Philoctetes and the Good Companion Story


  • Arthur W. Frank


Parole chiave:

Socio-narratology, companion story, Mattingly, Philoctetes, narrative therapy, chronic pain


The idea of a companion story is developed through an analysis of Sophocles’ play Philoctetes, about living in chronic pain. That story is anchored by an ethnographic report of a boy living with pain, and his companion story. The good companion story is distinguished by three qualities: it consoles its companion, it complicates lives that it enters, and it promises a form of hope. The article thus seeks to demonstrate the therapeutic capacity of stories to effect healing.

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Come citare

Frank, A. W. (2016). Philoctetes and the Good Companion Story. ENTHYMEMA, (16), 119–127.



Narrative and Medicine