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Achilles Character Analysis

Achilles is a respected Greek warrior, a hero of the Trojan War, and Neoptolemus’s father. Achilles is killed during the Trojan War by Paris, and Odysseus concocts a false story in which Atreus’s sons deny Neoptolemus his deceased father’s armor and instead give it to Odysseus. Odysseus hopes that the story will cause Philoctetes, who deeply hates Odysseus, to trust Neoptolemus, thereby making it easier for Neoptolemus to steal Philoctetes’s bow and arrows and convince him to come to Troy.

Achilles Quotes in Philoctetes

The Philoctetes quotes below are all either spoken by Achilles or refer to Achilles. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Disability and Discrimination Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of Philoctetes published in 2008.
Scene 1 (Lines 1 – 134) Quotes

Now, Neoptolemus, true-born son of Achilles,
Greatest of all the Greeks, it was here that I once
Put ashore the Malian, Poeas’ son, Philoctetes,
Acting upon the orders of my superiors.
The gnawing wound in his foot was oozing with pus.
We couldn’t pour a libation or offer sacrifice
Undisturbed. His animal shouts and yells
Were constantly filling the camp with sounds of ill omen.
That story needn’t detain us now, however.
This isn’t the moment for long discussion.

Related Characters: Odysseus (speaker), Philoctetes, Neoptolemus, Achilles, Poeas
Related Symbols: Philoctetes’s Wound 
Page Number: 203
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Philoctetes LitChart as a printable PDF.
Philoctetes PDF

Achilles Character Timeline in Philoctetes

The timeline below shows where the character Achilles appears in Philoctetes. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Scene 1 (Lines 1 – 134)
Disability and Discrimination Theme Icon
...and not a house or ship can be seen. Odysseus tells Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles, that this island is where Odysseus and his crew marooned Philoctetes, the son of Poeas,... (full context)
Deception, Ethics, and War Theme Icon
...he agreed to go with them, but when he asked the Greeks for his father, Achilles’s, arms, they refused and instead gave them to Odysseus. “Yes, you can be as rude... (full context)
Deception, Ethics, and War Theme Icon
Decisions, Obligation, and the Greater Good Theme Icon not in his nature to be deceptive. Nor, Neoptolemus reminds Odysseus, was it in Achilles’s nature. Neoptolemus would rather take Philoctetes by force. He wants to follow Odysseus’s orders, Neoptolemus... (full context)
Scene 2 (Lines 219 – 675)
Disability and Discrimination Theme Icon
Deception, Ethics, and War Theme Icon
...why they have come to Lemnos. Neoptolemus tells Philoctetes that he is the son of Achilles. Neoptolemus and his men have just left Troy, he says, and are headed home to... (full context)
Deception, Ethics, and War Theme Icon sail for Troy, but when he got there, Atreus’s sons refused to give him Achilles’s arms. Achilles’s armor belongs to Odysseus now, Atreus’s sons said. (full context)
Choral Song (Lines 676 – 728)
Disability and Discrimination Theme Icon
...Now, the chorus says, Philoctetes has met Neoptolemus, the son of the greatest Greek hero, Achilles, and Philoctetes will soon sail away from Lemnos back to his father, Poeas, on the... (full context)
Scene 4 (Lines 1219 – 1407)
Deception, Ethics, and War Theme Icon
...they are really cowards. Neoptolemus, however, is not “a cheat like Sisyphus.” Like his father, Achilles, Neoptolemus is a hero, Philoctetes says. (full context)
Deception, Ethics, and War Theme Icon
Decisions, Obligation, and the Greater Good Theme Icon
...shouldn’t want to help the Greeks either, Philoctetes says, since Atreus’s sons won’t give him Achilles’s armor. Neoptolemus should return to Scyros and “leave those rotten men to a rotten death.” (full context)