Seamus Heaney's version of Sophocles' "Philoctetes" is responsive to the Greek playwright's understanding of the relations between public and private morality. It dramatizes the conflict between personal integrity and political expediency and explores ways in which the victims of injustice can become as devoted to the contemplation of their wounded as the perpetrators are to the justification of their system. This play is the 1990 production of the Field Day Theatre Company.
Seamus Heaney was born in County Derry in Northern Ireland. Death of a Naturalist, his first collection of poems, appeared in 1966, and was followed by poetry, criticism and translations which established him as the leading poet of his generation. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, and twice won the Whitbread Book of the Year, for The Spirit Level (1996) and Beowulf (1999). Stepping Stones, a book of interviews conducted by Dennis O'Driscoll, appeared in 2008; Human Chain, his last volume of poems, was awarded the 2010 Forward Prize for Best Collection. He died in 2013. His translation of Virgil's Aeneid Book VI was published posthumously in 2016 to critical acclaim.