In order to reconcile the deus ex machina at the end of Sophocles' Philoctetes with the actions of the rest of the play, this project analyzes the role of Odysseus within the play with special attention to rhetoric. By considering the character of Odysseus as a complex construct referencing both literary and historical contexts, this study suggests that Neoptolemus in fact errs in siding with Philoctetes to the degree that he does by the tragedy's end. The themes of the play involving Philoctetes and Neoptolemus then become warnings against inappropriate emotional responses, again consistent with Heracles' advice in the deus ex machina at the play's end.
College and Department
Humanities; Humanities, Classics, and Comparative Literature
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Axelgard, Christian Wiggo, "Speaking for Himself: Odysseus and Rhetoric in Sophocles' Philoctetes" (2013). All Theses and Dissertations. 3694.
Sophocles, Philoctetes, Odysseus, Neoptolemus, character, rhetoric, pity