• A play by Sophocles, one of the best known of Greektragedies, first performed in 409 BC in Athens. Sophocleswrote it at the age of 87.

    In Greek legend Philoctetes was a famous archer, Herculeshaving given him his arrows on the point of death. In the tenth yearof the Trojan War Odysseus commanded that Philoctetes be sent for,as an oracle had declared that Troy could not be taken without thearrows of Hercules. Philoctetes went to Troy, slew Paris, and Troyfell. Sophocles's play, however, tells a later story of Philoctetesbeing cast away on a desert island, from which he fears he may neverescape.