Philoctetes: That’s Sick!


The Importance of Being Urn-est

There’s an article in today’s New York Times about using Sophocles’s Philoctetes as a teaching tool for medical students. Apparently they’ve found that the play’s depictions of illness and the reactions of friends and family to the sick person are psychologically accurate today. Marvelous, no?

I’ve long loved this play both as an academic and as a critic (sort of like those Frosted Mini-Wheats commercials, the grown-up loves the ethical and social implications while the kid in me loves the emotional content!). More recently we’ve been treated to Seamus Heaney’s The Cure at Troy, a most eloquent update, but I think it’s time for a restaging of the Sophocles original. Takers?


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