is the best known tragedy based on the Philoctetes myth, and the only one which has survived to the present day. However, there were some other treatments of the same myth. One of them was Aeschylus’ 


, in fact the myth’s first dramatization; unfortunately it has been lost to us. Nevertheless, this article is about the Aeschylean play.

Philoctetes was one of the original leaders of the Greek expedition against Troy. According to myth, a serpent bit his foot while he was performing a sacrifice at the altar of Chryse on Tenedos (or, according to other versions, on the island of Chryse), where the expedition had stopped on their way to Troy. The wound produced such a disagreeable odour and caused Philoctetes to so cry out in pain that the expedition

2154 words

Citation: Encinas Reguero, M. Carmen. "Philoctetes". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 October 2017 [, accessed 16 July 2024.]

37164 Philoctetes 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.