Laertes is Odysseus’s recognized father; however, Philoctetes implies that Sisyphus is Odysseus’s real father. According to some versions of the myth of Odysseus, Odysseus’s mother, Anticlea, was already pregnant with Odysseus by Sisyphus when Laertes paid the dowry to marry her. Thus, according to Philoctetes, Odysseus is “Sisyphus’ / Spawn, whom Laertes bought.”
Laertes Character Timeline in Philoctetes
The timeline below shows where the character Laertes appears in Philoctetes. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Scene 2 (Lines 219 – 675)