Philoctetes. 409 B.C. City Dionysia.
Prologus, 1-134. (Odysseus, Neoptolemus)
Odysseus and Neoptolemus find Philoctetes' cave in Lemnos.Parodos, 135-218. (Chorus, Neoptolemus)
Odysseus unfolds his plan of deceit, to which Neoptolemus at first objects; but he is finally persuaded.
Neoptolemus and Chorus of sailors examine the cave and feel pity for Philoctetes' wretched lot.First episode, 219-675. (Philoctetes, Neoptolemus, Chorus; Sailor)
Neoptolemus introduces himself and hears in return the tale of Philoctetes: the snake-bite and his abandonment. Neoptolemus persuades Philoctetes that he too is a foe of the Greeks, since Achilles' arms were refused to him. Philoctetes begs Neoptolemus to take him home, and he agrees.First stasimon, 676-729. (Chorus)
A Sailor arrives disguised as a merchant captain to tell Neoptolemus that Odysseus and others are coming to force him back to Troy.
The prophecy of Helenus (regarding Neoptolemus).
hyporchema 391-402, 507-518.
The Chorus express their pity for Philoctetes.Second episode, 730-826. (Philoctetes, Neoptolemus, Chorus)
Philoctetes has repeated attacks of violent pain as they prepare to depart. He gives Neoptolemus the bow to carry. Philoctetes falls into a deep slumber.Second stasimon, 827-864. (Chorus, Neoptolemus)
Neoptolemus hesitates to take the bow and leave the sleeping man, though the Chorus advises it.Third episode, 865-1080. (Philoctetes, Neoptolemus, Chorus; Odysseus)
Neoptolemus cannot go through with the deception. Philoctetes denounces the foul play and demands back the bow.Third stasimon, 1081-1217. (Chorus, Philoctetes)
Odysseus arrives, and tries to persuade Philoctetes to come with them to Troy. Refusal and abuse from Philoctetes. Odysseus departs with Neoptolemus, who has the bow. The Chorus are left by Neoptolemus to look after Philoctetes until they sail.
Philoctetes bewails his fate, now hopeless without his bow to gather food. The Chorus try to persuade him to come to Troy.Exodos, 1218-1471. (Philoctetes, Neoptolemus, Odysseus, Chorus; Heracles)
Neoptolemus returns the bow to Philoctetes over Odysseus' objections. He stops Philoctetes from slaying Odysseus. Neoptolemus argues that they must trust in the gods, who have fated that he and Philoctetes take Troy. But Philoctetes is unpersuaded, reminds Neoptolemus of their grievances against the Greeks, and enjoins.
Neoptolemus to fulfill the vow he made to take him home. They reach an impasse. Heracles appears and reminds Philoctetes of his own many labors and great rewards. He confirms the prophecy of Helenus (that at Troy Philoctetes will be healed and will, along with Neoptolemus, sack the citadel). Philoctetes submits.
FILOKTHTHS . Philoctetes .
The story of Philoctetes was first told in the Homeric cycle, in the Cypria and in the Little Iliad of Lesches. Both Aeschylus and Euripides had plays entitled Philoctetes, of which we know a good deal due to a comparison of the two by Dio of Prusa (Or . 52) written in the first century §a.d. In the version by Aeschylus, we first see Philoctetes as the angry hero, unwilling to return to Troy. Odysseus comes to Lemnos, where Philoctetes does not recognize him. He tells him a false story of the misfortunes of the Greeks, which includes the death of his enemies Agamemnon and Odysseus. Somehow Philoctetes is persuaded. In both the Aeschylean version and that by Euripides, the chorus are Lemnians. The Euripidean version was produced in 431 §b.c. Euripides provides some motivations omitted by Aeschylus (Athena disguises Odysseus; the Lemnian Actor provides him with supplies; the Chorus apologize for not visiting Philoctetes earlier), but the main difference is that here the intrigues of Odysseus are interrupted by an embassy from the Trojans. There is a great debate scene, where Odysseus (still in disguise) tries to persuade Philoctetes of his duty to the Greeks. In the end, though, Philoctetes has to be forced to go to Troy.
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