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Helenus Character Analysis

Helenus is a famous Trojan prophet and the son of Priam, the king of Troy. Helenus is captured by the Greeks during the Trojan War, and he tells them that the war cannot be won without both Neoptolemus and Philoctetes, along with Philoctetes’s unerring bow and arrows. According to Helenus, Neoptolemus and Philoctetes will be hailed as heroes after sacking the city of Troy and bringing the war to an end.

Helenus Quotes in Philoctetes

The Philoctetes quotes below are all either spoken by Helenus or refer to Helenus. 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 3 (Lines 730 – 1080) Quotes

So why are you taking me now and carting me off?
What for? I’m nothing to you. I’ve long been dead.
How, you bane of the gods, am I no longer
A stinking cripple? How, if I come on board,
Will you burn your victims or go on pouring libations?
That was your specious pretext for throwing me out.
Perish the lot of you! Perish you surely will
For the injuries done to me, if the gods have any
Concern for justice. I know they have. You’d never
Have crossed the sea in quest of a mouldering wretch,
Unless some spur from heaven were goading you on.

Related Characters: Philoctetes (speaker), Odysseus, Helenus
Related Symbols: Philoctetes’s Wound 
Page Number: 239-40
Explanation and Analysis:
Scene 4 (Lines 1219 – 1407) Quotes

Now that you know this, surely you must agree,
And gladly. You have so much to gain. First,
To come into healing hands, and then to be judged
The foremost hero of Greece, by taking Troy,
The city of sorrows, and winning the highest glory.

Related Characters: Neoptolemus (speaker), Philoctetes, Helenus
Related Symbols: Philoctetes’s Wound 
Page Number: 251
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Philoctetes LitChart as a printable PDF.
Philoctetes PDF

Helenus Character Timeline in Philoctetes

The timeline below shows where the character Helenus appears in Philoctetes. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Scene 2 (Lines 219 – 675)
Deception, Ethics, and War Theme Icon
The merchant tells Neoptolemus and Philoctetes that the Greeks had recently captured Helenus, the prophet and son of Priam, and he claimed that Troy would never be conquered... (full context)
Scene 4 (Lines 1219 – 1407)
Deception, Ethics, and War Theme Icon
Decisions, Obligation, and the Greater Good Theme Icon
Helenus, the prophet, has prophesized that Philoctetes and Neoptolemus will bring down Troy and be hailed... (full context)