The most famous archer in the Trojan war, to whom Hercules, at death, gave his arrows. He joined the allied Greeks, with seven ships, but in the island of Lemnos, his foot being bitten by a serpent, ulcerated, and became so offensive that the Greeks left him behind. In the tenth year of the siege Ulysses commanded that he should be sent for, as an oracle had declared that Troy could not be taken without the arrows of Hercules. Philoctetes accordingly went to Troy, slew Paris, and Troy fell.
The Philoctetes of Sophocles is one of the most famous Greek tragedies. Laharpe wrote a French tragedy, and Warren, in 1871, a metrical drama on the same subject.