Philoctetes

by

Sophocles

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Poeas Character Analysis

Poeas is a Thessalonian king and Philoctetes’s father. While Philoctetes is marooned on Lemnos, he tries to get word to Poeas to come and pick him up, but the Greeks who happen upon the deserted island can’t be bothered to take the “cripple” Philoctetes’s messages back to his father. Because the messages never get delivered, Philoctetes hears no reply from his father and assumes Poeas is dead, although he’s actually alive. Philoctetes begs Neoptolemus to take him home to his father throughout most of the play, and when Heracles appears during the closing scene, he claims that Philoctetes will go home to Poeas after the Trojan War and tell him all about his heroic efforts to kill Paris and win the war.

Poeas Quotes in Philoctetes

The Philoctetes quotes below are all either spoken by Poeas or refer to Poeas. 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:
Scene 2 (Lines 219 – 675) Quotes

No, either bring me safely as far as your home
In Scyros, or else to Calchodon’s place in Euboea.
From there it’s only an easy crossing to Oeta,
To Trachis’ heights and Spercheiis’ beautiful stream.
And so you can show me again to my own dear father—
Though I’ve been long afraid I shall find him gone.
When people arrived, I often used to send him
Imploring messages, hoping he might be able
To come in a ship of his own and fetch me home.
But either he’s dead, or else my messengers couldn’t
Be bothered with me—it was natural enough, I suppose—
And wanted to hurry on with their homeward voyage.

Related Characters: Philoctetes (speaker), Neoptolemus, Poeas
Page Number: 219
Explanation and Analysis:
Closing Scene (Lines 1408 – 1472) Quotes

You’ll go with Neoptolemus to Troy,
Where first your painful wound will soon be healed.
Then, chosen for your prowess from the host,
You’ll use my bow and arrows to bring down
Paris, the cause of all this bitter strife.
When you’ve sacked Troy, the army will present
You with the prize of valour, and you’ll bear
Your spoils back to your home on Oeta’s heights
To show your father Poeas. Do not fail,
Whatever spoils the army grants to you,
To lay a portion on my pyre in tribute
To my bow.

Related Characters: Heracles (speaker), Philoctetes, Neoptolemus, Poeas, Paris
Page Number: 255
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Philoctetes LitChart as a printable PDF.
Philoctetes PDF

Poeas Character Timeline in Philoctetes

The timeline below shows where the character Poeas 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
...Achilles, that this island is where Odysseus and his crew marooned Philoctetes, the son of Poeas, at the behest of his superiors. The wound on Philoctetes’s foot had been “oozing with... (full context)
Scene 2 (Lines 219 – 675)
Disability and Discrimination Theme Icon
...while his wound is worsening. He tells them that he is Philoctetes, the son of Poeas, and the one who owns Heracles’s bow and arrows. He was marooned on Lemnos by... (full context)
Disability and Discrimination Theme Icon
...agrees to bring Philoctetes to Scyros, he will surely be able to get word to Poeas, if he is still alive, to come get him. Philoctetes has already sent word to... (full context)
Choral Song (Lines 676 – 728)
Disability and Discrimination Theme Icon
...Greek hero, Achilles, and Philoctetes will soon sail away from Lemnos back to his father, Poeas, on the island Mális. (full context)
Lament (Lines 1081 – 1218)
Decisions, Obligation, and the Greater Good Theme Icon
...him an axe or sword so he may kill himself and again see his father, Poeas, who is surely dead by now. (full context)
Closing Scene (Lines 1408 – 1472)
Decisions, Obligation, and the Greater Good Theme Icon
...arrows to kill Paris and conquer Troy. Afterwards, Philoctetes can go home to his father, Poeas, and tell him of his bravery.  (full context)