This essay examines "Philoctetes" as an exercise in self-representation by looking at the self-referential and metatheatrical dimensions of the play. After suggesting an enlarged understanding of metatheater as "a particularly vigorous attempt to engage the audience at the synthetic and thematic levels of reading," I examine "Philoctetes" as a self-conscious discourse on tragedy, tragic production, and tragic experience, one which participates in a larger conversation in the late fifth century about the ethics of tragedy, including the remarks of Gorgias on theatrical deception (ἀπάτη). The play points up its own constructedness in a variety of ways, most strikingly in the theatrical character of the intrigue by which Odysseus deceives Philoctetes, which provides a play within a play and a representation of texts and readers, plays and spectators. In laying bare the kinds of strategies and techniques that undergird this "intratext," "Philoctetes" offers a model of tragedy and of the tragic poet based on power, deceit, and manipulation. Yet by attributing these characteristics to the moral deficiencies of its internal creator and by demonstrating his failure to achieve his ends, "Philoctetes" rejects such a theater of sophistry. At the same time, the play considers issues of textual reception by providing in Philoctetes an audience for this internal text and a protocol of reading that suggest a more positive model of tragic response. "Philoctetes" uses this model to offer the spectator a subject position that affirms the inherent value of reading tragedy, a humanistic model of reading based upon the audience's identification with and sympathy for the tragic protagonist. Sophocles thus finds in this exercise in self-representation a way to frame critical questions on dramatic theory and to define his own dramatic practice.

[Footnotes]

[Footnotes]
1
Taplin 1986:164
Abel 1963
Hornby 1986
Bain 1977:1-12, 208-22
1987
Taplin 1986
Bierl 1991
Henrichs 1994-1995
Easterling 1997:165-73.
2
Segal 1982:215-71
Foley 1980
1985:205ff.
Goldhill 1986:259-86
Bierl 1991:177ff.
Zeitlin 1989:64-65, 83.
Zeitlin 1980.
Winnington-Ingram 1969:130-32
3
Goldhill 1986:218-21
Henrichs 1994-1995:65-73
Falkner 1995
Calame 1996
Easterling 1993
Falkner 1994
Easterling 1997:169-71.
5
Doherty 1996:65-86.
6
Peradotto 1992
9
Scott 1996:178
10
Winnington-Ingram 1980:286ff.
11
"Partial Magic in the Quixote," in James Irby, ed., Labyrinths (Irby is also translator of this essay) (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1970) 231.
12
Taplin 1971:27-29
13
Waugh 1984:4.
14
Taplin 1986
1996
Bain 1987.
Easterling 1985:5f.
Bain 1987:10ff.
Taplin 1986:171.
15
Bain 1977:1-12, 208-22.
Taplin 1986:164-65, 171
16
Taplin modifies his position in 1996:189
Taplin and Wilson 1993.
Bain 1987:8-9
17
Taplin 1986.
18
Abel 1963:60
Bain 1987:8
Abel 1963: 61
Hornby 1986:32ff.
Elam 1980:90
19
Phelan 1989:2-3.
20
P. Rabinowitz 1987:94-96
21
Willink 1986 ad Or. 1214-15
22
Elam 1980:113-14
23
Easterling 1997:166
24
Berger 1997:98-112.
Peradotto 1992:9-10.
25
N. S. Rabinowitz 1986:171f.
26
Vernant 1988:187.
27
Taplin 1987:72
28
Jebb 1898:xii-xix.
29
Segal 1981:297-98.
30
Taplin 1983:165n.21
31
Seale 1982: 27-28
33
Greengard 1987:25n.16
Dio (Or. 52)
35
Segal 1981:304
37
Tr. 190-91
OT 1005-1006.
38
Roberts 1989:170
Hamilton 1975
Calder 1971:153-69.
39
Greengard 1987:23n.14.
40
Greengard 1987:26
41
Segal 1981:329.
42
Easterling 1997:169-71
43
Jebb 1898 suggests ad 718f.
44
Seale 1982:34, 48
Greengard 1987:6.
Roberts 1989:170
46
Booth 1988.
47
Dover 1993: 15f.
Gregory 1991:1-4
49
Nussbaum 1976-77
Blundell 1987
50
Podlecki 1966
Rose 1976:83
Segal 1981:333-40.
51
Stanford 1954:108-11
Rose 1976:81-85
n. 70
Blundell 1987:327-29
52
Rose 1976:82
Guthrie 1971:44.
54
Garvie 1972
Easterling 1978:31, 35.
55
Podlecki 1966.
56
Blundell 1987:313-15.
57
Podlecki 1966:244-45
Segal 1981:337-40 and 352.
58
Segal 1981: 457n.10.
59
Roberts 1989:168.
61
Falkner 1995:39ff.
62
de Romilly 1953.
63
Phil. 54-55.
Hel. 15, 16, 17 and 19
64
Pfeiffer 1968:46
Ran. 1021
66
Pfeiffer 1968:46-49.
67
Plut. M. 348c (De Gloria Athen.)
Diels-Kranz 76 B 23.
Slater 1993:410n.31
68
Segal 1962: 130-32
Lucas 1968:xix and 270
Pfeiffer 1968:47
Verdenius 1981:117- 18
Lada 1996:401
Ran. 910
Dissoi Logoi 3.10
Hel. 13
Hel. 9
69
Segal 1962:130-31
Ran. 910
70
Taplin 1978:167.
71
Rep. begins (331c).
72
Verdenius 1981:117
73
Verdenius 1981:118.
Freeman 1946:367
Thuc. 6.86.4
Dem. De Corona, 18.43
Thuc. 1.69.3
Dem. In Androtion, 22.64
F. C. Babbit (Loeb translation, Mor. IV, 348c)
Sprague 1972
74
Knox 1964:125
Rose 1976:90.
76
Taplin 1971:37.
77
Seale 1982:36
Taplin 1978:67
Greengard 1987:22-32.
Segal 1981:343.
78
Dunn 1996:38-39
79
Hoppin 1990:160ff. and esp. 169
80
Errandonea 1956.
81
Poe 1974 esp. 49-51
Winnington-Ingram 1980:301-302.
82
Easterling 1978:33-34.
83
Segal 1981:352
Martin 1989 esp. 1-42
Hoppin 1990:158.
84
Segal 1996
85
Segal 1981:328ff.
86
Segal 1981:360
Rose 1987:74
Avery 1965 esp. 280-82
87
Vidal-Naquet 1988:172.
88
Falkner 1998 (forthcoming).
89
Blundell 1987:327.
96
Aristoph. Eq. 401
Ael. VH 14.23
98
Eagleton 1996:6-7
Taplin 1986: 172.
100
Dunn 1996: 38-39
Hoppin 1990:154
101
Erbse 200f.
Roberts 1989:173.
Hamilton 1975.

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