocles (Cambridge, Mass. 1981). Dale S. Sinos, Achilles, Palroclos and the Meaning o f Philos (Inns bruck 1980). Slatkin L. M., «The Wrath of Thetis» ( 116 (1986) 1-24). Steidle W., Studien zum antiken Drama (Munich 1968; pp. 169-92). Taplin O., «Signifant Actions in Sophocles' Philoctetes» (G R B S 12 (1971) 25-44); id. «The Mapping of Sophocles* Philoctetes» (BICS 34 (1987) 69-77); id. Greek Tragedy in A ction (Methuen, London 1978). Tarrant R. J., «Sophocles, Philoc tetes 676-729: Directions and Indirections» (: Greek Tragedy and its Legacy, Es
I. N. Perysinakis
says Presented to D. J . Conacher, ed. by Cropp M., Fantham E., Scully S.E. (To ronto 1986) pp. 121-34). Vidal-Naquent PM «Le Philoctete de Sophocle et h^bie» (in M yth e et Tragcdie en Grece ancienne, Paris 1972, pp. 159-84; Greek transl. by St. Georgoude, Athens 21988, pp. 183-211). Waldock A.J.A., Sophocles the D ram atist (Cambridge 1951). Webster T.B.L., Sophocles Philoctetes (CUP 1970); id. A n Introduction to Sophocles (London, Methuen21969). Wilson E., The W o u n d and the B ow : Seven S tu d ies in Literature (London 1952, pp. 244 if.). Whitman C.H., Sophocles: A S tu d y o f Heroic H um anism (Cambridge Mass. 1951); id. The Heoric Paradox, ed. by Ch. Segal (Cornell Univ. Press 1982).Winnington-Ingram R.P., Sophocles. A n Interpretation (CTJP 1980); id. «Tragica» (B IC S 16 (1969) 44-54). Woodard T., Sophocles, A Collection o f critical essays (Englewood Cliffs, N.J. 1966). Wolff Ch., « Note on Lions and Sophocles, Phi loctetes 1436» (A rk louros. Hellenic S tudies Presented to N.M .W . K nox, ed. Bowersock G., Burkert W. and Putnam C.J. (Berlin 1979) pp. 144-50).

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