Character Analysis Of Neoptolemus In Odysseus

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Neoptolemus is the main character in the book Philoctetes written by Sophocles. Attempting to deceive a Greek god named Philoctetes, he became guilty, ruining the plans made by a Greek commander named Odysseus. Philoctetes was a Greek commander at Troy, that was abandoned by the Greek gods, including Odysseus. Long before meeting Neoptolemus, he was bitten by a snake, leaving him disabled with a foot in need of medical attention on the island of Lemnos. Based on the morals of the modern society, the character Neoptolemus would have demonstrated bravery because his reaction to the plan of deception was questionable. Neoptolemus genuinely felt bad for Philoctetes uncomfortable lifestyle, and eventually revealed his true plans for Philoctetes…show more content…
As the antagonist of the play, he uses Neoptolemus to carry out his plan; “You must deceive Philoctetes when you speak to him” (Line 53). Promising the young man, Neoptolemus, kleos. In ancient Greece, kleos was greatly valued, and people would rather die young with kleos, than to live a long, unidentified life. Although Neoptolemus knew that Odysseus’s plan was wrong. As he stated, “Son of Laertes, I find just listening to this sort of talk upsetting- and the thought of acting on it is repellent. I am not, and never been, the sort to cheat.” (Line 82-84), Neoptolemus tried to defend his personal morals, but finds himself being bombarded by his superior, Odysseus. It is assumed that you may live up to your parents’ legacy, and since Achilles was such a brave, and noble man, his son must be too; “You will win a reputation for wisdom, as well as bravery.” (Line 123). Unlike Ancient Greek, today, people are expected to define their own life, and what makes them happy without the burden of being a disappointment. Although, following a successful parents’ footsteps would not be taboo, finding what makes someone happy is more important. For example, a twenty- first century woman is a stay at home mother who has no education higher than the 8th grade. Her daughter would not be as contributive to society is she decides to follow her…show more content…
As described, he slept on a bed of leaves and drug his foot through the dirt leaving trails wherever he follows. It is unsafe for someone who is alone to leave such obvious trails, making them an effortless target. Because kleos was so important to the people of Ancient Greece Neoptolemus had to pretend to not know of him; Philoctetes stated, “Have you not heard of the name? Not heard of any word of the misfortunes which ruined me?” (Line 270-271). He began to panic, and gave in to Neoptolemus’s deceitful scam by telling everything about himself, including the bow he mastered from Hercules. Although Neoptolemus’s lie about his father 's’ despair may have been a part of the plan, a person may argue that he was attempting to sympathize with Philoctetes because of the hardships he has experienced on Lemnos such as melting ice for water, or scavenging for food with his bow, and he blames it all on Odysseus. He proceeded by declaring himself as a suppliant of Neoptolemus; “I beg you as your suppliant. Do not leave me here on my own.” A suppliant is someone under the protection of someone in the position to help. At this point, Neoptolemus is offered a choice, either help the greater good of the people by following Odysseus’s specific rules and saving Troy, or protecting individual rights by respecting Philoctetes wishes and taking him back to his

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