Tuesday, February 3, 2015

TFBT: Untrodden Meadow Again

The opening scene of Sophocles’ play; Philoctetes begins with Odysseus setting the scene for Neoptolemus, child of Achilles. “This is the headland of sea-washed Lemnos, land untrodden by men and desolate. It was here child…” 

 The phrase “untrodden by men” brought to mind, the Hippolytus’ famous phrase “untrod meadow”.  That phrase is indicative of the main character’s virginal status. 

I wonder if Odysseus used the phrase  (Okay Sophocles wrote the phrase) to point out  Neoptolemus’ youth?   After all the son of Achilles wasn’t even a teenager yet. 


  1. Do you know other uses of that phrase before Euripides?

  2. I found a reference claiming that the was such a tradition that referred to women. Good question. I will check it out when I have access to jstor http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/4430511?sid=21105271519141&uid=4&uid=2&uid=63&uid=70&uid=2134&uid=83&uid=3739512&uid=3739256&uid=2460338175&uid=2460337935