One of the most celebrated plays of ancient Athens in a vivid and dynamic new translation by award-winning poet James Scully
Fate, free will, and the sacredness of the social bond are all challenged and reassessed in this tale torn from the midst of the Trojan War.
The soldier Philoktetes was abandoned with a festering, god-inflicted foot wound on the desolate island of Lemnos by the Greeks under Odysseus, who could no longer stand the stench or the soldier's screams of pain. Now, ten years later, the Greeks realize they will never take Troy without Philoktetes and the bow given to him by Herakles. But Philoktetes refuses to rejoin the Greek army, vowing to kill his enemy Odysseus instead--so Neoptolemos, son of the slain hero Achilles, is dispatched to trick Philoktetes into returning. Philoktetes and Neoptolemos, however, are constantly at sea, their minds shifting and re-shifting amid mixed feelings, deceptions, suspicions, and qualms as they struggle with themselves and their strangely evolving relationship.
James Scully's remarkable translation of Sophocles' classic Philoktetes achieves an accurate yet accessibly idiomatic rendering of the Greek original, suited for reading, teaching, or performing. This is Sophocles for a new generation, certain to strike a powerful chord with contemporary audiences everywhere.