With origins in both the Greek myths and the biblical story of Potiphar and his wife, the fate of Phaedra and Hippolytus has been recounted by numerous playwrights throughout history. However, a close look at three such plays reveals that, while the characters and basic plot elements may be the same or similar, the stories told and themes explored in each case are of quite a different nature. The original myth, on which all subsequent works are based, tells the story of Hippolytus, the bastard son of Theseus, king of Athens, and his devotion to Artemis, goddess of the hunt, which angered Aphrodite, goddess of love, due to his resulting neglect of her.
Indeed, a rival group staged a play by the now forgotten playwright Nicolas Pradon on an almost identical theme.
When pressed by Theramenes, he reveals that the real motive is his forbidden love for Aricia, sole survivor of the royal house supplanted by Theseus and under a vow of chastity against her will. Close to death and reeling about half-dementedly, under pressure from her old nurse Oenone she explains her state, on condition that she be permitted to die rather than face dishonour.
The death of Theseus is announced with the news that his succession is in dispute.
Oenone urges her mistress that, since her love for her stepson is now legitimate, she should form an alliance with him, if only for the future benefit of the infant son of her own flesh.
Suddenly entering a trance-like state overcome by emotion, she involuntarily confesses her hidden passions to her horrified dumb-struck stepson. Theramenes brings news to Hippolytus that Theseus might still be alive. However, Oenone brings her the devastating news that Theseus has returned in perfect health.
After his long period in captivity, Theseus is surprised by the cold reception from his wife and son, each anxious to conceal their passions: Protesting his innocence, Hippolytus discloses his secret love for Aricia to his incredulous father and leaves in despair.
Hippolytus takes his leave of Aricia, promising to marry her in a temple outside Troezen. He decides to question Oenone, but it is too late: Oenone has thrown herself to the waves. She finally succumbs to the effects of a self-administered draught of Medean poison, taken to rid the world of her impurity.
Voltaire called it "the masterpiece of the human mind. It is now one of the most frequently staged tragedies from the seventeenth century.With Phèdre, Racine chose once more a subject from Greek mythology, already treated by Greek and Roman tragic poets, notably by Euripides in Hippolytus and Seneca in Phaedra.
As a result of an intrigue by the Duchess of Bouillon and other friends of the aging Pierre Corneille, the play was not a success at its première on 1 January at the Hôtel de Bourgogne, home of the royal troupe of actors in Paris. Get free homework help on Jean Racine's Phaedra: play summary, scene summary and analysis and original text, quotes, essays, and character analysis courtesy of CliffsNotes.
CliffsNotes on Phaedra discusses Jean Racine's tragedy about deceit, honor, and forbidden love. When Theseus, king of Athens, disappears during an expedition and is rumored to be dead, his wife Phaedra pursues her . Jean Racine (French: [ʒɑ̃ ʁasin]), baptismal name Jean-Baptiste Racine (22 December – 21 April ), was a French dramatist, one of the three great playwrights of 17th-century France (along with Molière and Corneille), and an important literary figure in the Western iridis-photo-restoration.com was primarily a tragedian, producing such "examples of neoclassical perfection" as Phèdre.
Phaedra observes the supposed rules of classical drama, but is only loosely modelled on plays by Euripides and Seneca. Theseus has been gone six months from Troezen. Raabe, Heinrich August, ¶.
Die Postgeheimnisse oder die hauptsächlichsten Regeln welche man beim Reisen und bei Versendungen mit der Post beobachten muß um Verdruß und Verlust zu vermeiden (German) (as Author); Raabe, Wilhelm, ¶.
In Jean Racine's "Phaedra", three characters exhibit these characteristics; however Phaedra most responsible for the calamity making her the tragic heroine.
The tragic hero 3/5(1).