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Filoctetes by Sófocles

Filoctetes (edition 2006)

by Sófocles, Frederico Lourenço (Translator)

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201258,418 (3.5)18
Other authors:Frederico Lourenço (Translator)
Info:Edições Cotovia
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Philoctetes by Sophocles



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Almost one of the all-time great dramatizations of the wounded heart and psyche. Philoctetes is rejected by his fellows for the stinking wound that he incurs committing an act of kindness that no one else will (lighting Heracles’s funeral pyre); he is exiled to an island, Homo sacer, anti-sirene, to writhe alone and scream and hear his screams echo from the cliffs, mocking his solitude, his lost humanity. But then they need him! And he can speak to people again! And then he’s a person again! And he weeps when Neoptolemus finds him and just sits with him for a while. But it's all a trick—sleazy Odysseus wants his mighty bow for the war effort; and while that hurts, it also puts him in the position fantasized about by everyone who ever felt alone and unloved: the one who can tell them to fuck off and have them beg him to come back and say a hundred times how sorry they are. But just like in real life, they don’t give any more of a shit than they ever did; rather than beg, they trick him again, hurt him once more, compound his trauma. It’s an unresolvable knot, and the play shows that so well—which is why it’s such a shame when Heracles deus ex machinates in to tell Mr Moral High Ground to fucking get in the boat and go kill Paris already. Cheap, I mean by “a shame.” Probably there’s some Greek drama rule why that ending is better and not worse that Aristotle could explain to us, but Aristotle’s not here right now and so this play gets a perhaps unnecessarily punitive four stars. ( )
2 vote MeditationesMartini | Aug 31, 2013 |
Philoctetes is the story of the moaning hero that Odysseus left on an island but has returned to with Neoptolemus (son of Achilles) to retrieve the bow. In convincing Neoptolemus to take part in his ploy: "I well know, my son, that by nature thou are not apt to utter or contrive such guile; yet, seeing that victory is a sweet prize to gain, bend they will thereto; our honesty shall be shown forth another time. Son of brave sire, time was when I too, in my youth, had a slow tongue and a ready hand: but now, when I come forth to the proof, I see that words, not deeds, are ever the masters among men." ( )
  jpsnow |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sophoclesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Webster, T.B.L.Editorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
De Haes, JosTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0521098904, Paperback)

The theme of Sophocles' Philoctetes is of lasting significance. It revolves round Neoptolemus' struggles with his conscience, and Philoctetes' strength in adversity and refusal to accept any compromise. Sophocles explores the relationship between the two central characters with powerful subtlety. The main emphasis in Professor Webster's commentary is on explaining the impact of the play through metre and language rather than on the examination and comparison of points of grammatical and syntactical usage. He deals with all the essential problems of the play at a level appropriate to the needs of students in the upper forms of schools and at university.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:22 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Centering on the Greek army's attempt to win the trust of their master bowman Philoctetes, without whom they cannot win the Trojan War, Philoctetes is a morally complex and timelessly relevant meditation on ends and means, on patriotism, and on the relationship between public duty and private interest.… (more)

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