Illinois Classical Studies - Volume 3 by Miroslav Marcovich

By Miroslav Marcovich

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Being cured will mean coming back from the dead, 27 ceasing to be the solitary wild thing who is at the same time is to both predator and prey of the island's beasts and becoming instead one of a "pair of lions, each guarding the other's life" (1436 f ). As Schmidt has argued, 28 Neoptolemus' action in standing by his commitment to Philoctetes has given Philoctetes a new heroic community to which to belong: it is no longer true that all the "real" heroes are dead. So Troy can be used as a symbol both of the corrupt unheroic world of politics, which we applaud Philoctetes for rejecting, and of society, into which we want him to be reintegrated.

JUi^Sev Tovs Se (ppovT^aei Kal dperrji. nvKras Kal araStets' Kal d^ioXoyov ovpL^dXXeoOai rals noXeai irpos oior-qpiav, Siacpepovras fxopovs hvvaodai rds irarpihas €v to is KLvSvvois BiacpuXdrreiv. Now, the fact that the well-being of a city depends on ment was common knowledge in Xenophanes' time: avTol S' evvofxirjiai its good govern- noXiv Kdra KaXXtyvvaiKa Koipaveovo' , 6X^09 Se ttoXv^ Kal ttXovtos {Homeric Hymn orriqhel. ) But the idea that good government depends on wholesome instruction by an enlightener, not on glory of reigning Olympic victors, seems to be Xenophanes' original contribution.

157. art. cit. (n. 6 above), p. 37; Schmidt, 246. 31 Art. cit. (n. 20 above), p. 179. op. cit. (n. 10 above), pp. 231; p. E. Easterling civilised world. Of course there could be a 39 sinister irony in the joy of —the audience might be meant think "poor fool" the big battalions take over — but that case would be hard explain the Philoctetes in to it feelings that Sophocles has generated need as to about Philoctetes' wound and the for cure. The only disturbing irony at the end of the play, it seems to me, is of a kind that Sophocles uses elsewhere: the hint at 1440 ff.

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