''Odysseus Acanthoplex'' (, ''Odysseus Akanthoplēx'', "Odysseus wounded by a spine"; also known as ''Odysseus Wounded'', ''Odysseus Spine-struck'' and ''Odysseus Wounded by the Spine'') is a lost play by the Athenian dramatist Sophocles. Several fragments are extant.〔 The plot told of Odysseus' death, accidentally killed by his son Telegonus. Some scholars believe that another Sophocles' title, ''Niptra'' (Νιπτρα, "The Footwashing", "The Washing"), is the same play as ''Odysseus Acanthoplex''. Dana Sutton, however, disputes this, suggesting that ''Niptra'' was a separate play dealing with Odysseus' return to Ithaca but not with his death.〔
The plot of ''Odysseus Acanthoplex'' was based on ''Telegony'', which was part of the ''Epic Cycle''. As background to the plot of the play, Homer's ''Odyssey'' tells of Odysseus spending a year with the goddess Circe.〔 In the version of the myth that ''Odysseus Acanthoplex'' was based on, Odysseus and Circe had a son from this dalliance, Telegonus.
From what we know of the plot of the play, Telegonus arrived at Ithaca to reveal himself to his father. However, a fight ensued and Telegonus killed Odysseus without knowing who Odysseus was.〔 In the myth, Telegonus used a spear that had a venomous stingray spine to kill Odysseus.〔 The plot also dealt with the subsequent marriages between Telegonus and Odysseus' wife Penelope and between Circe and Odysseus' son by Penelope, Telemachus.〔
Two of the extant fragments from the play refer to the oar Odysseus carried to appease the sea god Poseidon.〔 Several extant fragments make reference to the oracle of Zeus at Dodona.〔 Other than one reference in ''Trachiniae'', these are the only extant references to Dodona in Sophocles' works. Classicist T.F. Hoey believes that the thematic development of ''Odysseus Acanthoplex'' was similar to that of ''Trachiniae''.〔 According to archaeologist Thomas B. L. Webster, the plot of ''Odysseus Acanthoplex'' had a diptych form, i.e., in two parts, analogous to Sophocles' extant ''Ajax'', ''Trachiniae'' and ''Antigone''.
Sutton speculated that the play partially unfolded as follows. Early in the play, Odysseus related the directions from Teiresias described in ''The Odyssey'' in which he was supposed to carry an oar far inland as a sacrifice to Poseidon. He also related an oracle he received at Dodona telling him that he would be killed by his son. Believing that the oracle referred to Telemachus, he would have taken precautions against Telemachus killing him, but was unprepared when another son who he did not know of arrived and a fight ensued. The wounded Odysseus was brought on stage lamenting his wounds and denouncing the oracle for failing to predict that he would die at the hands of this stranger. Then Telegonus arrived on stage, and a recognition scene occurred in which Telegonus discovered that he killed his father and Odysseus realized that the oracle had come to pass.〔
Webster, who believes that ''Niptra'' and ''Odysseus Acanthoplex'' are the same play, believes that the play began with Odysseus' return home to Ithaca and his recognition by Eurycleia, who in ''The Odyssey'' washed Odysseus' feet.
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